Artist Rights

Milestone: Over 25% Of Animation Workers In L.A. Are Now Women

The Animation Guild, I.A.T.S.E. Local 839, the union that represents over 4,000 animation artists, writers, and technicians in Los Angeles, has announced that more than 25% of animation workers under its contract are women. This would appear to be the first time in the contemporary era that the 25% mark has been breached.

Last month, 25.6% of represented Animation Guild employees were women. In October 2016, 23.2% of Guild workers were women, while three years ago, in April 2015, only 20.6% of Guild workers were women.

The studio currently employing the most women in Los Angeles are Wild Canary (maker of the Disney Junior series Miles from Tomorrowland and Puppy Dog Pals), with 40.6% female employees, followed by Cartoon Network, which has 39% female employees.

Bringing up the rear are Sony Pictures Animation, which has 17.2% female employees and Dreamworks Animation, with just 14.6% female employees.

The other part of this equation, of course, is not just how many women there are in the animation industry, but what roles they hold at studios. Back in 2015, when the Guild released a breakdown of jobs that women held at animation studios, only 1% of women were art directors, 3% were directors, and 5% were writers. In other words, in many of the key areas where animated content is shaped and formed, women lacked a voice.

Hopefully those numbers have improved too in the last few years, though they clearly show that there’s a long way to go before creative parity in reached in the L.A. industry. (We’ll share updated job category breakdown figures for women and men whenever those figures become available.)

There’s also another interesting item to note here. With animation booming in Los Angeles, there is currently an all-time high of 4,230 workers represented by the Guild, meaning that the Guild is representing more men than ever before, too. In 2015, the Guild represented 2,532 male workers, while today they represent 3,147 male workers. This lays waste to the tired argument in some parts of the animation community that an increase of female artists invariably leads to a decrease of male artists. As it turns out, an increase of women has led to a healthier overall industry, resulting in more jobs for everyone.

Here is the breakdown of female/male breakdowns at the Animation Guild’s larger signator studio:

EMPLOYMENT BY STUDIO — WOMEN — (TOTAL EMPLOYEES)
  • Bento Box — 17 — (92)
  • Cartoon Network — 143 — (366)
  • DreamWorks Animation — 70 — (477)
  • DreamWorks Animation TV — 131 — (439)
  • Fox Animation — 58 — (283)
  • Marvel Animation — 18 — (85)
  • Nickelodeon — 68 — (241)
  • Paramount Animation — 11 — (29)
  • Robin Red Breast — 30 — (139)
  • Rough Draft — 25 — (76)
  • Sony Pictures Animation — 16 — (93)
  • Walt Disney Animation Studios — 118 — (530)
  • Walt Disney TV Animation — 165 — (480)
  • Warner Bros. Animation — 78 — (360)
  • Wild Canary — 24 — (59)

Latest News from Cartoon Brew