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Animated Women UK announce Disney’s Beth Parker as Animation Chair

AWUK has announced Beth Parker, who manages the production of current series and development across Disneys EMEA channels, as their new Animation Chair.

Beth takes over from Founder and current Animation Chair Lindsay Watson, who remains on the AWUK Board, but who is taking a step back to pursue other projects after nearly five intense years getting the organisation off the ground. Beth joins VFX Chair Louise Hussey - Executive VFX Producer at Double Negative - in setting the agenda going forwards.

AWUK is a non-profit that exists to positively support, represent, celebrate and encourage women in the animation and VFX industries in the UK.

Founded in 2013, they aim to change the gender landscape by building a vibrant network that facilitates mentoring, knowledge exchange and education resulting in women in animation and VFX fulfilling their potential.

Beth Parker, who will actively take up her post in September, said: Having spent over 20 years as a woman working in the creative industries, Im very aware of the inequalities that exist. We have made positive inroads and I have seen the benefit of shared experience both as a mentor and a participant. Im thrilled to be joining Animated Women UK, because of the opportunity to expand on the positive foundations established by Lindsay and the team. We still have a long way to go.

Founder, Lindsay Watson, who remains on the board, said: Beth has the skills to continue the great work that weve started. She has already proved a great supporter of our agenda and will no doubt prove invaluable as we continue to grow AWUK and have a positive impact on our industry.

VFX Chair Louise Hussey adds: “Were really excited to have Beth join our team. Her credentials speak for themselves and Im eager to see what we can accomplish together.

Beth started her television career in 1997 in Germany at a company that analysed applications to the Distribution Fund for the European Union’s MEDIA II Programme.

Returning to London in 2001, Beth worked with executive producer Marion Edwards at Telemagination, taking over as managing director in 2004. Beth then moved to TV Loonland as head of production, simultaneously studying for a Masters degree in Social Policy and Criminology. She went on to work for a major youth charity for three years before taking on consultancy work for both charities and animation companies including Hibbert Ralph Animation and Red Kite Animation.

In 2014 Beth joined Disney to head up production for the Disney Channel network in Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA). She manages animation productions for Disney Junior, Disney Channel and Disney XD, from pre-school to tween’.

For more information on Animated Women UK and membership visit www.animatedwomenuk.com/membership

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Submit Your Work to AWUK

Show off your best work.  Submit now for inclusion in AWUK Showcases.
 
One of our key goals at AWUK is to showcase the great work of our members.  We’re calling for submissions for upcoming showcases.  Please fill in our form and share your work so that we can share it with the wider world.  We’re really excited to see it.
 
 
SUBMIT YOUR WORK
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Promoting Women in Visual Arts at FMX

There’s something special about FMX.  Everyone who goes there loves it and it’s not just because of beer and currywurst.

This year 307 speakers and 4000 attendees (67.5% professionals and 32.5% students) travelled to FMX in Stuttgart from 61 countries to share their work and discuss new technologies and issues affecting the industry. If you’ve never been, take a look at this year’s impressive programme and mark your diary for 2018!

FMX attendees are currently disproportionately male, however they hosted their third consecutive Women in Visual Arts Panel on Friday 5th May and Animated Women UK were part of it.

AWUK Founder and Animation Chair Lindsay Watson joined Gerfried Stocker (Artistic Director, Ars Electronica), Clemence Bragard, (Event & Project Manager, Les Femmes s’Animent) on a panel chaired by Dr. Diana Arellano (Research & Development, Animations Institute) to discuss the disproportionate representation of women in the industry and some of the challenges associated with redressing the balance. 

 

All the panelists shared insight around the issues facing women and the policies they’ve been trying out locally. Ars Electroncia reported a positive impact on the number of applications they receive from women thanks to a positive discrimination policy for specific programmes. In order to support women on their return from having families, they have also implemented non-gender specific family leave and are seeing an increased number of men take time off to care for their children as a result.

Lindsay shared some highlights from the ground breaking research Animated Women UK completed two years ago that clearly shows the underrepresentation of women in these industries as well as a significant gender pay gap. Women only make up 30% of the VFX and Animation industry today, but there are some encouraging signs.  The industry as a whole is growing, aided by the animation tax credit, and the number of women in the industry has almost doubled between 2012 and 2015 to 5,325.

You can view Lindsay’s full presentation here.

Many issues surfaced during the Q&A including:

  • What do you do if you are being sexually harassed in the workplace if you think it might cost you your job?
  • What do you say to someone outside of the workplace (i.e. at a conference) if they are speaking to you in a sexist way?

The panel recognised that many women, particularly those in the public eye, face hostility of a sexual nature online and in social media comments; Mary Beard provides some excellent examples of how to comment back in her lecture “The Public Voice of Women”.

Fortunately Animated Women UK has never been the target of sexist remarks through our social networks. If it were we would take it seriously and report it as a cyber crime to the British authorities.

The group also discussed that while there may not be a ‘script’ to deal with sexism it was about finding an approach that worked for you. What do you think? If you have any ideas post below for further discussion.   

After the talk, a number of people stayed to chat; Jean-Michel Blottiere, Executive Director of FMX thanked us all for appearing on the panel and agreed to look into the female to male ratio in terms of festival attendance next year.  

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