“To all who come to this happy place: Welcome.”
Walt Disney spoke these words during the dedication of the Disneyland Resort in 1955. Today, more than 65 years later, they continue to inspire us – and remind us that the magic we make must include everyone.
It’s important to me to share how we’re creating a place where everyone is welcome and taking action to create meaningful change.
We want our guests to see their own backgrounds and traditions reflected in the stories, experiences and products they encounter in their interactions with Disney. And we want our cast members – and future cast members – to feel a sense of belonging at work.
That means cultivating an environment where all people feel welcomed and appreciated for their unique life experiences, perspectives and culture. Where we celebrate allyship and support for each other. And where diverse views and ideas are sought after as critical contributions towards our collective success.
But as with everything we do, this starts with actively listening, learning, and working with our cast and guests to imagine the possibilities.
In 2019, we actively solicited input from our cast members from all over the world – to bring a greater focus to inclusivity and belonging for our cast. They brought forward more than 100 ideas, including one I’d like to share with all of you today.
Every Disney Parks cast member is familiar with our longstanding tradition of The Four Keys – Safety, Courtesy, Show and Efficiency – which have guided our approach to guest service for more than 65 years. The Four Keys are one of the first things that cast members learn about when they join Disney Parks, Experiences and Products, and they are regularly reinforced throughout their tenure. Each cast member is asked to use The Four Keys as the blueprint for the decisions they make during the workday and the approach they bring to their interactions with others. Cast members around the world know them by heart and live by them in their roles every day as they create amazing experiences for our guests.
And when we asked our cast how we could better cultivate a culture of belonging, they suggested the addition of a fifth key: the key of Inclusion. Like The Four Keys before them, The 5 Keys – with Inclusion at the heart – will continue to guide us as we interact with guests, collaborate together, create the next generation of Disney products and experiences, and make critical decisions about the future of our business.
Inclusion is essential to our culture and leads us forward as we continue to realize our rich legacy of engaging storytelling, exceptional service, and Disney magic.
We’re bringing the spirit of the Inclusion Key to life across our business. We’re reimagining our attractions to be more inclusive, like upcoming enhancements to Jungle Cruise and new adventures with Princess Tiana. We’re celebrating the diverse and inspiring stories of our cast and fans with creator collaborations and exciting experiences, like The Soul of Jazz exhibit at Walt Disney World Resort.
We’re also looking at ways we can support and uplift our communities through programs like our Disney Dreamers Academy mentorship programs, and we’re including more diverse companies in our supply chain. In fact, we’re looking at ways to increase our support for diverse suppliers in a big way – we’ll share more details on this commitment in the future.
Our goal is also to have more representation and accountability across our organization, starting with my own leadership team and extending throughout our business worldwide, through tools and mentorship and learning programs that create awareness and foster leadership accountability.
We’re looking at other traditions, too – including the policies that guide how our cast members show up for work. Our new approach provides greater flexibility with respect to forms of personal expression surrounding gender-inclusive hairstyles, jewelry, nail styles, and costume choices; and allowing appropriate visible tattoos. We’re updating them to not only remain relevant in today’s workplace, but also enable our cast members to better express their cultures and individuality at work.
Moving forward, we believe our cast, who are at the center of the magic that lives in all our experiences, can provide the best of Disney’s legendary guest service when they have more options for personal expression – creating richer, more personal and more engaging experiences with our guests.
This is just the beginning as we continue to work toward a world where we all belong – including a more diverse and inclusive Disney Parks, Experiences and Products. There’s more to do, but we’re committed to listening, learning and making meaningful improvements.
The world is changing, and we will change with it, and continue to be a source of joy and inspiration for all the world. We’ll never stop working to make sure that Disney is a welcoming place for all. I’m excited about where we’re headed, and we’ll have more to share soon. Thank you for joining us on this journey.