Women in Animation is launching its 2021 spring mentorship program with a focus on women of color. WIA’s Mentor Circles series is designed to connect women and gender non-binary individuals working in a variety of industry roles—including animators, writers, directors and producers—with highly experienced mentors.
This year’s program will collaborate with Black N’ Animated, LatinX in Animation and Rise Up Animation. Each organization has recruited and referred industry experts from their networks to join WIA’s pool of mentors.
The Mentor Circles program traditionally matches groups of up to 10 mentees with seasoned industry professionals tailored to their experience level and interests in a series of meetings spanning a four-month period.
This year’s Mentor Circles will include 45 mentors offering expertise to as many as 400 mentees through WIA’s newly launched proprietary online platform. WIA mentors receive training and support through the non-profit. Looking at the spring 2021 program’s mentors, 73% are women or non-binary individuals, 48% are BIPOC, and 40% are based outside the US.
Mentee applications will open on March 31. WIA members, as well as members of any partner organizations, can apply for free.
In a 2019 study, WIA reported that while more than half of all film animation execs are women, and women make up 39% of execs on the TV side, less than 10% are women of color (6% in film and 9% in TV). The non-profit’s ongoing goal is for women to hold 50% of the creative roles in animation. (Today that number sits at 20%.)