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Home > Disney and UNESCO Aim to Boost Diversity With Women In Animation (WIA)

Disney and UNESCO Aim to Boost Diversity With Women In Animation (WIA)

Image courtesy of Women in Animation (WIA)

Disney Works To Increase Diversity in Animation

Since the rise of animation in the early 20th century, it has been a primarily male-dominated industry. Currently, males make up 71.9% of the field, with females only making up 28.1%. Not only is there a lack of gender diversity in the field of animation, but also a lack of diversity in race as well. A majority of animators are white (mostly males) at 67.7%, followed by Latinos at 13.9%, Asians at 7.5%, leaving 5.8% of races indistinguished. Currently, Disney and UNESCO have begun working with Women in Animation (WIA) to increase diversity in animation in both race and sex.

Stories x Women Program 

The program Stories x Women is a collaboration between Women in Animation (WIA) and the International Federation of Film Producers’ Association (FIAPF) that launched in 2022. The goal of the program is not only to boost the amount of women in the animation industry, but to also increase the amount of creative voices from Africa, Asia-Pacific, and Latin America by supporting access to international opportunities for these women. Every year, the program selects women from eligible countries to be mentored and coached by internationally acclaimed animation experts. These experts prepare the delegates to pitch their projects at the Annecy International Animation Film Festival and Market.

Women in Animation (WIA) is a nonprofit organization that was founded in 1995, whose goal is to further, promote, and support female animators. WIA works towards bridging the gap between gender and racial disparities in the animation field by providing underrepresented and marginalized groups with various opportunities. Some of these opportunities include: a scholarship, mentorship program, talks, events, and a voice-over group. Women in Animation was founded by producer/journalist Rita Street and animator Phyllis Craig. Craig worked for many notable animation studios like Marvel, Disney, and Hanna-Barbara, although it was hard for her to obtain these jobs as it was believed that only men could be animators.

WIA has recently launched its 50/50 by 2025 initiative to advocate their goal of change, providing programs and connections for supporters who are helping it reach its 2025 goal of gender equality. In 2013, over 60% of animation school graduates were female, but women made up only 20% of the workplace.

Via the annual impact report, “Today, according to the Animation Guild, the percentage of women working in animation (for union employers) is 34% — a more than 50% increase since 2013. At this pace, 50/50 by 2025 can be a reality,” the non-profit organization hopes to make a change and seem to be on track to reach it.

Disney and UNESCO 

As of 2024, The Walt Disney Company and The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) have joined Women in Animation’s goal of boosting diversity. The two companies are sponsoring this year’s 2024 Stories x Women program created by WIA. Disney Branded Television’s executive VP of television animation, Meredith Roberts, believes that: “Supporting women in animation is essential to Disney’s commitment to empowering the next generation of storytellers.” and “helps ensure that a multitude of voices, cultures, and perspectives are represented in animation.” Ernesto Ottone R, assistant director-general for culture at UNESCO shares Dinsey and WIA’s goal, stating: “UNESCO believes that investing in women creators is a catalyst for cultural diversity, equality and sustainable societies.”

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2024 Projects 

Women in Animation’s Stories x Women program had 140 applicants from 30 countries, with nine from Asia-Pacific, eleven from Africa, and ten from Latin America. The Stories x Women program has chosen five teams for 2024 and is increasing diversity by requiring a minimum of one woman with a leading role in every team. The five projects for this year are: “The Human and the Android”, led by Theresa Cornelia from Indonesia; “Aimó”, led by Fernanda Alves Salgado with Giuliana Danza from Brazil; “Karetabla”, led by Maria Rosario Carlino with Carlos Zerpa from Argentina; “Oarona”, led by Thandiwe Mlauli with Angel Pitre from South Africa; and “Jaé Natal! (S’up Xmas)”, led by Camila Padhila with Roger Keesse from Brazil. The projects are scheduled to be pitched on June 11th, 2024 at the Annecy Animation Festival and Market (MIFA).

Women in Animation – 50/50 by 2025

Source: Dead Talk Live

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Author at Dead Talk News

Hi, I'm Haley! I recently graduated from the University of Maine at Farmington with a B.F.A. in creative writing and a B.A. in psychology. I love writing and have been doing it since I was little, with my niche being the dark and macabre in short stories and poems.