International Women's Day - Words of Inspiration

What do you celebrate on International Women's Day?

"I treat myself and celebrate with a nice drink/dinner."
- Reanna Tandon, Tech Ops Render Wrangler | BC

"Myself." - Stephanie Usis, VFX Coordinator | NY

"I have learned to juggle being a wife, a mother, a career, and my time - all at the same time. This year I feel like I actually took a step to help bring attention to Women in VFX by joining WIA (Women in Animation) and taking the pledge of 50/50 by 2025."
- Holli Alvarado , Matte Painter | LA

"It celebrates the work done all year round and recognizes us the same value as men." - Constance Noel, Office Manager | BC

"My supportive friends, family, mother, and mentors!"- Delane Leahy, Producer | LA

"All the wonderful women that I work with each day!"
- Lindsey Yates | Global Bidding Producer

What are some ways you've seen progress for women in the workforce?

"More dedication to Organization, Job Satisfaction, and Meaningful Work."
- Reanna Tandon, Tech Ops Render Wrangler | BC

"More often than not, I'm one of the few women in the room where decisions are made if I'm even in the room. There's still a long way to go, but I'm seeing more women NOT plateau in their careers, not feeling that there's a level at which they stop progressing."
- Stephanie Usis, VFX Coordinator | NY

"Mentorship and Communication. Talking about women in the roles where they are not represented equally has helped bring attention that there are fewer women in leadership positions in the VFX industry. I think groups like WIA and others are great ways for women to mentor other women."
- Holli Alvarado, Matte Painter | LA

"In Vancouver, we are lucky to have women in the leadership from Prod Man to Producer to Comp Sup, to DFX Sup, to HR, Comp, CG (...). When it started in 2017, we were really not that many at the studio, less than 10 for sure." - Constance Noel, Office Manager | BC

"I've seen confident women stand up for rightfully earned positions in creativity and leadership. They stand their ground to be heard professionally that doesn't exclude anyone."
- Delane Leahy, Producer | LA

"When I started in VFX, many meetings I was in, I was the only or one of a few women in the room recently I've had many meetings across departments where I've looked around and seen only women!" - Lindsey Yates, Global Bidding Producer

Who is your female role model, and why?

"Michelle Obama. She was involved in various causes, notably supporting military families and ending childhood obesity." - Reanna Tandon, Tech Ops Render Wrangler | BC

"An old boss of mine, Anita, is 100% my mentor and inspiration. She never let the fact that she was a woman silence or stop her. No matter what, she always felt that her voice was as valid as any other and ALWAYS encouraged me to feel the same."
- Stephanie Usis, VFX Coordinator | NY

"Pretty much all women who put themselves out there authentically - knowing full well that women are criticized (in my opinion) a little more than men. We are judged almost always first by how we look. The hate comments everyone gets are awful, but women get a lot JUST about their looks. So to be on social media and willing to show yourself unedited takes guts these days." - Holli Alvarado, Matte Painter | LA

"My Mum, Grandmas, and Great Grandmas are amazing independent women. One of my Great Grandma was the first woman in her city to have her driving license; she loved the freedom and embraced it. She was born in 1906, witnessed two World Wars in France, and saw all the technological evolution during 95 years. What an incredible life."
- Constance Noel, Office Manager | BC

"My mother and grandmothers for their compassion and hard work. Other females who have conquered the film industry are like Dede Gardner. - Delane Leahy, Producer | LA

"Kathleen Kennedy! She is a force of nature and able to seamlessly navigate from behind the scenes to the forefront of things and push everything she is involved with forward with clear direction and vision!" - Lindsey Yates | Global Bidding Producer

Is there a woman that has inspired you within your VFX career?

"Charmaine Chan"
- Reanna Tandon, Tech Ops Render Wrangler | BC

"I'm new to the VFX world, so I'm going to go ahead and say Lindsay Seguin and Lauren Montouri 🙂 "
- Stephanie Usis, VFX Coordinator | NY

"Alyssa Zarate. She is a DMP and Environment Supervisor, and that is a busy job. However, she still takes the time to mentor others regularly and shares her experience, advice, and knowledge with anyone, but does make a special time for helping other women. Things like how to break into the industry for young women and how to also break into leadership roles for experienced women. Navigating business is just as hard as learning job skills." - Holli Alvarado, Matte Painter | LA

"Totally! Have to say Fuse's very own Rae Welty and Ashley Nizich."
- Delane Leahy, Producer | LA

"Our executive producer - Lindsey Kaiser. She has the perfect balance of empathy and gets shit done-ness! She can balance work and being there for her family and sets the tone for the entire studio." - Lindsey Yates, Global Bidding Producer

Why do we need more women in artistic leadership?

"Women are ethical and civic-minded and champion diversity and issues of equality. Women leaders seek to further economic, social, and political progress for all."
- Reanna Tandon, Tech Ops Render Wrangler | BC

"Because every single story can be told in an endless amount of ways, everybody sees the same thing differently, and it is our job, as artists, to explore and portray. A woman's perspective on a story told 100 times before by men can be told in a whole new way." - Stephanie Usis, VFX Coordinator | NY

"It brings a different perspective. Historically women have not been handed things easily. The right to vote. The right to work. The right to not be called "little lady" or be asked to get the coffee. Just being in a leadership role as a woman inspires more young women in any industry. I know I LOVE seeing females in leadership roles because it makes me feel comfortable in even trying to get there myself. If she can do it, so can I sort of mentality." - Holli Alvarado, Matte Painter | LA

"It's good to balance men and women and each level of work and society, on the artistic side and Production Management side too. This is because their approach and sensibility are different and complementary."
- Constance Noel, Office Manager | BC

"Everything is energy. Female energy brings new perspectives and opens up world equality and eclectic conversations to see something wholeheartedly." - Delane Leahy, Producer | LA

"Art is driven by personal experience, so if creatives all have similar experiences, the work will all look the same. To have an exciting exchange of ideas and concepts, we need to have a diverse group driving our artistic visions. Additionally, to have more women in entry and mid-level positions, it would be helpful for them to see themselves reflected in the higher ranks." - Lindsey Yates, Global Bidding Producer

What piece of advice would you give to a woman who is working in a male-dominated industry?

"Speak up and layout your opinion."
- Reanna Tandon, Tech Ops Render Wrangler | BC

"Don't be content with following. Don't wait to be called on. Instead, embrace your talent and know that it is earned; use your voice and believe it is invaluable." - Stephanie Usis, VFX Coordinator | NY

"Hang in there, don't change who you are. I have tried, and it felt gross. So I tried to be one of the guys, talk how they talked - I was literally the only woman in quite a few studios, and I felt very outside. It took a long time, but STAY YOU and hold your ground. I'm also introverted and don't like talking or showing my face in zoom, but I have learned to be ok with it, just to be part of the conversations."
- Holli Alvarado, Matte Painter | LA

"Be yourself, be strong, be attentive, learn from others and share your knowledge; you are your own strength, you're not alone." - Constance Noel, Office Manager | BC

"To not let anything silence you. Trust in your capabilities creative and intellectual voice. You standing up allows for other women to speak up as well!" - Delane Leahy, Producer | LA

"Be yourself, don't try to change to fit in. Your voice, experience, and narrative are important."
- Lindsey Yates, Global Bidding Producer

How do you lift up and empower other women within your community?

"Boost self-esteem, be open and honest and lead by example."
- Reanna Tandon, Tech Ops Render Wrangler | BC

"Leading by example and not being shy with expressing my thoughts and ideas as valid contributions. Be the change I want to see."
- Stephanie Usis, VFX Coordinator | NY

"My first instinct with anyone is, "how can I help?" I always want to give other women a leg up. I did not have to try to get into this industry. If I can get them an interview, help them prep for an interview by asking mock questions, help them with their reels...anything, I can do. I want to help and tell them YOU CAN DO IT—one step at a time."
- Holli Alvarado, Matte Painter | LA

"Encourage women to realize their goals and dreams." - Constance Noel, Office Manager | BC

"Allow a comfortable space to be them." - Delane Leahy, Producer | LA

"I try to listen and encourage them and especially check in on women in entry-level roles first starting out regularly. I know it's a tough industry, and especially for women starting out, they can struggle with finding their voice in rooms full of men. However, I also think it's important to consider when meeting potential candidates for new roles to consciously try to meet more women than men because there are fewer women than men in the industry-So you are given more chances to change that."
- Lindsey Yates, Global Bidding Producer

What is a goal that you'd like to achieve this year?

"Be Committed to Growth and Learning, Imbibe Positivity, and Invest in Self-Improvement. I want to continue learning from my colleagues and working my way up the ladder in production." - Reanna Tandon, Tech Ops Render Wrangler | BC

"Keep learning, learn UNREAL and work towards a supervisory role—half supervisor half maker. I love making and never want to stop being an artist. The bigger goal, though... I want to get over my imposter syndrome and become a real mentor to someone who wants to learn my job. I have not tried in the past because I still feel like I do not know enough, which makes me an imposter to be a mentor."
- Stephanie Usis, VFX Coordinator | NY

"So - yeah, the goal is to get outside of the Imposter Syndrome and Mentor Others." - Holli Alvarado, Matte Painter | LA

"Explore more, travel more, less anxiety, enjoy the loved ones, go back home without the covid stress, learn new skills." - Constance Noel, Office Manager | BC

"To employ a creative and ambitious mindset daily to create a healthy and creative life. Individually, I'd like to figure out my new role and what extra oomph I'll be able to bring to it."
- Delane Leahy, Producer | LA

"Collectively, I'd like to see more women and diversity in general in new hires at FuseFX, especially at the creative supervisor level, or a focus being put forward into mentoring and pathing women and POC into these roles. This will allow our future teams to reflect on the stories we are telling (and match the evolving makeup of our client teams as well)."
- Lindsey Yates, Global Bidding Producer