Among the exciting, talented and experienced professionals joining us on Thursday January 30th is Michelle James Reynolds.
Michelle joined Share My Telly Job following a 17 year career as a Producer and Director in Factual and Entertainment Television in the UK and USA.
Highlights include House Hunters International for Leopard Films, 100 Year Old Driving School for RDF and Deal or No Deal for Endemol. She worked as High-End TV Manager for ScreenSkills running CPD programmes including a successful Return to Work scheme in Post and VFX with Film London.
She lives in London with her husband and two girls aged 4 and 7.
CONFIRMED GUEST for our January 30th Panel Event: SYDNEY PADUA
Sydney Padua is Canadian born artist living in London. She started off in traditional hand drawn animation, working on films such as The Iron Giant (1999) and gradually moved into computer animation and VFX. She worked on films such as The Lion King (2019), The Jungle book (2016) and Clash Of The Titans (2010) as a creature and character animator for companies including DNEG, MPC and Framestore.
She is also an Annie-Award nominated filmmaker and Eisner-nominated graphic novelist famed for her book which she wrote and illustrated “The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage: The (Mostly) True Story of the First Computer”
Why is it that women in VFX with equal qualifications, skills and experience are paid less than men?
After last summer’s BBC report sparked an uproar on gender pay gap there has be a new surge on finding out what really is the gap. But that’s the BBC, surely the Visual Effects Industry is nothing like that, right?!
Unfortunately that is not the case. These are the official reports:
“Women’s mean* hourly rate is 19.8% lower than men’s when comparing mean hourly rates, women earn 80p for every £1 that men earn. Women’s median** hourly rate is 22.8% lower than men’s when comparing median hourly rates, women earn 77p for every £1 that men earn.”
“Women’s mean hourly rate is 14% lower than men’s when comparing mean hourly rates, women earn 86p for every £1 that men earn. Women’s median hourly rate is 16.4% lower than men’s when comparing median hourly rates, women earn 84p for every £1 that men earn.”
Industrial Light & Magic
“Women’s mean hourly rate is 25.5% lower than men’s when comparing mean hourly rates, women earn 74p for every £1 that men earn. Women’s median hourly rate is 29.2% lower than men’s when comparing median hourly rates, women earn 71p for every £1 that men earn.”
Moving Picture Company
“Women’s mean hourly rate is 23.8% lower than men’s when comparing mean hourly rates, women earn 76p for every £1 that men earn. Women’s median hourly rate is 28.3% lower than men’s when comparing median hourly rates, women earn 72p for every £1 that men earn.”
These were the large VFX companies in the UK that provided the data (all companies in the UK with 250 employees or more are required by law to provide gender pay gap data) – smaller studios were not required by law to provide this data. In their reports, each of the four companies above – except ILM – made pledges of bridging the gap by taking different steps such us diversity promotion and supporting women – yet none of them addressed the real issue – why are women in VFX getting paid less than men?
After all these reports and pledges, will companies act on that and start paying their female staff equally? Will they address the underlying problems in VFX that make this disparity possible? We will have to wait until the next report for hard evidence of their intentions. In the meantime, it is time to face up to facts in the visual effects industry and for us all to keep up the pressure for facilities to do something about their gender pay gap problem. BECTU, the VFX Union is committed to equality in the workplace. By joining the union you can support this cause and help make the VFX industry a stronger and more ethical industry.
Can the UK VFX facilities come up with an “inclusion rider” of their own? The VFX Union wants to see men and women paid equally based on their skills and experience and not their gender. By organising together, we can make this happen!
*The mean hourly rate is the average hourly wage across the entire organization so the mean gender pay gap is a measure of the difference
between women’s mean hourly wage and men’s mean hourly wage.
**The median hourly rate is calculated by ranking all employees from the highest paid to the lowest paid,
and taking the hourly wage of the person in the middle; so the median gender pay gap is the difference
between women’s median hourly wage (the middle paid woman) and men’s median hourly wage (the middle paid man).
*** “An “inclusion rider” is a clause that an actor can insist be inserted in their contract that requires cast and crew on a film to meet a certain level of diversity. ” (https://www.theguardian.com/film/2018/mar/05/what-is-an-inclusion-rider-frances-mcdormand-oscars-2018)