Disney has become the first company to sponsor Women in Animation (or WIA), an organization that formally brings together and represents females in the animation industry.
Disney’s relationship to the organization has been long-standing. WIA Co-President Marge Dean comments, “while Disney Animation has long supported WIA, reaching back to when the organization was founded in the early ’90s, the studio’s generous contributions since the relaunch of WIA back in 2013 — including staff support, programming and other resources — has been especially beneficial.”
The sponsorship will fund events, build mentorship and archiving programs, and notably help raise awareness of WIA’s 50-50 by 2050 initiative, which aims to give half of job placements in the animation industry to women by the year 2050.
Walt Disney Animation Studios’ senior VP of production Ann Le Cam comments on the company’s willingness to support diversity: “we are proud to support Women in Animation and their 50-50 by 2025 initiative, through our corporate sponsorship and our ongoing partnership…at Disney Animation, we deeply value the diversity and inclusiveness within our studio and appreciate WIA’s efforts in meeting these goals across the animation community.”
Women have always played important parts as animators for Disney movies. One of the earliest, Retta Scott (featured image) is considered the studio’s first female animator, working on films like Bambi and Dumbo. Hopefully Disney’s partnership with WIA will encourage more women to continue Scott’s legacy.
This sponsorship is just one of many ways Disney has been pushing for increasing attention to women in the workforce. Whether it’s hiring more women for corporate level jobs, encouraging young girls to be confident in themselves, or providing opportunities for young women interested in STEM fields, it’s clear that Disney’s goal is to show women to the world as diverse, skilled, and capable.
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