In the animation industry, it’s no secret that women have been underrepresented for quite some time. However, a new database is looking to change that by hooking women up with job opportunities.
Women in Animation (WIA) has aimed for the advancement of women in the animation industry since the ’90s, and now they’re taking things a step further to diversify their pool of talent with the creation of their new WIA Talent Database. The system features a list of around 5,000 women, trans and nonbinary animation creatives as part of its push for gender parity.
The database acts as a search tool listing women-for-hire within the animation industry, and the hope is that studios will use the resource to ensure women are included in productions. WIA launched their 50/50 by 2025 campaign in 2016, which addresses the lack of women holding creative positions within animation. As it stands, women only hold 20 per cent of animation roles — a number that seems severely low considering women make up 60 per cent of animation and art school students according to their website. The group wants to transform 20 per cent into 50 over the next four years, and the database will help to support that goal.
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With more women getting hired comes the chance of increased recognition via awards ceremonies. Only four women have ever won an Oscar for Best Animated Feature, and only 13 have taken home the Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film.
“While studios around the world have heard our call for balance and pledged to champion diversity, the reality is that most animation hires are influenced by word of mouth and proximity to the hiring parties. Increasing the visibility and accessibility of women will make it harder to deny our existence,” Women in Animation president Marge Dean told The Hollywood Reporter.
In other words, the statement, ‘I’d love to hire women, but I don’t know where to find them’ will no longer be acceptable.
The database will let potential employers search for candidates that fulfill certain criteria such as series vs. feature experience, length of work, computer animation pipeline knowledge and more. Candidates will appear in a gallery that showcases each person’s different art styles.
Related: 12 female leaders who give us hope.