2021 AnimState of the Industry Survey Results


I am so sorry for the delay in releasing all of this data. I had hoped to get this released shortly after the Animation Exchange Recording, where I broke down many of the most anticipated results, but then time got away from me. I guess this is better late than never!

The Video Recording and Survey Results Slide Slide Deck are taking the place of the long form post we used last year. But because this is a bit later than intended, I wanted to included a bonus section below and in the slides. But before I get into that, here is the treasure trove of ALL THE RESPONSES from this year’s survey. Make sure you analyze responsibly 🙂

Raw Survey Results Excel Sheet

I want to call out that I specifically removed the replies for anyone that answered closeted or questioning, to help protect their privacy. The intention is not to erase or discredit their inclusion in our community and industry but outing someone through this survey is the last thing we would ever want to do. This survey continues to be a series of learnings around how best to collect and present data, and we continually strive to do so in the most responsible way possible. While consultation and conversations were had around this, it is impossible for a few to speak for the many. And we will continue to engage in consultation and conversations around all data sensitive topics each year we conduct this.

I also changed the the states/provinces in the North American replies to match the larger coastal breakdowns in the slide deck. Getting to a state specific level could be enough to start deciphering who specific responses might belong to, which goes against the anonymous intent of this survey. This will be something we keep an eye on each year, as more responses making it a larger haystack to find a needle, making this change unnecessary.

So then. With that, let’s do one more breakdown session.

As a follow up from the video, let’s look at salaries of men vs women. A larger percentage of men are making the higher range of salaries while a larger percentage of women are making less than 40k a year.

But I can hear someone say, that is only because there are more senior men in the industry. That isn’t a great point to have to say aloud to rebuke salary discrepancies, but yes, that is true. 34% of Men have 5 years or less of experience, while 52% of women have 5 or less years experience. SO, let’s look at those salary discrepancies by experience level! We will start with 1-5 years experience, as the less than 1 year didn’t have enough data to be able to point to.

Here we see what a focus on a healthier culture can bring us, with 63% of responses being men, down from the 74% average across the board. Still not perfect parity, but we are doing better. Yet, on salaries, we see men are still hitting a high end of salaries women aren’t. And a higher percentage of women are at the lowest end of the salary band.

Once we get to 6-10 years experience, we see the average data of 74% men reflected. And here, we see that 26% of men are making the high end of the salary band of over 110k. Yet only 12% of women are making that.

And so it goes with those having 11-15 years experience. So even though we are doing better at hiring more women, we are still not doing great when it comes to properly paying them at parity with men. 

So again, the message this year, like last year…

And of course, as the recording and slide deck showed…

I want to thank everyone that responded to the survey this year. I know talking money, work/life balance, job satisfaction, work frustrations, racism and misogyny can be a bit scary. But our hope is that this survey helps to remove the stigma around these conversations and help us all be better informed to drive real change within our community and industry.

Thank you so much and I look forward to refining and running the survey again next year!


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