Animation is opening screen industry doors for women

Posted Monday 12 Dec 2022

Animation is opening screen industry doors for women

The number of women working in animation in the US has increased, as has the number of women in top roles in the sector.

A Variety article quotes Marge Dean, CEO of Women In Animation, saying that in 2013 the number of women in the field was about 20%, whereas “A couple of years ago, we checked in with the animation guild, and we had hit 30%”. 

Dean pointed out that animation may have not lost women in large numbers during the COVID-19 pandemic because of the industry's quick shift to a work-from-home model. This would make it a doable shift for women who suddenly had children or family quarantined at home.

The article notes that animation continues to promote and represent women in game-changing roles, for executives and creative leaders: Jennifer Lee leads Walt Disney Animation Studios; Kristine Belson runs Sony Animation; Karen Toliver heads Netflix’s toon arm; Ramsey Naito oversees Nickelodeon; Margie Cohn is President of DreamWorks.  

Those women who are in top roles say having other women mentoring them and advising them was a big factor in them being where they are today, while the years of toiling for gender parity has produced a generation coming up which is more sure of itself.

“I think that everything that we’ve seen in the last five years in terms of the spotlight that’s been placed on diversity has only gone to help people feel more entitled to say, ‘Yes, I want to do that,’ rather than ask for permission,' Nora Twomey, director of Oscar-contender My Father’s Dragon said.

"I think my generation — I’m in my 50s now — maybe asked for permission quite a bit....So growing into new roles, like if you start as an animator and then want to become a director, that’s seen as possible for women. That’s all changing for the good.”

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IMAGE: Nora Twomey,