Two and a half years ago, TAG blog posted a form letter that Walt Disney Productions sent out in the 1930s to women job applicants.
... Women do not do any of the creative work in connection with preparing the cartoons for the screen, as that work is performed entirely by young men. For this reason girls are not considered for the training school ...
The same letter is pictured above, with one difference. It's a year earlier than the first one, and instead of the corporate logo it's got a fancy color letterhead touting the studio's blockbuster Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.
So try this mind exercise: You're a young, female artist in June 1938, opening a letter from Walt Disney Productions that you think will be some kind of encouraging response to your letter to the King of Animation, inquiring after a job.
But what you read instead is a form-letter kiss off, decorated with artwork from the Number One Film in the country, showing a woman protaganist and a woman villain.
And you're being told that women need not apply.
Happily, we're a long way from the days when those kinds of letters went out. Less happily, much of animation is still too much of an old boys' network. You'll have to look long and hard to find a lot of women in high creative positions at many of the large animation studios.
(It was only a couple of years back I heard story artist and feature director Brenda Chapman jokingly refer to herself as "the token woman" at Pixar.)