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WIA, GLAAD collaborate for 7th annual WIA World Summit at Annecy

// Women in Animation


Image ©WIA

Today, at the beginning of Pride month, WIA — the advocacy organization dedicated to advancing people of underrepresented gender identities, including women and gender non-conforming people in the fields of animation, VFX, and gaming — is pleased to announce they are joining forces with GLAAD, the world’s largest LGBTQ+ media advocacy organization, to bring this year’s WIA WORLD SUMMIT to the Annecy International Animation Festival and Mifa 2023. Among this year’s special guests will be ND Stevenson, Vicky Jenson, Ramsey Naito, Anna Ginsburg and Nora Twomey.

WIA is proud to collaborate with GLAAD in service of our shared vision of gender justice in animation. We look forward to gathering so many key thought leaders to discuss this year’s theme, ‘Break the Box: Redefining Gender and Leadership.’ The day will be filled with thought-provoking, robust discussions on the complexity of gender, including all the amazing things that can happen in our industry when people break free from stereotypes and societal expectations.

-Marge Dean, WIA President

I’m so excited to be joining WIA for a day full of impactful conversations on gender and storytelling. As we see an increase in anti-LGBTQ bills here in the U.S., authentic and inclusive storytelling is more impactful than ever in both combatting disinformation and uplifting our voices. The inclusive animated films and series highlighted at Annecy and through WIA’s work will be seen by audiences of all ages across the world and can spark conversations that accelerate acceptance for families of all kinds.

-Megan Townsend, GLAAD’s Senior Director of Entertainment Research and Analysis

Breaking the gender boxes we’ve all been put into at some point in our lives is critical to moving toward gender justice and equity. We must collectively, across gender identities, question how we define a ‘good leader’ or ‘who can do what job in animation’ or ‘how we express ourselves,’ so we can achieve true equity and a better, more prosperous industry for all.

-Julie Ann Crommett, WIA Secretary/DEI Chair and Founder and CEO, Collective Moxie

With the entire Annecy team, we are happy and honored to host the WIA World Summit. Once again, the program for this day will be an opportunity to share ideas around the concerns of our time to build a better world and a better industry. This year, we are doubling our forces since the World Summit will resonate particularly with the theme of Annecy 2023: Animation Pride & Diversity.

-Mickaël Marin, CITIA CEO

The seventh annual WIA WORLD SUMMIT will take place on Monday, June 12th at the Impérial Palace Hotel (Allée de l’Impérial, 74000 Annecy) and will feature a day-long symposium of panels and focused conversations spotlighting key thought leaders filmmakers and executives from around the world discussing gender justice — a system of equity and fairness for people of all genders, gender identities and presentations. As with every summit since the beginning, this year’s event will be live-streamed and available to the general public via the WIA website from 9:30 am -5:30 pm CEST/12:30 am-7:30 am PST, with a lunch break from 12:20-2:30 pm CEST. The Summit will also be recorded and posted subsequently on the WIA website.

The official program for the day will be as follows:

Welcome from WIA and Annecy Festival

WIA President Marge Dean and CITIA CEO Mickaël Marin welcome viewers and attendees.

SESSION 1 – Unpacking: What is Gender?

Description: This educational session led by Megan Townsend, GLAAD Senior Director of Entertainment Research & Analysis, unpacks the language and universal assumptions of gender, the ways we’re all impacted by those assumptions, and how we can move closer to the reality of gender justice in our global industry.

SESSION 2 – Authentic Storytelling

Description: Our experiences, values, and identities are foundational to the stories we tell. This panel, moderated by Tendayi Nyeke and including Paula Boffo, Creative Director at Ojo Raro, cartoonist and writer Molly Knox Ostertag, and writer and animator Leslie Pulsifer, explores the ways in which gender shapes who we are and the stories and art we create as a result.

SESSION 3 – Leading Diverse Creative Teams

Description: Leading creative teams comes with unique rewards and challenges, especially when the stories being told are deeply personal. This panel, moderated by WIA President, Marge Dean, examines how leaders can reject gendered expectations and harness the creative power of a diverse team. Panelists include Emilie Walmsley, Head of Animation for Eddy TV, ND Stevenson, author and illustrator of Nimona and creator/showrunner of She-Ra: Princesses of Power, award-winning filmmaker and director at Strange Beast, Anna Ginsburg, and Noriko Matsumoto, Executive Producer and Brand Director at Dwarf Studio.

SESSION 4 – Redefining Risk as Investment

Description: Risk and failure are integral parts of the creative process. Moderated by Julie Ann Crommett, this panel — featuring Deepa Joshi, co-CEO of Incessant Rain animation studios, Nosipho van den Bragt, President and Founder of Chocolate Tribe, Lou Bones, Creative Talent Director at PSYOP and acclaimed director of Shrek and the upcoming Spellbound, Vicky Jenson — explores the inequitable effects of success as well as failure for creative leaders who are historically underrepresented in our industry. What can we learn when things don’t go as planned? How can we reframe risk and failure to create a more equitable industry?

CLOSING FIRESIDE CHAT – Authentic Leadership

Description: In this fireside chat with Ramsey Naito, President, Paramount Animation and Nickelodeon Animation, and Nora Twomey, Co-Founder & Creative Director of Cartoon Saloon, we examine creative leadership through the lens of gender and explore what is possible when we embrace leadership styles that are authentic. We’ll also explore how leaders who break the box can effectively collaborate to make sustainable change in their organization and in our industry.

For more information or to join WIA, please visit

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