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How To Improve Conditions For Women Animators

Courtesy USC Annenberg
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Mothers and caregivers working in animation are taking this Mother's Day to begin a conversation about improving industry conditions in a field where women are currently — and historically — underrepresented.

Women in Animation president Marge Dean said her group is teaming with the Animation Guild to explore how to help caregivers while people are working from home during the pandemic. And she said the hope is those lessons can also be applied when the industry returns to normal operations.

She said a big obstacle has been a demanding production schedule with rigid hours. Dean told us:

"Just because they need flexibility doesn't mean that they're not willing to work the longer hours that are needed for a production. They just need it to be flexible."

A 2019 study by USC Annenberg's Inclusion Initiative and Women In Animation found that inclusion was an issue across all categories of the industry, from the characters in animated films to the directors and below-the-line staff. Of particular concern is the lack of women of color in the field.

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Dean said she believed the nature of the industry allows more flexibility for caregivers who work in animation.

Both the Animation Guild and Women in Animation have used their websites to share resources for caregivers during the pandemic

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