Robin Chandler, Vice President of Worldwide Publicity at Pixar opens the panel. On the panel is Bret Parker (animator), Galyn Susman (producer), Mary Alice Drumm (producer), Lindsey Collins (producer), and Mary Coleman (development executive).
Parker says she started at Pixar as a temp production assistant. She stayed late to learn more about their software and worked her way up in the company. Her self made reel was reviewed by Pete Docter.
Collins graduated college and went to Disney animation for work and was hired as a PA on Pocahontas. After, she was promoted to work with background painters. After seeing Toy Story, she was blown away and was moved to apply at Pixar.
Coleman compares her journey to Pixar to Mike Wasowski in Monsters U. She was always trained in theater, her whole life, but was never a natural in that field. Rob Cool at Pixar recruited her to work there. She had 17 interviews, the final one with Lasseter.
Coleman believes that there is a lack of women in the field of animation because, for generations, women were not encouraged to pursue art, whereas boys were heavily influenced by comic books and cartoon shows.
Galyn says you need perseverance and tenacity to make it in animation (as a man or women!). It's not about whether or not you can draw, a company like Pixar needs a very diverse group of workers to function. She says your skills, no matter what they are, are needed in the field of animation.