The Hollywoord Reporter has a short article up online today (originally appearing in the magazine’s December issue), which reveals that Dreamworks Animation may be the only big Hollywood company out there to have more women in significant positions of power than men. Which makes some amount of sense for the company that backed the only big-budget animated film in history so far to be directed by a lone woman, Jennifer Yuh Nelson‘s Kung Fu Panda 2.
Of the five people in the company’s “top-tier management,” three are women: COO Ann Daly, chief accounting officer Heather O’Connor and worldwide marketing chief Anne Globe. Founder and CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg says their pool of producers is a staggering 85% female (including those producers involved with Madagascar and Rise of the Guardians) and says he “couldn’t be prouder of their accomplishments.”
According to The Hollywood Reporter, DreamWorks Animation usually ranks high on Fortune‘s list of best companies to work for, and according to Anne Globe, at least, that’s part of why the company can attract so many women: “You can have a life and still work here. [Jeffrey Katzenberg] understands how important it is to be flexible.”
I hear this description a lot in discussions about how companies should change to bring more women into the fold, and don’t always seen it accompanied with what I feel is an important point. Ideally, we’d live in a society where being especially “flexible” wasn’t a quality associated with attracting female employees, but equally attractive to men and women. And that’d be because we’d no longer have the idea drummed into our heads that men shouldn’t be overly concerned about leaving time in their career for family (even though many are), but that it is vitally important for women to figure out whether their career will leave sufficient time for motherhood. The especially “flexible” company environment is a stopgap reaction to society’s unequal expectations more than it is a concession to the unemployability of women.