Women in Animation has announced a first round of academic partnerships to encourage the next generation of animation professionals to engage with its network of support. New York’s School of Visual Arts has signed on as both a corporate sponsor and student membership sponsor, and California Institute of the Arts has also agreed to sponsor memberships so more of its students can take part in WIA.
These efforts were spurred by the discrepancy between females in animation schools, where they account for a roughy 65% majority of the student body, and in the industry, where women are placed in just 23% of creative leadership positions, according to WIA co-president Marge Dean.
“Connecting with women during their academic training is a way for us to support their professional development and effort from the start, and to work together towards our goal of making the creative leadership in the industry 50-50 by 2025,” said Brendan Burch, WIA treasurer and member of its student committee.
The partner schools issued enthusiastic statements:
“We at SVA are thrilled to offer our students access to the premier organization for women’s advocacy, gender equality and leadership training. Students are the future of our industry and the support they will gain by joining WIA will be a very positive influence on their education and their careers. We encourage our peers, educators and students to sign the pledge (50/50 by 2025!) – we did!” — John McIntosh, Chair of SVA Computer Art, Animation and Visual Effects
“CalArts treasures its long relationship with WIA and deeply appreciates its support for our students and graduates—whether they are still in school, first-time professionals or advanced in their careers. WIA creates an all-important community that encourages women to take creative leadership in the industry and is an essential resource for female professionals in the field of animation.” — Leighton Pierce, Dean of CalArts School of Film/Video.