Kyoto Animation, known for popular anime such as A Silent Voice, K-ON!, Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid, Violet Evergarden, and many more, was honoured with Women in Animation's WIA Diversity Awards for 2020 for "commitment to inclusivity by creating a gender-balanced workplace,". The other people who were presented with the honour include Laurence Ralph (The Torture Letters) and Maria Trenor (Where Were You?).
Women in Animation established the WIA Diversity Awards four years ago to recognize individuals, film and organizations that have an impact in growing diversity with the animation community, either through their own work, by amplifying the voices of others or by creating initiatives promoting diversity in the industry and society.
Kyoto Animation was chosen by the WIA Board of Directors to receive the 2020 WIA Diversity Award for Corporate Achievement because of their commitment to inclusivity by creating a gender-balanced workplace. The Japan-based studio was co-founded and is run by married couple Hideaki and Yoko Hatta. The studio is widely known to be one of the only anime studios in Japan to have their animation staff be salaried, including all the benefits that go along with that, with a significant percentage of those staff members being women, especially in higher power positions. Staff is also trained at the Kyoto Animation school, with a high percentage of students also being female.
The Vice President of Women in Animation, Jinko Gotoh – who is currently working as a producer at Netflix –, said that "It is our honour to award this important award to Kyoto Animation. As a Japanese producer myself, I’m particularly proud of the way Kyoto Animation shares WIA’s inclusive principle of hiring female artists, as well as their commitment to training artists. They have also displayed tremendous courage in the face of terrible tragedy.”
Kyoto Animation recently released Violet Evergarden the Movie into Japanese cinemas – the first film completed after the attack – on September 18. In 2021, KyoAni will also release a new Free! anime film, and Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid S, the second season of the popular TV anime.