Having a diverse team with a variety of backgrounds helps Disney achieve its biggest goals and develop stories that delight audiences around the world. Hiring and retaining high-potential leaders is an important part of building teams throughout the Company.
The Black Enterprise Women of Power Summit, held this month in Phoenix, Arizona, is one of the only national events focused on black women in management and executive positions across the U.S. This year, for the first time, The Walt Disney Company was a sponsor of the event, and more than 30 women leaders from Disney, ABC and ESPN attended the three-day summit.
Attended by some of the top black women executives in business, the summit provided sessions focused on leadership skills—including being influential in the workplace, managing career transitions and supporting women through mentoring and sponsorship. The event aligns with Disney’s commitment to support advances in workplace inclusion.
“The summit was an invaluable learning and development experience as well as a great opportunity to connect in person with colleagues across The Walt Disney company and hear from African American women leaders at other companies,” said Angela Woods, director of Corporate Citizenship at ESPN.
Disney hosted a Power Lunch during the conference with a panel of entertainment leaders titled “Transforming an Industry, One Successful Sister at a Time.” The speakers were Jamila Hunter, senior vice president of comedy development, ABC; Debra Martin Chase, producer and president, Martin Chase Productions; and Nina L. Shaw, founding partner, Del Shaw Moonves Tanaka Finkelstein & Lezcano. The three executives discussed inclusive films and television shows and the progress that leads to stories that focus on black characters and are produced by diverse talent, including directors and crews.
As part of the annual summit, Black Enterprise editors recognize the Most Powerful Women in Business. ABC Entertainment President Channing Dungey was one of this year’s honorees and was featured in the magazine.
The summit provided an opportunity for attendees from Disney, ABC and ESPN offices across the country to meet, as well as focus on professional development. The event also provided a way for Disney to interact with high-potential talent from across the country.
“We were excited to have leaders from across our company experience the summit and share in discussions that help women grow professionally,” said Belinda Frazier, director of diversity outreach for The Walt Disney Company. “Each of us gained insights that will help us continue to support workplace inclusion and contribute to telling stories that reflect our global community.”