Let’s celebrate International Women’s Day!

At Source Elements we are incredibly proud to be a women-led company and build positive and strategic alliances to strengthen the audio industry.

We are delighted to organize our webinar “Achievement of Women in Audio” on the 7th of March with an incredible panel with some of the most inspiring professionals in the audio industry.


Rachael Naylor – The VO Network CEO, voice over artist
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/rachaelnaylor

Rebekah WIlson – Source Elements CEO, composer and technologist
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/rebekah-wilson-source-elements/

Heather Rafter – RafterMarsh US Founder & Principal, media industry lawyer
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/hrafter/

Jazzy Frizzle – Voices of Color Co-Founder, voice over artist
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jazzy-frizzle-b84434213/

Lisa Machac, Omni Sound Project CEO, music consultant and producer.
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/lisamachac/

Tania Possick – Women in VO Founder, voice over artist
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/tpossick/

Anna Wszeborowska – Music software engineer and researcher, ex-Ableton Technical Principal
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/anna-wszeborowska/

Alyx Jones – Silver Script Games Founder, Game Audio Professional
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/alyxjones

Plus some surprises!

Watch Our Webinar below!

Webinar Summary

  • Share resources for opportunities that women can benefit from: scholarships, mentor programs, accelerators, funding, education.
  • Be inclusive when supplying a proposal of people for a position, use diversity casting database or ask your network for recommendations.
  • The second anybody who’s been marginalized is included in a decision making panel, inclusion follows.
  • It’s very important to have role models to imagine that this is a career that’s possible for you.
  • Seeing people do your job more and more: the power of social media.  Role modeling is the really key thing for them to be able to think I can do that, not just think “that’s not for me”.
  • When you see another woman win, you go, “I can win too”.
  • Join communities giving attention and being a safe space to an issue that’s important to you. If you can’t find one, make one.
  • We need a lot of women being in mid and leadership positions to change this idea that a woman is either a beginner or a unicorn.
  • Don’t feel shy reach out to women who you see doing stuff and ask for help and advice.
  • Advocate for authentic casting, let us play our own stories: getting more people behind the scenes that understand to know what to look and what to ask for when they’re casting

Transcript: Celebrating Women’s International Day

Rachael Naylor: Hello, everybody. Thank you so much, everyone, for joining us. I know we have a lot of people joining us from around the world. So welcome to this very special webinar brought to you by The Voiceover Network and Source Elements.

It’s all about celebrating women in audio. So today we have some amazing women in audio that I’ll be talking to. It’s really exciting to be able to bring together such an incredible group of women and talk about women in audio. And we’re really celebrating International Women’s Day, which is actually tomorrow. So we thought we’d just kind of kick things off today.

Or if you’re in the Southern hemisphere, then maybe you’re already into the Friday day already. To kick things off, I’ll just tell you who I am. My name is Rachel Naylor. I am a voice actor. I have been for over 20 years. I’m editor of the Buzz magazine, producer and director at Elements Demos.

I’m CEO of the VoiceOver Network. I’m a multi award winning entrepreneur. And most importantly, I am also mum to two beautiful girls. So there’s a fair amount of juggling that goes on in my life, but I am passionate about helping to empower voice actors and women to follow their dreams and do a job that they love.

I understand challenges as I’m also an MS warrior. So yes, there’s a few things going on there. But I would like to introduce these incredible women that we have joining us today. I’m going to start with the CEO of Source Elements. Hello, Rebekah.

So Rebekah is a composer and programmer, as a New Zealand native living in the Northern Hemisphere Rebekah understands very well how important it is to be connected, even when separated by oceans. There is no excuse for creativity to suffer just because of where we are in the world.

Rebekah is a powerhouse in the industry. She is the CEO of Source Elements, and with a background in composition and programming, Rebekah has played a pivotal role in developing industry standard audio, remote recording software. She’s incredible guys, by the way. Her mission extends beyond technology, advocating for inclusivity and supporting underrepresented individuals in music technology. Rebekah’s expertise and passion make her a sought after figure in the voiceover landscape. Welcome. 

Rebekah Wilson: Thank you so much for the introduction, Rachel. It’s very, very lovely to hear that.  

Rachael Naylor: Amazing. I feel like we need to have like a cheer. Yeah. Like, woohoo! But thank you. It’s great to have, you know, the Voice Over Network and Source Elements teaming up to bring everybody this webinar today. So we had a chat a few weeks ago and we were like, yes! This is what needs to happen. Celebrating women in audio. Okay. So next up, Heather Rafter. Hello, Heather.

Heather Rafter: Hello from California.  We actually have rain here, which is unbelievable.

Rachael Naylor: Oh, wow gosh. So Rafter Marsh, U. S. founder and principal lawyer.

So you’ve been providing legal and business development services for to the audio music technology and digital media industries for over 20 years as founder and principal with over two decades of experience in providing legal and business development services in the audio music technology and digital media industries. Heather is a seasoned expert in entertainment law. Her commitment to supporting content creators and developers has cemented her reputation as a trusted advisor in the industry. So great to have you here, Heather. 

Heather Rafter: Thank you for the beautiful write up, Rebekah, and so thrilled to be here. Thank you, Rachel.

Rachael Naylor: Excellent. Wonderful. Good to have you. So, Lisa Machac (pronounced “Mahatch”). Omni Sound Project, CEO, music consultant and producer. So Lisa is a music consultant, producer and the director of Omni Sound Project, an inclusive community for women and marginalized genders in audio engineering.

Through her inclusive community for women and marginalized genders in audio engineering, Lisa has dedicated is dedicated to fostering collaboration and empowerment. With a knack for mentoring and community building, Lisa’s passion for music and mentorship shines through everything she does. So welcome Lisa.

Lisa Machac: Thank you. And I want to shout out the Omni folks that are in the chat.

Rachael Naylor: Yay. Oh, wow. Look at the chat. It’s going crazy. Wonderful. Next up, we have Tania Possick, Tania is the Women in VO founder and voiceover artist. She is a versatile voiceover artist who specializes in bringing scripts to life with her dynamic vocal range in English and in Spanish. Tania is the founder of Women in VO, a supportive global network for women in the voiceover industry.

Through her global network, Tania has created a safe and positive space for women in the voiceover industry to connect, share experiences and support each other’s growth. Tania’s unique background in dance and choreography brings a fresh perspective to her voiceover performances, making her a standout figure in the industry.

Welcome Tania. 

Tania Possick: Thank you, Rachel. 

Okay, and next up, Anna Wszeborowska. Anna is a music software engineer and researcher. Anna is a trailblazing music software engineer and researcher with a passion for merging music and technology. With a wealth of experience in developing leading products for music production and live performance, Anna’s expertise is unmatched.

As a co-organizer of programming initiatives and a PhD student exploring musical self-expression with machine learning, Anna is at the forefront of innovation in the industry. I’m excited to hear more, Anna. Welcome. 

Anna Wszeborowska: Thank you very much, Rachel. 

Rachael Naylor: Excellent. And next up we have Alyx Jones.

So Alyx Jones from working in dialogue as post production lead at Liquid Violet, to founding her own independent game studio, Silver Script Games. With a deep rooted dedication to the games industry, Alyx’s work spans from dialogue post production to founding her own independent game studio. Her accolades include being selected as a BAFTA Breakthrough, and winning prestigious awards for her contributions to games and film audio. Alyx’s passion for connecting through games and audio makes her a standout figure in the industry. Welcome. 

Alyx Jones: Excellent. 

Rachael Naylor: And last but not least, we have the fabulous Jazzy Frizzle. Jazzy is a passionate voice actor who brings stories to life through her voice, while also co-founding Voices of Color, an organization that promotes diversity in voice acting with a background in theater, choir, and improv. Jazzy is known for her energy, advocacy, and enthusiasm in the voiceover space. Also being a mother to three girls and having a supportive husband, she displays that you can somehow juggle wearing multiple hats in this industry. Welcome, Jazzy.

Jazzy Frizzle: Thank you. So happy to be here. Thanks for having me.

Rachael Naylor: Fantastic. So good to have everyone. And I can see the chat is going crazy. Which is wonderful on what I normally ask people to do is tell us where you are in the world. So I’d love to see some of your, your comments of where you are in the world.

Today we’re going to talk about how women have impacted and made groundbreaking changes in the audio industry. The importance of women’s voices cannot be overstated. Diversity of voices brings richness and depth to any field. And audio is no exception. Women bring unique perspectives, experiences, and talents that enrich the creative process and broaden the scope of content produced.

Okay. So Rebekah, how are you doing? 

Rebekah Wilson: Doing great. Thanks, Rachel. 

Rachael Naylor: So lovely to have you here. Should we start by talking about the, the positive things that you have seen or that you’re seeing happening in the audio industry? 

Rebekah Wilson: Absolutely. A very important document came out recently that shows that in music engineering, which the world that Lisa is in deeply, there’s 3 percent [award winning] women music engineers and producers.

And my response to that is, right, because only men listen to music and we know that’s not true. I’ve been to concerts all over the world, thanks to Heather, who drags me everywhere. And we know women love music. We love listening to music. We love thinking about music. We love writing music. We love singing. And so there’s something going on there. But so the positive part of that is we’re seeing a lot of scholarships. We’re seeing a lot of allies saying, you know, let’s be part of solving this. We’re seeing a lot of vocal activity and actions like this. And this webinar, us talking about this.

I think what will come out after this webinar is a big list of opportunities that women can follow, you know, all the mentoring that you can find, all the scholarships you can find all of the allies that you can talk to. And I’m just, I’m really, really excited for the future for a young woman coming into the industry today.  They’re going to be able to access it in ways that we could not. And I know Lisa and I very much agree that especially in music it’s up to us to make the access, make it more accessible for those who are coming up today. 

Rachael Naylor: Definitely. Absolutely. And I’m such a big believer in helping people onto the ladder, that’s why I started the voiceover network was because I knew how hard it was to get into the voiceover industry.

And so I wanted to create a safe place and help other people so they didn’t have to go through the struggles and things that I went through. And I love that we’re all here supporting each other and supporting strong women and. That’s so important too. 

And Jazzy, what about you? What positive things are you seeing happening in the industry at the moment? 

Jazzy Frizzle: Kind of similar to what Rebekah said in terms of having panels and discussions, because I think, especially in the voiceover world, it’s one of those things you don’t really think about it being a career until, you know, somebody throws it in your face or you come across like, oh, somebody gets paid to do that.

And so seeing companies and producers and studios hold educational platforms like panels or classes direct marketing opportunities because as voiceover is becoming more diverse we still see where we’re lacking. And in terms of women, like we’re finally getting into the promotion, you know, the promo space.  And now, even now with trailers, it’s still a very heavily male dominated part of the industry. And so just seeing those, those producers that are like, you know what, I’m going to throw in a couple of women when I send these submissions. And you know a little goes a long way. So I think that’s really important. It’s the education behind it all.

Rachael Naylor: Definitely. And interestingly, you brought up the trailers and amazingly all trailers were voiced by men up until 2000 when Melissa Disney was the first voice actor to voice a trailer for Gone in 60 Seconds . And that’s just crazy when you think about it. How mad is that?

I definitely think it’s about the behind the scenes as well. You know, it’s really about the producers and the writers and making sure we have women in those roles so that they, you know, they want to be. They’re kind of fighting the fight for, for women. We, you know, we need to have women voicing trailers.

Jazzy Frizzle: Like Rebekah said, not only men watch movies.

Rachael Naylor: Next up, Lisa, what about you? Do you want to share your insights into positive things that you’re seeing for women in the industry at the moment?

Lisa Machac: Yeah, I mean, it’s amazing the growth that we’ve seen and the number of organizations that are dedicated to this in the last four years. When the pandemic started, I think there were a handful of us and now there’s just so many and I love that. I love to see that. I think what I’m looking for next is the representation behind the scenes, instead of necessarily taking artists and putting their face on marketing materials, things like that.

We need to get, like you said, producers and people behind the scenes that are making those decisions now, because the statistic that Rebekah quoted of 3%, that’s award winning producers. So the actual number of producers is much higher female producers. And we don’t see that because the people who are choosing the award nominees are not necessarily women.

So I think we need to like look now on that level of people who are like making those decisions and start to diversify those places. It’s automatic. The second anybody who’s been marginalized is included in a decision making panel like that inclusion follows. So we’re definitely on the right path though.

It’s been really, really fun to be a part of this. 

Rachael Naylor: Brilliant, wonderful. And Tania, what about you? 

Tania Possick: What everyone said so far one thing that I think is so important, like Jazzy said, it’s seeing people do your job more and more. And with that, I, I want to bring up the power of social media.

I started Women in VO during the pandemic and I try to be as positive and light as possible on our Instagram, but also it’s there to share people’s work and the hashtag Women in VO did not exist prior to 2020. And now there’s thousands of tags. And it’s just so crazy to me because first of all, if you did do this job prior to the pandemic, it felt very insular unless you did some sort of group job, which didn’t always happen.

You weren’t always in a space with a group of people doing voiceover for something. A lot of people work from home or a lot of people would go into the recording studio. You might interact with your engineer, maybe a director. And so now it feels like we’re together and community is just so important because you get to see other people and what they’re doing.

When you see another woman win, you go, I can win too. So I think that’s one thing that’s just so lovely to see. And I know that sometimes social media can be a drag, but I think there’s so many positive things that also come out of that. And also you can discover how to do that thing, like, if you want to be a sound engineer, if you want to be a voice of a person, you can follow someone who does that, and you can even actually reach out to that person, which is absolutely insane to me in this life.

Rachael Naylor: Definitely. I love that. And you’re totally right. And interestingly, so I started the voice of a network. Well gosh, the actually infancy was 2013. So that was a long time ago, but the voice of a network probably launched nine years ago, but I started it very much on social media and I’m a real social person. I love talking to people. So I really jumped into social media early days. I know there are there are two sides to social media. There is the negative side, but you can choose to walk away from that and just not engage in it. And there is so much positivity and motivation and inspiration on social media.

And the fact that you can connect. All around the world who are in our industry and I get to connect with them through social media and stay up to date with what they’re doing. That’s really powerful. 

Tania Possick: One other thing that’s so important is that there’s also a power to connect with younger girls.

Whereas when I watched obviously cartoons when I was a kid, I didn’t realize that that was something that I could do. So to be able to see the women who voice your favorite cartoons on social media and be like, what? That’s a real job? I can do that! It’s really great.

Rachael Naylor: I love being a voice actor and I often tell people it’s the best job in the world. Very grateful to do it. And Anna, what about you? What’s your kind of insight perspective to, to the positive things you’re seeing?

Anna Wszeborowska: Since I guess I’m here to represent the audio developer network. I’m going to focus on that as an example of the positive change of like women joining the community. I’m going to give an example where it’d be. The main conference is happening in the field, audio developer conference, and both Rebekah Wilson and Heather Rafter have been involved with it (https://audio.dev).

And Heather, do you remember when we met at the conference for the first time? I believe it was in 2017. There were like, 5 women and we all just went to dinner together. Now it’s very different.

Heather Rafter: Yes! We had a small table.

Anna Wszeborowska: That’s how it started. And this last year, last November the conference was, well, much bigger, and I would not be able to count the number of women who were there.

Of course, there was still a significant minority, let’s say. There were still not so many. There’s still a ton of work to do there. To encourage people to join, but we have seen a positive change there for sure. But that said, there have been a lot of initiatives helping people get into the field, helping women get into the field, helping them advance my community, Dynamic Cast also has been actively trying to teach people hands on skills through our workshops. But that said, I also have an impression that this has led to the situation we have now where, when you see a woman in a professional context, it’s still sometimes assumed that she’s probably a beginner or a unicorn. And I think we need a lot of women in like being like mid level or in leadership positions to change this idea.

So I’m very grateful to have here, for instance, such a role model as Rebekah Wilson, who’s CEO of her company. 

Rebekah Wilson: I think we all deserve the right to be mediocre, so maybe I’ll start. 

Anna Wszeborowska: Exactly. I remember actually saying that my friends would laugh at me when they were trying to be like, oh, you’re a woman in tech and you’re not a beginner: you’re great.  I was like a mid level at the time and I just want to be exactly that. I want to be mid level and for that to not surprise anybody, to not be any special. That’s just it, right?  I’m here to do my work, I do it fairly well, and that’s it, right? But still, I’m gonna just echo what everybody else has said this, it’s very important to have role models to imagine that this is a career that’s possible for you, just increase the visibility, so again, we’ve been now focusing especially within our programming group to actually help people develop the skills necessary to bring them to higher level and advancing their careers because I think that’s that’s what we should be focusing on now.

Rachael Naylor: Definitely, fantastic. And Alyx, you work in the video game industry, which is very male dominated. What are you seeing kind of positive things and yeah, what’s your perspective on it all? Yeah, I mean.

Alyx Jones: That’s the thing, it was the same when you look at the player split, it’s almost 50-50, but then the developers, it’s really not.

And I think when I first started in game audio, there was something like 6 percent women in game audio, which is a crazy disparity and it’s slowly climbing up. But I think I was looking at figures because I’ve started my own company so I was interested in how successful that might be and like raising money and the figure was that women were getting 0.02 percent of what male founders got in terms of investment [in the game industry] which like blows my mind because it’s crazy, but the positive thing is that we have a scheme called Innovate in the uk and they gave five female founded companies quite a lot of money in the most recent round. And I was one of those. And so there’s lots of like little things that make a difference to people.

And it may just be that one thing that sets your career in a totally different direction. And I probably wouldn’t have thought it was the kind of thing I could even do like being a business owner or anything like that. So I think the positive to take away from that is when you find some small pot of money or someone who kind of shows you like you can do that there’s a whole world opens up there.

Rachael Naylor: There are so many women out there that are ready to help other women kind of coming up the ladder, so those who are watching don’t feel shy reach out to women who you see doing stuff and ask for help.  That’s really important as well because I know I’ve done that in the past and sometimes it can be scary but you know, we’re all here to help each other. And it’s an amazing industry, the audio industry. And I think it is a very supportive industry.

And Heather, how are you doing? 

Heather Rafter: So my background’s a little bit more if you’re going to in pro audio. So I just want to first, just to give a shout out from what you and Tania are doing, because I wasn’t aware of women in voiceovers and the voiceover network.

And that all of you, I just want to say so positively, I love learning about the voiceover industry and that you guys are literally making female voices heard. Right. Like it’s incredible. So I just want to say it’s been fantastic being included. I’d like to talk a little bit about pro audio and I just want to first maybe take a step back and say I’m slightly older than some of you. That’s all I’m going to say on that topic. And so when I first went to prep school and then I went to Princeton and Columbia law school I was always like in the firsts: first 10 years of women at these schools. And it’s just amazing that most of you don’t have to be in those firsts. It was exciting to be in the first group of women to do this and the first group of women to do that and to graduate from law school. But that’s crazy, isn’t it? That in my lifetime I had to be one of those firsts, right? So, someone said the greatest thing is when we no longer count firsts. You know, like one of the first women in gaming.

So I am really happy to see now that that’s not really the case anymore. I think those barriers have been broken somewhat. And so now we can be in the middle as Rebekah says, we don’t have to have that feel that we need to be the first at everything. We want to stop counting how many women are in these professions.

We just want to be accepted for being a really good lawyer or a good person in the pro audio industry and not always be identified as a woman. I’m really looking forward to those days. And I think we’ve made huge strides for those of you listening. I’m loving these comments. For those of you listening, I just wanted to give some resources for the pro audio side.

And that is we already mentioned. Women in Audio, which is part of the Audio Developer Conference, which is how I met Anna, and I think Rebekah, and I encourage you to get involved in their scholarships. There’s the Women’s Audio Mission, there’s SoundGirls there’s She Rocks, which many of us have attended, and I’m on the board of She Rocks, which is the Women’s International Music Network.

I think I mentioned NAMM. If you want to get training, I’m a huge supporter of Claire Global and Rock Lititz. They have amazing educational programs they’re launching and scholarships, and I have attended the conference at Lititz, and they really are working hard to get more women learning how to do the most basic skills and rise them up and get them out on tours. So you might start soldering, you might start in the middle. You got to learn that stuff first. One of the things I admire about Rebekah is she knows every aspect of her business but [you to get started] they’ll give training and help people get out on tours and in live entertainment, which is such an exciting place to be.

And there’s other scholarships for audio production. So feel free to reach out to me and I’m glad to give you information and NAMM and AES, the two big conferences in our industry are so supportive and have separate events for woman and are encouraging. And the Grammys, I’m a member of the academy and just so much opportunity and you just reach out and it’s fantastic to see this. I will give you more information, but that’s my partial list. Did I leave anything out, Rebekah? 

Rebekah Wilson: Well, we could have a webinar just about Heather. But I’m going to talk more about her later. 

Heather Rafter: Well, thank you. I began by the way, as the general counsel of DigiDesign. Is anyone old enough on this to even remember?

You might know Pro Tools. Pro Tools began with DigiDesign and then became part of Avid. So back then it was the newness, not only of being a woman at a tech company, but also launching digital audio. So it’s fun to break down barriers. It’s fun to do. And I’m so excited to see the next generation of all of you doing that.

I have three kids too. That’s somehow I’ve because balancing it all, I hope is a topic we’ll talk about. 

Rachael Naylor: Yeah, absolutely.  And we do, you know, we do have many hats. And there is a lot of juggling, you know work and home life and kids and we all have multiple roles, and that’s a challenge, but also people often ask me how I do what I do and how I managed to do so much as well as health challenges.

And my answer to that is that I absolutely love what I do. And I think that that’s so important to, to follow your dreams and do what you love. For everybody listening, do follow your dreams. You’ve got a panel here of amazing women. Reach out to us. I think the world would be a better place if more people followed their dreams and did what they love.

And what’s great is, the world that we’re living in at the moment is that there are opportunities for women and yes, we still have to break down some barriers and make our voices heard, but it’s amazing to do what you love and we can have a family and be a mom and be an entrepreneur and be a friend and be a daughter and be a mother and be a sister and do all these incredible things.

Rachael Naylor: So Jazzy, we’re talking about women getting voices heard and Disney are doing amazing things in diversity. They’re incredible because they really are pushing the boundaries with their movies and with their casting and representing, representing underrepresented groups. Tell us more about what you’re doing. 

Jazzy Frizzle: The ultimate goal in voice acting in terms of diversity is just to have the character-represented spaces look like how the world looks like. And we are so, there are so many different cultures and genders just mixed in in the world.

It doesn’t make sense that diversity in the media space is very, very low. And so we work a lot with starting with advocating for authentic casting just in a sense of let us play our own stories. Because no-one can tell it like we can. But also keeping in mind that the world is open. So you don’t have to have a dedicated character design and specifically cast a diverse person. Could you can make the character after you cast the person? It’s just about dispelling a lot of the biases that come with gender and ethnicity. We all don’t sound the same. There’s no monolith in diversity with ethnicities, cultures and everything. And so I think it’s the biggest challenge but that’s what we’re aiming to do. And we’re trying to do that by getting behind the scenes, getting more people behind the scenes that understand to know what to look and what to ask for when they’re casting for something very specific or leaving it open.  And we just don’t want diversity to be an afterthought, or make it forced. It’s just, we’re everywhere. And so, I don’t know why that can’t be shown in the media.

Rebekah Wilson: Absolutely. What are some sort of things you’ve seen that have really helped with this? What are some action that has been taken? Because you’ve been involved with it a lot. 

Jazzy Frizzle: Oh gosh, yes, a lot. Again, three kids, how do we make it happen, right? But us specifically, Voices of Color, we started off just as a resource for talent of color so that they would be ready for these opportunities that come across their way. We affordable education networking events and, and just getting people’s foot in the door.

And then now we’re expanding to try and educate those behind the scenes, the gatekeepers of these jobs of like, Hey, this is how you would Cast this, or this is what you would ask for. We’re actually partnering up with Nava and the QueerVox database and the Disabled Voice Actors database for best practices for authentic casting. And I’m really excited, that’s going to be coming out really soon. But it’s just about it. Usually if there’s any sort of ignorance or just not knowing, it’s just the lack of education. And so that’s our biggest interest. That’s what we’re trying to do the most. It’s just educate behind the scenes because that’s where it starts and that’s where we have to move forward from.
Oh, and I mean, Voices of Color, we also have a database of voice actors of color. And so if you ever need help or if you need consultations or don’t know how to ask for a specific diversity group, we’re here, we’re here to help. One of the biggest things about advocating for diversity, even in just like advocating for women, more women in a space is that those on the other side of it feel like they’re being attacked. It’s just education. We’re just opening a dialogue, having a conversation, but it’s hard to overcome and have that conversation if the majority feels like they’re being attacked for being in that space. So we’re trying to find avenues of having that conversation as well. 

Rachael Naylor: Yeah, absolutely. And education is so important. We do a lot of courses at the voiceover network. We do a lot of workshops. We really want to find those groups of amazing talented people who don’t know how to get into voiceovers and maybe because they come from you a tougher background and they are struggling. It can be a vicious cycle when you’re in poverty or you’re in a tough, tough time. For us to be able to kind of go in and show people that actually every voice matters and every voice is beautiful: it’s really important for people to love their voice. And it makes me sad when people say that they don’t like the sound of their own voice, because your voice is just so beautiful. And it’s such an important part of you and who you are and how you express yourself and communicate.

And the fact that we’re now hearing about authentic castings: authentic casting is so important because it means we’re hearing accents and different characters and characters that young girls are being able to connect with and say, Oh my God, I mean, she looks and sounds like me.

Rebekah Wilson: It applies so well to what Alyx is doing with games, making games that have women’s voices or making music produced by women with their own authentic voice. And we’re getting some amazing music and art and creativity coming out in video games and films. It’s really beautiful to see that the younger woman are able to feel strong enough to be able to put that out. There’s a lot of reasons due to economies as well, and now that we have independent distribution. I’m sure that’s a reason to it as well [why we hear more diversity].

Rachael Naylor: On that, I was going to say to Alyx about the video game industry, we’re seeing more and more strong female lead characters in games and on TV, in films, but in games, it’s really exciting to see lots of strong females that are the central role in games.

Alyx Jones: It’s a really cool time to be in games because it’s got to a point where the software is so accessible that almost anybody could jump in it and tell their own stories or make a game. And even kids are like learning things like scratch and visual programming. So that’s the new generation of people. It’s not just like AAA companies with billions that are making the next Call of Duty, no shade on call of duty, but there’s so much diversity and variety to be had from anyone. Like you say, if you’re in poverty at a point, once you can access a computer, you can pretty much make a game, even if it’s just like text based or with some dialogue recording, whatever, like it’s all so accessible.

I’m sure it gets the same with audio technology to some extent as well. It’s a lot more easy to get your hands on stuff now. So I’m happy to be in this time.

Rachael Naylor: Definitely. We do live in a time where, you know it doesn’t really matter where you live or what you know, what your upbringing is or your social standing or what your parents financial situation is. 100 years ago we were born into a world and you were pretty much stuck in that world. And whereas now, through the fact that we can connect, through social media, the, the internet, we can train with people around the world.  And there are so many inspiring leaders for us to look to. 

Alyx Jones: I think there’s more opportunity for social mobility, perhaps because of technology. I know that that’s not to recognize the disadvantages that you have and even being able to afford a computer is probably not an option for many teenagers in poverty. But with the education systems, they have access to those things and so they have different sets of challenges. But I think it’s more and more open to be able to do those things. Role modeling is the really key thing for them to be able to think I can do that, not just think that’s not for me.

Heather Rafter: Alyx, you’re absolutely right. Like my children are so aware of the free resources you can get Khan Academy or Coursera. And I’m sure there’s other resources for training in the audio industry and voiceovers. Like you can literally scour the internet and find free classes on topics to expand your knowledge in podcasts that are relevant. So I love that social mobility angle.

Rachael Naylor: Definitely, and we do a lot of free stuff at the voiceover network. [ See top of page for promotions ].

Heather Rafter: I think most of us do. I know my firm does. We take on interns. We’re happy to mentor people, informational interviews. We all give back because we stand on the shoulders of other women who have done that for us.

And men, I want to also mention, I’ve had men who have been incredibly supportive mentors as well. And so just don’t hesitate because we did not get here on our own. We got here by other people  helping us.

Rachael Naylor: Yeah, so inspiring women. So I’d love you wonderful, amazing ladies to share someone in your industry who inspires you or, someone who has really motivated you and inspired you on your career. Shall we start with Lisa? 

Lisa Machac: Yay. I’m excited to share because I think one of mine is here in the chat.

I chose two women in audio engineering who are linked in my mind because of a similar quality that they have, which is that as they got older and went on with their careers, they did have to retain a growth mindset. The industry changed around them. So many things changed around them, and they both just learned and pivoted and just became new experts in new fields.

So I’m going to shout out Lanise Bent, who’s here and Susan Rogers. So Lanise started off in tape audio. And then when the digital age came along, she didn’t shy away from learning something new. Imagine, you know, in your career, when you’re already established this huge, disruptive technology comes along and a lot of people said, no, we’re going to stay where we are. And she just learned basically an entirely new career. So I love Lanise. And when we’re talking about people who are willing to share with younger generations, she’s never, ever said no to me. In terms of helping and presenting to the Omni sound project community. 

So, and then Susan Rogers, similarly, she had a career as an audio engineer. She was Prince’s engineer. And then when she was, I think, 50 years old or so, she went back to school and got her doctorate on music cognition and psychoacoustics. And she got really into learning about how the brain processes music and wrote a book on it. And so these two women to me are just such inspirations because of the growth mindset and the willingness to share and support other women. 

Rachael Naylor: And Anna, what about you? 

Anna Wszeborowska: I wanted to give a shout out to my one of my PhD supervisors, Rebecca Fiebrink, who is an absolutely fantastic and incredibly accomplished academic and computer scientist. She focuses in her research on music technology, interactive tools for like performance and, and like using artificial intelligence for for that. And what I also adore about Rebecca is that she really questions the status quo within the industry and academia as well. With her work and her lectures, she goes out there, shares her expertise and just very unapologetically questions the habits that are very ingrained. So she’s such a role model for me. This is great.

But also personally she’s she’s a very kind and incredibly fun person and very very supportive for everybody and she’s such a magnet for women. Also she’s a role model for everybody and last term she organizes this weekly meetings where people she supervises or works with join and share their progress and last term there were women only in this very male dominated field.  And that felt so refreshing. It felt like, wow, this is great. And I thought,, we’ve made such progress. This is fantastic. And then I went for a meetup in a different university and got like, you know, disillusioned again, but, this feels we have our safe space of like absolutely badass women sharing their innovative research. This is incredibly inspiring. So yeah, shout out to Rebecca. She’s amazing. Please everybody check out her research. I love reading her papers. 

Rachael Naylor: Fantastic. And Rebekah, what about you? 

Rebekah Wilson: I have three just going to touch on quickly. One is our new president of the Audio Engineering Society, Leslie Gaston-Bird. Again, I need an hour to talk about her. She’s extraordinary. And the fact that she’s now our president, something really important happened. It became normal to be a woman in the audio engineering society. I can’t tell you how nerdy it, that place has been for, at the beginning of my career, I was just like, Oh no, I’m not having anything to do with that.  I didn’t even imagine I would belong. But over the last few years certainly also what Heather mentioned, a lot of allies, you know, a lot of male allies have been pulling us in. I suddenly feel like I could walk around this conference and I’m completely normal, you know, which is what I just said: we just want to feel normal, like, oh, it’s not unusual. And so thank you, Leslie, so much. She also just posted for the Women’s Day, a list of all the groups out there that’s gotten really long. It includes some of what Lisa and Heather did. I’ll put that on the YouTube link afterwards. You can see it’s a great long, long, long list.

The other person who’s been really important to me is a woman called Elizabeth Shimana. She’s an Austrian composer. When I met her 20 years ago we were talking and she says as a composer you notice that there’s almost no books written about other women composers as if women composers did not exist. You know, historically, most people could not name another woman composer. I mean, unless you are in a composer yourself. And so she said, well, then I’ll just write the books. And so she started writing about women composers, her contemporaries, and she did a series. I was very honored to be one of those.  She just went and did it. She’s like, I’m not seeing it in the world, so I’ll make it happen. And then the last one was about her, thankfully, because of course she needs to be in it as well. And so she taught me that you can control history. And that’s something important for our daughters and our granddaughters.

So that’s important there. And then the person who really inspires me so much is here, Heather. Just to say in person and to tell the world, because you need to know her. She’s one of those super connectors. She knows every woman in the business and Heather isn’t just friendly, but fiercely supportive.  And she introduces to everyone she thinks I need to know, and she does this for everybody. And I was trying to think about what is it about Heather that is so special and unlike me, and I’m trying to learn this, she does not ask for validation from the world. So she carries something inside her that is already validated.  I don’t know what gift that is you have Heather, you’re very lucky to have it, but I’m learning it from you. I’m stopping to ask for permission from the world to exist as a woman in the audio industry. Thank you. 

Heather Rafter: It’s really being empowered and held up by so many people. That brings the confidence almost going to cry. 

Rachael Naylor: That was so lovely. How beautifully said. But I’ll give you a minute, Heather, before I come back to you. I was going to jump to you, but I’ll go to Jazzy. How about you? 

Jazzy Frizzle: Oh my. So first off Carin Gilfry who does a lot of work with NAVA, like, she’s amazing. Everything that she’s been fighting for in the voice acting space and the industry has been like props, because  it is a lot to shoulder. But outside of Carin, just seeing especially highlighting like Kris Summers, Mara Juno, Debra Wilson, being a Black woman, again, like, Debra’s  fantastic.

Rachael Naylor: I love that woman. She’s a powerhouse. 

Jazzy Frizzle: So much. Yeah, but just seeing as a Black woman, again, realizing that this is a career you could have, seeing somebody who looks like you in the industry, but then also just seeing Black women exist in a space, not highlighting being that they’re Black, just killing it across the board. Just booking because they’re talented instead of just being tokenized in the industry is fantastic. And it definitely inspires . Nice shout out to us. 

Rachael Naylor: Fantastic. And Tania, what about you? 

Tania Possick: I just wanna shout out some close friends, but also to all the women in VO community who inspire me every single day. Students, people just getting into the industry people who have decided to come back to this industry after many years. I hear these stories all the time and I go, holy, you know it’s so amazing that you stopped and decided to follow your dream for whatever reason, maybe they got straight off the path and decided that they just wanted to come back to it. It’s super inspiring to me, but I wanted to shout out my friend Zuleika Deciga, and she’s super amazing in the Latina community. And I love talking to her, she’s a powerhouse. She’s so amazing. So funny. She’s just someone who uplifts and, and also my friend Kirsten Day, she co owns Sound On Studio with her husband, Steve. And she just really is a ray of sunshine in the voiceover community. The way that people come into our classes at Sound On and feel accepted and not judged. I feel like that’s so important. 

For women in the community, I see a lot of groups often try to downplay women’s questions or minorities questions like, well, it’s on Google. Didn’t you try? But there are people like Kirsten will like actually answer your questions because it’s not that easy. They want your opinion. You know, I love to give my opinion versus trying to shoo people away. And so when I see these two women, not only are they mom, they’re multi-hyphenates, you know, they’re actors, they’re running their business, they’re moms.  And I’m just like sitting back going, you’re amazing. And like Jazzy said, Cree Summer, she’s my favorite. Amazing. Never met her, but she’s just. I admire her work so much. 

Rachael Naylor: And Alyx, what about you? 

Alyx Jones: Yeah, I have two. When I was a student, I studied music tech and then music composition for my master’s and so I was originally gonna do music, be a rock star, whatever it may be and then I found video game music, but I struggled to find many female composers and like Rebekah said, even in the curriculum at university, and this wasn’t that long ago, there was literally not many female composers talked about, but we did bring that up and they changed the curriculum, but it was not that long ago, five or six years ago. But one of the people who I really liked was Jessica Curry, she’s a really amazing composer for games and she’s won BAFTAs for her score for ‘Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture’ but the thing that I really love about her is how authentic she is and she is quite a personality and she talks very honestly about her experiences as a woman in the industry and then she was quite a figure for championing game music to be recognized as a form of classical music, and so did the first Classic FM show about game music.

So she was my first one. And the second, she’s so, so good. Kirstie Gillmore is our voice and casting director, and she’s like a powerhouse. I love her, but she works so hard to cast the right people for the roles and we’re a tiny indie game and we’re working with some really difficult topics and I appreciate the weight that that puts on a voice director to deal with things like abuse and direct the session and deal with your own personal and all of that. I think we do a good job of making sure the voice actors are taken care of but it’s because Kirstie advocates for them regularly.

Rachael Naylor: And I do want to just tell everybody about your game because you you sent me the the promo for your game and it made me cry. It’s so beautiful and incredible and I’m really excited that you’re making it. Can you tell everyone what it’s called? 

Alyx Jones: Yes, it’s called The Quiet Things.
Rachael Naylor: So check it out when it launches, keep an eye out guys, because it’s going to be a beautiful game and, and well done for sharing and doing something so vulnerable. And Heather, what about you? 

Heather Rafter: Still recovering from the kindness of Rebekah. I just first want to probably give a shout out to I suspect most of us had strong mothers in our lives who gave us the vision to move forward and shaped us in whatever way it is to take the paths that to forge ahead. 

And also to my daughter who it’s crazy and wonderful and empowering to see her generation and how they’re moving forward with greater confidence, I think, and not being the first and just navigating and not thinking you have to be subservient and not thinking you have to be obsequious, just boldly going.

So she’s in her twenties, 24. And I just want to really want to give it a shout out for what I’m learning from her. But the two women, and this was not planned, the two women and picking up on a phrase that Alyx used that I want to kind of compare quickly because I know we don’t have a lot of time and give an enormous shout out to because they inspire me so much is Rebekah and EveAnna Manley.

I don’t know how many you know EveAnna, she runs Manly Labs, they make vacuum tubes and voxboxs used with microphones at the Sphere. She’s an incredibly powerful wonderful woman. And the similarities, why I picked these two is they are both incredibly authentic. They’re authentic how they dress. We didn’t talk about that. You should see Rebekah decided to be the boldest dresser I’ve ever seen at NAB. Van is totally authentic and who she is. EveAnna Manley is known as Van. She rides motorcycles. She’s just who she is and so proud about that. And both of them give back tremendously.

EveAnna won a SheRocks award. They’re just so authentic. They run companies. They both have backgrounds in music, Rebekah in music composition. EveAnna graduated in degree in music from Columbia university and Ivy leaguer. And they took that passion to channel it into running companies and each of them know every detail about their company.  Van has given me tours of her factory. She knows everything about how the products are manufactured in this factory and she know like every little detail and the same is true of Rebekah. 

And the last thing I wanted to say is I’ve seen Rebekah mentor women around the world. She makes a point of hiring people. In the Ukraine, not just cause they’re women, but they happen to be women but because she knows that’s the best way she can give back and hiring Ukrainian engineers. I’ve seen her on calls, once again, tears, right? Very emotional conversations. “How are you? How are you doing?” She checks in even when I don’t want her to check in on me. “Heather, are you okay? I know things are rough right now. Are things good?” And I just went on a trip with EveAnnae. The bonding these two women provide not just to me, but to many others and their knowledge as CEOs of companies and their authenticity.  They deserve a major shoutout.

Rachael Naylor: I love that. Oh, that’s so beautiful. So beautiful. And thank you everyone. I’ll throw mine in. So in terms of in the industry, someone who has inspired me is Jamie Sparer Roberts, and she is an incredible casting director who has worked for Disney, and she cast all the Disney movies, Frozen, Moana, Encanto, some incredible movies that have represented Disney.

So many different ethnicities and so many strong women, you know, Frozen is such an incredible film because it really shows strong women not having to rely on a man, you know, and I love that, you know, it’s about sister love as opposed to being kissed and by a man, magically coming back to life.

So Jamie Sparer Roberts is one of mine. And she a wonderful woman to who I reached out. I always thought she was like this, Oh my God, totally out of reach. I would never, you know, be able to contact her. And I reached out to her and she was so generous and so kind. She came on our podcast and we’ve become really good friends and she then without asking went on to recommend me and the Voiceover Network to lots of casting directors including the casting directors at Pixar who then I’ve become friends with so she was generous with her connections and just such a genuinely lovely person so she is one of them. 

The other person I, I wanted to kind of give a shout out to was Selma Blair. She’s an actor. She’s done voiceovers. She is an incredible inspiration to me as I have MS and we were diagnosed at around the same time and.. just saying her name kind of makes me feel emotional because she’s such an inspiration to me and to so many, and she’s really getting the word out about MS and awareness and showing people that no matter what, you can go on dancing with the stars.

So that’s my second one. And my third one she’s not in our industry. She wasn’t in our industry, but she is somebody who I’m not sure if I’d be doing what I’m doing if I hadn’t found out about her. So just a quick little story for you guys. My aunt was diagnosed with terminal cancer, which was devastating. This is years ago, a long time ago. And my other aunt decided to do the family tree. You know, as a kind of nice thing, you know and we found out that my great, great, great grandmother was a woman called Mary Sumner. And in 1876, she started an organization called the Mother’s Union. And back then this was, I mean, it was incredible what she did. She brought women together in the church of all different classes. This was not done. You did not bring women together of different classes. This was just absolutely groundbreaking at that time. And her mission was to get the women’s role as a mother to be respected and on a par with a man going to work.

That was her mission. And whenever I’m having tough times with my business, I think back and I think, my goodness, what that woman must have gone through and the challenges she must have gone through back then, is just amazing. And the organization is still going today. And they’ve got, I think, 4 million members around the world.

So that has been a massive inspiration to me. And I think that that that’s really important for us. And I think I love being a voice actor, but realizing that I can help other voice actors on their journey and empower them to follow their dreams and do a job that they love, which then the ripple effect of that, you know, the butterfly effect of that is, is so incredible. I want to leave the planet better than when I arrived. And that’s, you know, my mission with the voiceover network is empowering people to follow their dreams and do a job that they love. And yeah, so there we go. Wow. What an incredible webinar and you are all amazing.

It’s just been such an honor. I know that everybody watching, thank you everybody for joining us from around the world. Do connect with us all on social media. We’re all on social media. It’s all about us coming together and, and supporting each other and uplifting other women in the industry made.

Rebekah Wilson: A very good recommendation from Heather: if we end today with sharing what brings us personal joy and mental health, beyond this wonderful talk.

Heather Rafter: I first didn’t mention the shout out of the incredible woman in my law firm, Jessica and Nikki and other interns who support me and give me joy because I couldn’t do this job without them.

So I want to mention them. But I’m about to run off to yoga, and I find that my one tip for everyone is you have to find a source of stress reduction. And so whatever it is that brings you joy, for me it’s going to concerts as well. I go to at least one or two a week, kind of awkwardly wonderful, and I do yoga every day I can. So that brings me joy, besides all of you incredible women out there who have supported me. Fantastic.

Rachael Naylor: Namaste. And Jazzy, what about you? 

Jazzy Frizzle: So one thing I didn’t express, I have a one month old, so I just had a baby, so keeping the postpartum at bay is, you know, always a challenge. But I love going to the movie theater by myself. There’s something, you know. Watching movies alone. I love to travel. So just going out and like eating and, you know, things like that. And taking naps. Naps are very, very nice. 

Rachael Naylor: Yes. I love naps too. Definitely. And Lisa, what about you? 

Lisa Machac: Well, I just want to tell Jazzy you should come to Austin because the Alamo Drafthouse Movie Theater has Baby Day. And on Tuesdays you can take your baby and they can make all the noise they want and you get to stay. So it’s the best. 

Jazzy Frizzle: I’m in. I’m in.

Lisa Machac: Let’s see. I coach musicians too, as a project manager and just helping them kind of get music released and websites built and things like that. And the number one thing that I actually start with is just like your survival basics. Like make sure that you have a safe and healthy home. Make sure that you have income that’s coming in from something other than your, your art or your side hustle.

If you’re not quite there yet, get those basic needs met. I’ve had an experience recently where my housing has come into question a little bit and I’m just like completely unbelievably stressed out. And like, it just is such a reminder of how big of a gift that is that I take for granted that those basic needs are met.

And so if you’re starting for rock bottom, that is the first thing to get to get taken care of before we tackle anything else. So just a reminder on how important that is. 

Rachael Naylor: And Alyx, what about you? 

Alyx Jones: Yeah, I think live music and games are the main things that I like. I go to a lot of live music, rock, orchestra things, whatever. Just find a random cheap show in the back of a pub and go because you never know what you’re going to find. Like, I love those. Moments and especially on your own as well. Like I just pick stuff and go. It’s great. Recommend it do something random 

Rachael Naylor: Excellent, I love that.

Anna Wszeborowska: My brain likes novelty. So I think that helps me disconnect a little bit and just experience something new many times. It’s just going to see a show a live gig, a jam session usually can surprise you a lot. So I’m a big fan of these and I go to a lot of shows, experimental gigs, which sometimes is a lot of noise and unpredictable sounds, which I find weirdly, pretty deeply emotionally validating. 

So that’s what I like that helps. So yeah, I feel like when I feel validated by art somehow and I connect with it. I think that helps me a lot. So I try to also go to art galleries and engage with visual arts that also does a similar thing. So that helps me a lot and also walks in a park. I think greenery is, yeah, underestimated.  Like it has a massive calming effect on me. So I’m like, really, I really enjoy living next to a big park in East London. I also have problems with that. Maybe I will have to move, but I’m not looking forward to moving away from a big park. And before I let go, I just wanted to say to Jazzy, I don’t know how you’re doing this. You know, one month old and you’re sounding great and empowering everybody. I mean, I’m in awe. I don’t know what it’s like, but this is incredible.

Rachael Naylor: Oh, amazing. And Tania, what about you?

Tania Possick: I’m a person who also likes to do something a little physical. I’m not a great napper, so I long walks as well.  And I like listening to audio books. I’m enroute to listening slash reading 50 books this year. So squeezing it in whenever I can is fun and relaxing for me and dancing around the house. That’s fun. It’s just, I love doing that. And also going to concerts. I love doing that too. 

Rachael Naylor: Excellent. And Rebekah?

Rebekah Wilson: On Sundays I like to just spend hours in the kitchen. I don’t know what I’m cooking. It doesn’t matter. Maybe it’s food. Maybe it’s not, but I’m not at the computer. I’m listening to some music or some podcasts. I’m just standing up, you know, I’m being active and it’s that. Disconnect. Long walks is great too, but Sundays, me in the kitchen by myself, no one’s allowed in. That’s a great way to just disconnect. 

Rachael Naylor: And mine, yeah, dancing and singing around the kitchen with my two girls is definitely the best that I love and our house is full of singing.

But the other thing that I feel is super, super important and it, I honestly think it saved my life. After my diagnosis is meditation. So meditation guys is so powerful and so amazing. And if you haven’t tried it, give it a try. There’s lots of ways that you can do it with, you know, lots of different apps and guided meditation, but just taking that time to center and breathe. And so there’s so many things around us. We’re being told things and there’s so much demand of our attention and just taking that time to go within. It’s so important. And we can do a lot of healing to ourselves. So that’s my little thing.  Meditation. If you haven’t done it, go, go give it a go. Excellent. Right guys. Well, that rounds us up. 

So I’ve got to run and take my girls to singing lessons, so that they can get out there and sing their little hearts out. But it has been amazing. Thank you so much, everyone, for joining us today. It’s really been wonderful to speak to all of you incredible guests. And thank you. Rebekah, because we came together and were, right we’re going to do this thing, the Voiceover Network and Source Elements.

Rebekah Wilson: We must thank Kike because he made me reach out to you. I was like, I’m busy, I know it’s important, but I’m busy. Thank you, Kike. Kike, you are an amazing human being. 

Rachael Naylor: Our superstars behind the scenes. And I’m going to give a shout out to Lisa as well who’s in the chat. I know she’s answering your questions guys. So yeah, Kike and Lisa who, who make things happen. Thank you. And yeah, thank you to all of you guys for coming onto this webinar. It’s been really lovely. I wish we just wish we had longer. We’ll have to do another one where we can delve deeper and find out more about all of your amazing lives and the things that you’re doing.

Well, thank you so much, everybody. Thanks so much love. Here’s to celebrating women in audio, have a wonderful international women’s day, everybody. And feel free to come connect with us and on social media and, and see what everybody’s up to. Take care, everyone.


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