Power of One: Championing Diversity in Disneyland Entertainment Tech Services

Sasha Azoqa

by , Internal Communications Manager, Disneyland Resort

As part of the Disney100 Celebration at Disneyland Resort and the “World of Color – ONE” spectacular, we are highlighting cast members who, like our new show, exemplify how one small idea or action – like a single drop of water – can create a ripple that grows into a wave of positive change. Today, let’s meet Kim Oliveras, operations manager for the Entertainment, Technical and Show Services team.

From characters who take flight during theatrical shows to the background music playing in the parks, Kim Oliveras’ Entertainment, Technical and Show Services team is behind much of the magic at the Disneyland Resort.

“Our team is responsible for all technical elements around entertainment, which includes lighting, audio, video production and automation,” said Kim. “All of these technical elements come together to tell the unique story behind every show or entertainment offering.”

But when Kim first joined the team as a leader three years ago, she didn’t see anyone else who looked like her.

“For a woman to be taking the role for the first time, and also a woman of color, was pretty significant, and I didn’t take it lightly,” said Kim, who oversees a team of 400 cast members in what traditionally has been a male-dominated field. “In my whole career, I haven’t always seen people who look like me, whether it’s my peers or leaders. I always knew that when I got to a place that I can make a difference or make an impact, that I would reach back and help others so that they can reach their full potential.”

Kim has made diversity a top priority and focuses on hiring cast not only of diverse cultures, but of diverse thoughts, backgrounds and experiences. “My authentic self is a brown Latina,” said Kim, who started her career at Disneyland Resort 25 years ago as a facilities operations integration coordinator and has earned the Walt Disney Legacy Award. “I always stay true to who I am, and I encourage my team to stay true to who they are.”

David Miller, general manager of Technical Services, calls Kim’s work “a perfect example of making inclusion effortless. Her hiring decisions within the leadership of Tech and Show Services have given rise to one of the most diverse teams I can think of in what was traditionally a white and male-dominated area.”

Kim often hears from her team members how impactful it is to have more diverse representation in their department. “They tell me, we finally feel a part of something … and I think that’s really important.”

She also delights in mentoring future leaders. “I have seen the diversity on my team change in the area of leadership,” said Kim. “I have always believed, ‘If you can see it, you can be it!’ I’ve had more conversations in the recent years from strong, brilliant, up-and-coming leaders, some of whom happen to be women, who want to know how they can be part of our team.”

The diversity that Kim has championed has only strengthened her team’s ability to create powerful, innovative storytelling moments in the parks that are forever memorable to guests from around the world.

“To know that we put on live entertainment every single day to our guests is an incredible feeling,” said Kim. “When you hear the downbeat of ‘World of Color,’ and you see and hear the guests’ awe, it’s pretty exciting.”