Throughout my career I never had female leaders to look up to in animation, advertising and film making. Those sectors were, and still are, predominantly managed by white men which provided no inspiration for me to progress into these industries as a young woman.
I read a recent survey by Animation UK which revealed the animation workforce to be 60% male, with only 9% Black, Asian and minority ethnic representation. This reflects my experience: women and BAME workers aren’t proportionately represented. This will negatively influence future generations hoping to succeed in a career within the animation industry.
The odds were against me as a woman pursuing a career in this industry. But I was accustomed to overcoming adversity, having arrived in the UK as a 12 year old refugee from Yugoslavia. I was disheartened by the sheer lack of female representatives I saw in the creative industries: their absence not only made me doubt my own talent, it made me question whether I’d ever be a success in my field as the only people I had to look up to were people who were the complete opposite of myself.
Further challenges I have faced include being discriminated, bullied and excluded, but most notably the production company I worked at for 12 years collapsed unexpectedly, leaving my colleagues and I unemployed and lost.
All of the obstacles I faced led to the creation of NERD Productions and encouraged me to inspire others particularly young women, minorities and those of non-traditional backgrounds to chase their dreams whether it be in animation, advertising, digital technology or other fields.
My purpose now is to be the type of leader I and many others didn’t and still don’t have. I want to ensure that people who want a career in animation and advertising aren’t judged on their socio-economic background, their sex or any other factor that doesn’t focus on their talent. I want to bring talented humans together in a collaborative way and continue to diversify the industry.
By reshaping just one child’s future we may help them become a scientist, a lawyer, a doctor – whatever they aspire to be! For individuals who love creative, I would urge them to see the huge benefits of such careers: we are the ones that get to influence trends, tell empowering & inspirational stories and above all help change stereotypes and promote tolerance. What other career path allows you to do that?!
The question is what can we do to ensure more women consider a career in creative industries and how do we empower future generations to pursue their dream careers?
By Milana Karaica
Milana Karaica is the founder of NERD Productions, a creative studio which represents a diverse range of hand-picked directors and illustrators, crafting live-action, animation, mixed-media and illustration styles for TVCs, online content, OOH/DOOH and more. Milana executively produces projects ranging from TVCs to online film and other moving image, boasting over 10 years of experience working with animation, character development, creative conception as well as various award-winning commercials and content.
Kizzi Nkwocha is the editor of Business Game Changer Magazine and publisher of The UK Newspaper, Money and Finance Magazine, the net’s fastest growing wealth creation publication. Kizzi Nkwocha is chair of The Ethical Publishers Association and co-chair of The Logistics Association. Kizzi made his mark in the UK as a publicist, journalist and social media pioneer. As a widely respected and successful media consultant he has represented a diverse range of clients including the King of Uganda, and Amnesty International. Nkwocha has also become a well-known personality on both radio and television. He has been the focus of a Channel 4 documentary on publicity and has hosted his own talk show, London Line, on Sky TV. He has also produced and presented both radio and TV shows in Cyprus and Spain.