Women in Animation, the organization that supports women in all aspects of the animation industry, is tackling the issue of gender parity with a new initiative called 50-50 by 2025. Most animation students these days are women, but only about 20% of the creative workforce is made up of women. WIA is hoping this new initiative will help to change that.
“What is the disconnect between graduation and employment? How can we stem the attrition of women?” said producer Jinko Gotoh, WIA chairperson and moderator of a panel taking place at the currently ongoing View Conference in Turin, Italy. “We need to take a hard look at the real numbers needed to reach this goal.”
But the organization will devote a full day to the issue at the Spark Animation Conference in Vancouver on Friday, Oct. 23, sponsoring the symposium Women and the Business of Animation. The symposium will open with a panel on 50-50 by 2025 moderated by producer Rose-Ann Tisserand and featuring WIA co-president Marge Dean and animation professionals Alex Raffe, Brenda Gilbert, Delna Bhesania, J.J. Johnson and Kirsten Newlands. Other panels at the daylong symposium include Monetizing Shorts, Pitch It Forward and Financing Features.
“We want to make a difference by educating and inspiring women in the business of animation. We’ve had phenomenal interest and support, which indicates how relevant and timely this symposium is,” said Tisserand, who is co-chairing the event with Gotoh.
In addition to the symposium, WIA is launching a shorts program to advance the 50-50 by 2025 initiative. The shorts program will be detailed at the World Animation Celebration at the Oct. 25 panel. “We are launching a shorts program to give female creators a chance to get their vision on the screen, to be seen by an audience, and to benefit from their work financially,” says Dean. “We will be talking about what we’re doing, why we’re doing it, and how it will work.”