BOO WONG Group Director, Emerging Technology, The Mill
You know when tech imprints on you, when it has you and you’re psyched just thinking about how it forms the connective tissue in our world today. So work in it because you must. And stick to it because your voice has to be heard and your effect felt.
DESI GONZALEZ, Executive Producer, The Mill
We need more women in tech because this question is being asked. Do we ever say ‘why do we need more men in ______?’. We need more women in general. Women act, think and approach challenges differently. More women in tech will lead to different innovations and yes, we have to believe we can do it. And kids need to see women in these roles to know they can do it as well.
I think women should enter the tech industry the same way we should be more present in industries and positions where we are under-represented. This industry is not just about designing interesting experiences and products. It’s also about understanding people, their traits, behaviours and backgrounds, and defining how technology should work so that any person can use it.
The disparity we currently have in diversity doesn’t help technology in the long term. Half of users are women and at the same time mostly men work in tech meaning that their scope will be much more limited. Obviously, this is not just a male-female disparity and I’m not saying men are doing a bad job, but if we want to move forward in the best possible way we need more diversity in technology.
There isn’t any clear formula to get into the industry and I believe this is a good thing. You can create your own path, and I recommend setting a goal and working on it, and finding people who can help you and learning from them. Regardless of diversity, the tech industry is very open and people are always willing to help one another.
SALLY REYNOLDS, Associate Creative Director, The Mill
“I’m through being an NPC! From now on, I make the decisions.” – Qiyana, League of Legends
There is a stark gender & diversity imbalance in the tech industry. The list of reasons why more women & minorities need to enter the tech industry is straightforward! Those of us already in the industry must continue to promote a healthy work culture for those underrepresented groups. The onus is not only on the men already in tech, but also on women & minorities in tech – support your fellow ‘others’, do not treat them as competition, they need you and you need them to further promote a healthy culture where everyone has a chance to succeed.
Remember, not only are fellow minorities your ally, but there are important proponents in the majority. They are a vital part of the conversation. If you are looking to break into tech, find a like-minded community, and if you can’t find one, start one. Dissolving cultural barriers & pay gaps is far less daunting when you have support.
SINEAD CATNEY Producer, Creative Technology, The Mill
I’ve always been a curious person and I love that I work with people who aren’t content to just stick to the standard process or to accept that something might not be possible. I got into the industry myself essentially through curiosity – I was intrigued by the breadth and creative ambition of the work that I saw come out of our Interactive and Immersive department and how people reacted to demonstrations and installations. Every project seemed different, and challenging, and always had an element of marvel about it.
While it is still quite a male dominated industry, it’s partly down to the stereotype that men are more interested in gaming etc., and there’s the thought that working in tech means you’re solely into coding and gaming, which may scare people off. It’s not necessarily about that – to me it’s about the constant learning in a world of ever changing media and engagement, how tech impacts behaviour and experience. It’s also about challenging your own knowledge and always pushing the limits of what can be done in immersive and interactive worlds. It’s such an interesting and ever-evolving industry to be working in. I love that the teams I am part of strive to make things possible and to push the boundaries of reality, immersion and innovation.
GAURI RAZDAN, Lead Lighting Artist, The Mill
My answer is ‘why not?!’. In today’s day and age, women are working and excelling in every role they aspire to be in. They just need to have the confidence to pursue it. VFX is an ever-challenging industry for women, with the opportunity to learn different techniques and implement new creative ideas. The VFX industry is also like any other field in many ways, so if a woman is interested, they can achieve their dreams and show creative abilities. If you’re feeling skeptical about the industry, don’t let this dampen your spirits. If you have a passion then you should pursue it.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank my mentors who motivate me to give my best in all assignments. I enjoy my work as a lead lighting artist and inspire my team – throughout my career I’ve learned to always give things my best shot.
ALINE RIDOLFI, Creative Director, The Mill
To create better and more diverse work in tech and advertising we need more women, not only making the work, but calling the shots, making the decisions. Our unique vision matters. We need to find our power within this vision and use it to shape the industry we each, personally, want to be a part of.
ROXY ZUCKERMAN, VFX Artist, The Mill
Conventional wisdom in the tech industries is that we have fewer women on staff because there are fewer female applicants. We can’t balance our numbers in the workplace until we increase the number of women applying for these jobs, so I always encourage young women to consider it. Visual Effects is unique in that your job can provide both technical and artistic fulfillment if you choose your path carefully, so it was a good fit for someone like me with an engineer’s brain and an artist’s convictions.
Advice for young women: be more prepared than everybody else. Before you get in touch with companies have your demo reel online, your website or LinkedIn set up, and your resume available as a PDF. You’ll have plenty to learn when you apply for your first job, but having those pieces of your presentation organized shows employers that you take your work seriously. You wouldn’t believe me if I told you how many emails I’ve gotten from applicants who didn’t have resumes and reels on-hand, but I’ll bet you can guess where those emails wind up!
Find out more about International Women’s Day and what it stands for here.