As Disney staffers known as cast members return to their jobs at Disneyland and the company’s other facilities around the world, they’ll have more options about how they dress for work. New dress code guidance allows for what a statement from Disney refers to as “greater flexibility with respect to forms of personal expression.”
That will include cast members being able to opt for culture- and gender-inclusive hair, nail, jewelry, and costume selections, and will allow “appropriate” tattoos to remain visible.
“We’re updating [the guidelines] to not only remain relevant in today’s workplace, but also enable our cast members to better express their cultures and individuality at work,” Josh D’Amaro, the chairman of Disney Parks, Experiences, and Products, writes on behalf of the company.
D’Amaro describes the policy as part of a global initiative to promote inclusivity across the company and its parks, adding the value as a new, fifth “key” to the company’s “Four Keys” tradition for cast members that dates back to the founding of Disneyland. Inclusivity will now be enshrined along the previous “keys,” safety, courtesy, show, and efficiency.
“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,” D’Amaro writes. “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.”
This is not the first time that Disney has taken a corporate stance in support of LGBTQ staff and patrons. The company has earned a rare perfect score for LGBTQ workplace equality from the Corporate Equality Index and was named a “best place to work” by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation. Disney began offering health benefits for same-sex partners in 1995, when doing so was less common than it is now, and instituted Pride-themed “Gay Days” at the parks starting in 1991.
Disney’s inclusivity initiatives will extend beyond cast member uniforms to also include creating attractions that celebrate a wider array of characters and cultures, and a commitment to increase purchasing from diverse-owned vendors.
“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,” D’Amaro writes. “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.”
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