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SIGGRAPH 2018 Spotlights Women in Computer Graphics

From production sessions to the Women in Animation Vancouver Summit, women are in the spotlight at SIGGRAPH 2018.

Pixar Animation Studios character tailoring lead Fran Kalal will be presenting her work as part of the ‘Incredibles 2: Suit Up, It Might Get Weird! production session.

CHICAGO, IL -- SIGGRAPH 2018, the world’s leading annual interdisciplinary educational event showcasing the latest in computer graphics and interactive techniques, spotlights the numerous women from across all computer graphics and interactive techniques specialties who will play a significant role during this year’s conference. The 45th SIGGRAPH conference will take place 12–16 August at the Vancouver Convention Centre.

“In this day and age, as the voices of women continue to be elevated to new heights and their contributions to all forms of business, art, technology, and beyond are more important than ever, we are beyond thrilled to be able to add to that conversation and shine a light on the amazing work that women do for our industry,” said SIGGRAPH 2018 Conference Chair Roy C. Anthony. “Among our presenter ranks are women who play a huge role in their respective fields and deserve every ounce of praise they receive. Furthermore, seven of our 2018 committee chairs, as well as our 2019 and 2020 conference chairs — Mikki Rose and Kristy Pron — are also women.”

Some of the many women who will showcase work at SIGGRAPH 2018 include:

Anthony adds, “Our theme this year is ‘Generations,’ and so many of the fantastic women who will participate in Vancouver are literally standing at the forefront of the ‘next generation’ of advancements across every area of this industry.”

“It’s a fact that the fields of computer graphics and interactive techniques have been, and are still predominantly, dominated by men; however, SIGGRAPH as a conference has long striven to give a voice to the women who are part of these fields. This can be seen, for instance, in early editions of SIGGRAPH from 20 or 30 years ago, where conference leadership roles were held by female professionals,” said ACM SIGGRAPH International Resources Committee Chair Diana Arellano. “In more recent years, there has been a growing awareness of the importance and the need for including more and more women, as well as more minorities, both in the conference and in the fields themselves.”

Continues Arellano, “This has crystallized in events like the International Resources Committee’s annual ‘Women in CG‘ session, various lunches and networking events for women organized by big companies like ILM, and even women mentoring initiatives, which are currently in their early stages. All of this is sure to have positive results as new role models emerge, new perspectives and ideas are brought to the table, and controversial topics are addressed and solved. This will lead to a more diverse field in which the final goal is to do great research and create amazing technology. My hope is that the implicit bias, represented in phrases like ‘women are’ or ‘women cannot do,’ eventually disappears, and that younger generations won’t have the need to fight for equal rights within this or any other industry.”

In addition to the many women speaking and participating in the SIGGRAPH conference, the Women in Animation (WIA) Vancouver chapter will present a Women in Animation Vancouver Summit, in partnership with Spark CG Society and supported by Emily Carr University of Art & Design, on 11 August. The co-located event is free to attend and will feature panels, presentations, TED-style talks, and various discussions with leading speakers such as:

  • Prem Gill, CEO, Creative BC
  • Anja Haman, Principal Program Manager, Microsoft
  • Sue Rowe, VFX Supervisor, Sony Pictures Imageworks
  • Nadine Blackburn, Head of Inclusion, Diversity, and Corporate Social Responsibility, Electronic Arts
  • Ann Marie Fleming, independent filmmaker, writer, and director
  • Michelle Grady, SVP of Production, Sony Pictures Imageworks, and Executive Committee Member, WIA Vancouver
  • Michelle Eisenreich, Senior VFX Producer, DNEG
  • Sharon Taylor, COO, Animal Logic, and Executive Committee Member, WIA Vancouver

“We are excited to present the Women in Animation Vancouver Summit in conjunction with SIGGRAPH 2018. Organizations like WIA and SIGGRAPH bring together our deeply interconnected industries -- from animation to games, VR/AR, and VFX -- to look at what the inspiring possibilities are for the future. We know that by embracing diversity and inclusion, progress and innovation accelerates. These are core beliefs that WIA drives globally, and we know SIGGRAPH shares and supports these beliefs,” said Molly Mason-Boulé, Women in Animation (WIA) Chair of Interactive and of WIA Vancouver.

To register for the SIGGRAPH 2018 conference, visit