Appreciate you trying to understand. I find it frustrating too. Some women do prefer to be full time mums for sure...but as far as I know it usually takes two ppl to make a baby and we don't see a huge drop off of new fathers leaving the work force, right? You can't account for ALL everyone ALL the time, but it would be nice to have a conversation about the lack of women in creative industries without the issue of motherhood being front and centre - for a lot of us, it is not an issue and we still face a lot of obstacles. A lot of people are full time parents - thats cool and much respect to them - but it really doesn't explain why we see 70% female students translate into such a small part of the industry, and especially leadership roles. I've worked as both an artist and in artist recruitment and I can tell you that unconscious bias when hiring is a very real thing. Men, who are quite often in a leadership position and make the final call of who to hire, may have an internalised criteria for what is "good" based off their experience or who you feel like you can relate to, trust (that's a big one) and communicate with easily. Just have a little reflect on that when making decisions on who to hire and remember that diversity can make a better project, and sometimes it may mean taking a risk, having a quota, or hiring someone with a slightly different sensibility or criteria of "good" to you. Basically - waiting for the people with the skills you define as "good" to come to you, without actively inviting diversity, means you maintain the status quo. Hope that helps. I think I'm just reiterating above comments tho!
Thanks! We try out best ;)
At Animade we have 10 creatives so its a 6 to 4 split, girls being the latter number, its definitely more than some studios out there.
The way we got the opportunity is through an internship so we could get that skillset and now were pretty integral to the company.
Im not saying you should hire someone who cant use after effects, lets not go to such extremes here and I totally understand that youd want to make sure you get a bang for your buck when you hire someone.
Maybe paying a bit more attention to female applications is needed when they are not as vocal as you are used to seeing, you know.
Are you saying you are not encountering as much females with the same skill level as guys?
If thats the case, each project requires certain skillsets and if you see a female applicant but you see they are not quite at the star level get them on the less heavy parts of the animation production which almost every project has. I understand that giving an internship opportunity is not something every studio can afford, but Animade has been rewarded hundredfold by training and retaining its intern talent :) and if its female all the better!
Happy to answer anything else if I havent clarified some bits.
I see. Makes sense. So because males are already given more opportunity, their resumes will rise to the top. If I'm understanding correctly.
I noticed you work at Animade. I feel like that would be a highly sought after studio to work at. I love their work actually, big fan. How do they mitigate this or what opportunities are set up over there?
It just seems to me that in an industry that is already so cutthroat and has ups and downs, I'm surprised anyone gets opportunities:) We talk about it always like getting your first "big break". And on top of that, I'd imagine that it's a more forward thinking industry than others, naturally because anything in the arts/entertainment is usually that way(I could be wrong though). Which leads me to believe that there are even lessss opportunities in other fields. I think that's what made me reflect back on the times I've had to hire other artists. Having the money to afford an artist and then one with the skillset was the decision maker. We'd get all sorts of applicants, but if they couldn't use Ae then they just wouldn't get the job. So considering gender inequality, if I were to propose a solution to that situation, it would be to just wait for an applicant who has that skillset and is female. Am I correct in saying that? Help me out here.
Quoting you on this piece :
''I think I look back to when I've recruited talent for projects and I only ever look for skill level.''
That is the problem in a way, because males are given more opportunity to hone the 'skills' on a job (be it subtle sexism when it comes to hiring or guys just being more overtly confident) and therefore a closed loop is created where it might be hard to break in.
Patriarchy is a system that seems to operate largely on an unconscious level within those who benefit from it. Nobody consciously thinks "I'm hiring X because their gender is Y", but women/nonbinary/trans folk are often dismissed from the get-go due to unspoken bias or stereotypes.
For example, if you are a man working at a VFX studio that largely uses 3D, you may be surrounded by a majority of male peers and thus believe that not as many women are interested in 3D. From a woman's perspective, imagine passionately pursuing a STEM field and seeing that all the industry leaders are male, every tutorial online is taught by men, and now there's an open job position where we see that the "team" section on the company website is a picture with 80% male employees. We have to calculate whether we'll be respected in this environment which is clearly unequal. Will we be inviting ourselves into an environment where we'll be consistently talked down to, talked over, or ignored, despite our knowledge on the subject? "Leaning in" is exhausting, frankly. Meanwhile, articles postulate that women simply aren't confident enough. This problem is systematic and although I used women in the example, the same can be said for any minority.
The lack of support systems like maternity leave is a gender role thing reinforced by the same patriarchal system (the stereotype that a women's ultimate biological purpose is to be a mother, and the understanding that motherhood is a default, thankless task that a woman's maternal instinct will solve).
Simply, you break the system by lifting up those who are less privileged in actionable ways. Like paying them equally, or listening to their stories and amplifying them in the media that you create, or asking them to direct the next big project.
That's a good point, personality and voice are part of skill. I guess I imagined some sort of rudimentary task, that doesn't require much more than a basic knowledge of software or something. But I agree with you, especially concerning animation.
I'm not sure I understand the frustrating part. I guess I'm saying, that yes there aren't women in the animation industry. But to not account for ALL women, wouldn't account for all the reasons why they aren't in the industry.
And I honestly don't mean to offend with my comment:)
This is such a good take. And it reminds me of a (fairly) recent study about how to make decisions based exclusively on experience/skill through removing identifying items from resumes. Particularly by removing names which denote gender, race and ethnicity. It's an interesting thought, but like you said, the skill argument doesn't get at how the playing field isn't really level at any stage. So the perception of our "skill" will often be considered less than simply because there are fewer opportunities than those for men when the culture still favors the boys club.
Isn't voice and personality part of skill, though?
I'm sorry, but I find this take to be extremely frustrating. To "both sides" the argument and then say that there's not enough celebration of women who choose to dedicate themselves to raising children misses the point of this article and this discussion as a whole. But it does get to another part of the gender gap debate and representation: Women are forced to straddle this debate about balancing career and family, regardless of whether we're even concerned about our personal balances.
I think this is good. It's good to hear multiple perspectives and not just CNN or FOX's inputs on gender gap. I feel like, as with any debate, it has to be a bit of both. We can't just say women need to speak up, but obviously there needs to be opportunities opened for diversity.
I think I look back to when I've recruited talent for projects and I only ever look for skill level. Not always experience even, but their ability to perform. But I'm not a big budget animation studio, so maybe it's a privilege I can't afford? If you have your pick at all the best animators in the industry, then I guess you stop just looking for skill but for voice and personality and everything that comes from an individual, including their gender. I suppose part of me hopes that my gender alone wouldn't determine my need or how I would be assessed on performance.
I also think there's not a lot of talk(or support) for women who choose to dedicate themselves to raising children full-time. That's a large percentage. My wife is in that demographic, and she's been through university and into career paths.
It's a big discussion worth having. What about trans people? Where do they fit in to this discussion?
This is an excellent read. I'd like to add that the problem with "people should be hired based on skill, not on gender" is that it ignores that women, nonbinary, and trans folk have *been* qualified and we *are* skilled. Quotas are what are finally evening out the playing field. The discomfort stems from having one's privilege revealed in the face of equality--if a fair 50/50 split in the workforce is a threat to you, maybe you weren't very skilled in the first place. That applies to any male-dominated industry, including animation and motion design. I'm always suspicious of those who bemoan the possibility of diversified voices and perspectives under the guise of "well, maybe you're just not skilled enough [like the rest of us...]"