From the Disney Parks Blog and written by: Leonard Spencer
The month of February marks Black History Month, which lends the perfect opportunity to introduce myself – but more importantly, to introduce The Walt Disney Company’s Supplier Diversity team and the passion that drives the work we do each and every day to positively impact the diverse supplier community.
I’ve been living the Disney dream since 2005 when I first started with The Walt Disney Company as a senior financial analyst, but my passion for diversity and inclusion stems from life-long core values. From attending Tuskegee University, a Historically Black College and University, to continue my higher education at The University of Alabama, I have always believed that there is value in every individual no matter their background or beliefs. With this in mind, my passion to make a difference in the lives of those who are historically disadvantaged has been a firm driver of my almost two-decade-long career and eventually led me to my current role as a senior manager of supplier diversity. For me, it’s about trying to make the world a just and equitable place for everyone.
Meet the Supplier Diversity Team
As part of The Walt Disney Company’s Supplier Diversity team, I work with my amazing colleagues to identify and include diverse suppliers in our sourcing processes. This means providing opportunities to business owners from varying backgrounds including people of color, women, veterans, service-disabled veterans, LGBTQ+ and disabled business owners. Our work gives a voice to diverse suppliers by advocating on their behalf, enabling opportunities for their participation and by working to educate everyone, inside and outside of our company, on the tremendous impact inclusion and diversity positively translates to within businesses and beyond.
You might have unknowingly already come across our work without even realizing it. For example, one of our bottling suppliers responsible for getting guest-favorite beverages into our parks is one of the largest African American-owned businesses in the State of Florida. Have you been to Batuu to experience the groundbreaking technology at Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge in Disneyland? Well, a woman-owned firm that has provided engineering services to the park for many years helped bring the experience to life. These are just two of the many examples of diverse suppliers that my team and I work to contract with The Walt Disney Company.
For us, we believe that providing opportunities to diverse suppliers creates a domino effect that positively impacts everyone. We’ve opened our sourcing process to ensure that everyone has an opportunity to participate – because when everyone participates, everyone wins. I’m thankful that my team and The Walt Disney Company are doing our part to leave a lasting and positive mark on the business community and diverse entrepreneurs around the country.
During Black History Month – and every day – we proudly unite in celebrating the cultures that bring us together and make up our communities. We look forward to continuing to share more stories about the impact we’re driving around the world. We invite you to be a part of our magic and learn more about our Supplier Diversity efforts at The Walt Disney Company by visiting https://supplierdiversity.disney.com/.