Women in Animation (WIA) has long championed the need for more balanced representation in creative leadership roles within the animation industry, and the establishment of the WIA Talent Database is the organization’s latest global effort in support of achieving “50/50 by 2025.” Currently featuring over 5,000 candidates within the animation industry, the WIA Talent Database is designed to be an ever-growing resource available for studios to balance the diversity of their hiring for each and every production moving forward.
Under the leadership of WIA President Marge Dean and combined focus of database creator Liz Luu, website developer Mickey Kyle and database manager Kate Menz, the WIA Talent Database was conceived and built to pool talent that covers the full range of roles on animated productions in an easily searchable collection of candidates to be considered for hiring by the international animation industry.
“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. 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,” explains Dean.
The WIA Talent Database has been designed to fill in gaps left by other résumé and credit-listing websites as advised by a committee of studio recruiters, development executives and production management across the animation industry. The robust WIA system allows potential employers to filter talent searches based on a number of animation-specific hiring factors such as feature vs series experience, years of work in a particular animation role, CG pipeline knowledge and more.
“Candidates within the database self-report their credits and our database team then verifies the information supplied before it is made accessible to employer searches, which has proven valuable to the integrity of a talent search,” explains Luu. Another unique feature of the system is the gallery view which can be used to compare candidate art styles side by side, “recreating the simultaneous portfolio review experience that best matches candidates with a production’s visual development goals,” adds Luu.
Studios wishing to access the database for hiring purposes, or candidates wishing to add themselves to the database can visit womeninanimation.org or reach out to the WIA Talent Database team directly by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.