This article was published 15 years ago
Siggraph 2009

Siggraph: The state of women as animators

Siggraph New Orleans conference women in animation
A panel about women in annimation at Siggraph New Orleans conference – Image credit: Gregory Schultz / OpenBayou
New Orleans, La.

A group of animators half-filled a room on the second floor above the exhibition hall on a Tuesday morning.  One-by-one, each person in attendance introduced themselves: college administrators, college students that came from as far as Germany and Venezuela and all those students in attendance seemed be either a or currently attending the Savannah college of Art and Design.  The rest in attendance were there to network.  One person The crowd was amazed when one game developer announced that she was the lead game developer for Rock Band.

All those in attendance were there for one reason and the title on Room 264 said it all  – women in technology animation.

Fran Zandonella, senior pipeline programmer for Rhythm and Hues Studios, notes that women are getting into the animation industry but it’s still a boy’s club.  The stereotype still persist that women don’t want to get into the animation business and they feel there’s no opportunity for them because of the gender dominance.

She does notice that the animation industry is changing as younger women enter the workforce.

The signs were clear during the session.  One college admissions officer for the Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design said their schools’ enrollment is 75% women.  One game developer in attendance announced was their firm was hiring and was looking for women to join.

There’s also a non-profit organization.  Women in Animation’s mission statement states that the organization is “a networking organization that provides opportunities to (meet people) and influence people in the animation industry.  (They sponsor) meetings, seminars, workshops, salons and lunches.”

Men can join the group and WIA states that 30% of their members are men.