International Women’s Day 2024


International Women's Day 2024

Celebrating our crew this International Women’s Day 2024! Image Engine proudly highlights the diverse voices shaping the visual effects industry. Here’s to those who inspire, create, and lead with passion!

For International Women’s Day (IWD) 2024, Image Engine is shining a spotlight on our remarkable crew who contribute their passion, talent, and expertise to the visual effects industry.

We posed five thought-provoking questions to our crew that delve into personal experiences, professional insights, and the shared vision for a more inclusive future. Join us as we showcase the diverse perspectives of our colleagues and champion the spirit of empowerment that defines our commitment to equality.

About IWD

Marked annually on March 8th, International Women’s Day is one of the most important days of the year to:

  • celebrate women’s achievements
  • educate about women’s equality
  • raise awareness about discrimination
  • take action to drive gender parity

IWD has occurred for well over a century, with the first IWD gathering in 1911 supported by over a million people. Today, IWD belongs to all groups collectively everywhere. IWD is not country, group or organization specific.

The IWD theme this year is #InspireInclusion. When we inspire others to understand and value women’s inclusion, we forge a better world. And when women themselves are inspired to be included, there’s a sense of belonging, relevance and empowerment.

Imagine a gender equal world. A world free of bias, stereotypes, and discrimination. A world that’s diverse, equitable, and inclusive. A world where difference is valued and celebrated. Collectively, let’s forge a more inclusive world for women.

Who is a woman you admire?

A large majority of production staff and members of the artistic team I’ve worked with have been super capable and amazing women — they are all individuals I look up to and they have also taught me so much about the job and important qualities required to be in this industry. Without their leadership and compassion, I would not have had such a fantastic environment to learn and grow in. Thank you all!

Jesse Cheung, VFX Coordinator


My fiancée – who left her home country (Singapore) in order to pursue her career. This was at a time with even less women in leadership positions to look up to. People from Singapore usually have a very strong bond to their country and it’s not very common to move away. She took that step despite knowing that she will face not only gender related but also cultural challenges – especially in her current position in leadership. Additionally, she knew that potentially starting a family would be even harder without the presence of her immediate kinfolk. The way she successfully handles all of that on a daily basis makes her my role model.

Sebastian Schuett, Lead Compositor

How do you support and encourage female colleagues in the workplace?

I do my best to advocate for my female colleagues with our senior management team, through mentorship programs, with EDI training, anything I can think of. I have offered learning and coaching opportunities. I, along with our HR and Global EDI team, keep track of the gender breakdown in various roles in our studio.

Tracy Vezina, Human Resources Manager


I hope that through mentorship and training I have had a positive impact on the female artists on our team. Mentoring goes beyond technical guidance, it’s about empowering them to excel, fostering creativity, and building a supportive community. Knowing that someone believes in their abilities hopefully inspires them to take risks and pursue larger roles within our studio.

Chris Rogers, Lead Look Dev Artist


It is important that women are appreciated and given the same opportunities as their male counterparts. Over the course of my career, I have seen the revolution of women in VFX. Women were the original creators of the VFX Producer role, but I am happy to see women in every type of role in VFX now, from Heads of Depts all the way up to VFX Supervisors. We need to encourage women of any age to see the possibility of working in this industry and recognize the talents they bring.

Robert Schajer, VFX Executive Producer


I try to find a balance between being available to my colleagues for whatever support and service I can provide, while also giving them space to work in their own way and develop their own working or leadership style. Giving people a chance to develop means that they may come up with ideas and perspectives that I, and the rest of the team, can learn from.

Cameron Widen, Head of Layout

What advice do you have for women interested in working in VFX?

Become your own biggest advocate. Support yourself the way you would support your best friend, and be vocal about yourself, your needs, and your success. Developing the skill of self-advocacy can help dramatically alter the trajectory of your career.

Sonali Dutta, Look Dev Artist


Do your research, talk to people and form a well rounded idea of your expectations before committing to a school or college. Education is expensive and time consuming, and there are many for profit schools that will happily take your money and provide very little in return.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions. How qualified the people are who will be teaching me? Are they still actively working or connected to the industry I want to work in? Will I have a body of work at the end of the course that will help me find work? Will they teach me industry relevant skills? Does the school have connections to help me network within the industry? Are my expectations of what it will be like working in the industry realistic?

Your education will only be as good as the people teaching you, so take the time to find the right path and don’t be afraid to fail. It took me two attempts to get into my school of choice, where I was lucky enough to have had a strong supportive female role model and mentor to guide me through my education and early years in the industry. She has remained a good friend and guiding light for me for over 15 years.

Amanda Lee-Petrie, Rigger


Don’t be afraid to ask questions and let people know what your goals are. There are many wonderful people in this industry that will offer support and will be happy to help if you just show interest and ask for it. 

Vivian Kesikowski, Compositor

As a woman, how do you balance work and personal life in this industry?

I am very passionate about my work, always have been. Becoming a mom to two little ones, who for sure are enriching my life with their silliness, it also meant to have less time and to be more firm about boundaries. Working from home is a huge benefit to help with balancing work and family life. The biggest lesson I learned when becoming a mom is to make the most of the little free time you get, becoming more efficient, organized, structured and concentrated.

Wiebke Bohm, Lighting TD


10 years ago, when I arrived in Canada with my toddler, I faced a lot of difficulties in finding a job in production. Most companies lacked flexibility, and I didn’t want to compromise between my career and personal life, especially with my family being my top priority.

Luckily, I got an opportunity to change my career path and joined Image Engine as a Recruiter. With the flexibility and support that I needed, I was able to continue working in the industry that I love while being there for every step of my daughter’s life. Finding a workplace that genuinely values and understands the importance of work-life balance for the well-being of their employees is essential.

Aline Ngo, VFX Recruiter


I love my work and I love my family. Striking a balance isn’t easy and I support and applaud every woman trying to do so in our deadline-driven industry. You have to be a lot more efficient with your time and the switch from “work mode’ to “Mum mode” brings an added element of both joy and stress, depending on what you are dealing with at the time 🙂 I’m fortunate to be in a leadership position whereby I can have some flexibility with my work day and working from home helps, but I believe there is also a downside nowadays with the way we blur the lines between work and home life. I strive for a work-life balance and encourage and support everyone at Image Engine to try to achieve the same.

Kate Macintosh, Head of People & Culture

What positive changes do you hope to see for women in this industry in the near future?

I would like to see more exposure of this industry in grade schools. Growing up, I wanted to be an artist but the path wasn’t very clear, and the fine art programs available in popular universities (UBC, SFU, Langara, etc) were geared more towards classical art instead of animation and graphic design. I think knowing that this is a viable career option would help expand the diversity in this industry.

Amelia Lau, HR Generalist


Promoting greater inclusion of women across all roles in the VFX industry, spanning from artists to supervisors and executives.

Danny Lu, Technical Assistant Render I/O


I want to see more women in artist and technical roles and see women being promoted and leading teams on a department level.

Shelley Welch, Lead Layout Artist


I want to keep seeing representation across the industry and would love to work with more female directors.

Katie Johnson, VFX Producer


Especially the creative, technical and leadership roles are still lacking representative women and it still feels like a slow process. Visibility is important and I hope to see more women in leadership positions speaking up and sharing their stories to be a role model for other women in the field and encourage them to reach their goals.

Overall, I feel there is more awareness within the industry and programs like ‘Women in Animation’ are great resources to support and empower women and I hope to see more programs like this grow, as well as more opportunities to exchange knowledge and help female artists to succeed on their paths.

Viktoria Rucker, VFX Producer

Inspiring inclusion

Huge thank you to our incredible crew for sharing their inspiring perspectives! Each response adds to the collective determination and strength propelling us toward a more inclusive industry. At Image Engine, we take pride in championing equality and empowerment, understanding that it’s the diverse perspectives of our team that shape a vibrant, innovative future.

If you share these values and seek to be part of a dynamic team, we invite you to explore our current job openings. Join us in breaking down barriers and building a more equitable and diverse industry for everyone.

Happy International Women’s Day!

View job openings


For more information about International Women’s Day, check out the following resources: