Animated Women UK has opened entries for the third run of its Helen North Achieve Programme, which focuses on supporting women in the VFX and animation industries in reaching their potential.
“We have seen some fantastic success stories come out of our previous Achieve Programmes and I am delighted that we are able to offer another group of women, from across the experience spectrum, the opportunity to develop their professional and personal skills in a program designed specifically for women, by women,” said Beth Parker, Co-Chair Animation, AWUK. “We continue to strive to give women a platform in the animation and VFX industries within which, although we are gaining significant ground, we still can’t say our voices are heard equally. Programs such as ours are therefore crucial to the continued development of diversity in our vibrant industry. We are extremely grateful to both the ScreenSkills Animation Skills Fund and Escape Studios for their continued support.”
“I am personally delighted that AWUK is able to offer the Helen North Achieve Programme for the third year running. It has been a very successful program that to date has worked with 50 women at various stages of their careers in VFX and Animation,” added Louise Hussey, Co-Chair VFX, AWUK. “While some change is beginning to take place, the fact remains that women do not hold many of the Senior Creative roles and the recent gender pay gap statistics show that women continue to be at the lower end of the pay scale and that has not improved since last year.”
The Programme was launched in 2017, and is funded by the ScreenSkills Animation Skills Fund with contributions from U.K. animation productions and with additional support from Escape Studios.
“The newly re-booted ScreenSkills Animation Skills Council are thrilled to be working with Animated Women UK to enable them to run the Helen North Achieve Programme this year, funded through studios paying into the animation skills fund. Reaching gender balance is of vital importance to our industry and the Achieve initiative is a targeted program to making sure that is achieved, at every level of the career ladder,” commented Tom Box, Chair of the ScreenSkills Animation Skills Council.
The Helen North Achieve Programme is open to women at all stages of their career looking to address the real challenges and barriers they face on a day-to-day basis. It aims to provide strategic career management and is run by accredited executive coach Marianne O’Connor, an experienced coach, facilitator and trainer specializing in women’s leadership development; and Jan Armstrong. The course’s 24 successful applicants will take part in six sessions in central London.
“The Animated Women UK Helen North Achieve Programme is a fantastic support network for women in the animation and VFX industries. Being able to talk to like-minded women about issues that we all face and how to overcome them has been invaluable and inspiring. It was great to be able to speak to women from fantastic organisations such as DNeg, Disney and Blue Zoo,” said Georgina Hurcombe, Producer and Managing Director of LoveLove Films. “The mix of career stages also provided unique and valuable insight. Personally, it has also been really useful to hear what these women want in their own organisations and then think about whether I can apply any of these learnings at LoveLove Films. I’ve made some really great new friends too and a year later I’m regularly meeting up with many of them.”
Fees for the Achieve Programme are £225 for Senior participants, £175 for mid-level and £75 for junior level for the full set of sessions.