Matt Stroshane/Disney Parks
Disney Parks has updated its employee dress code as part of an ongoing effort to make its guest experiences and work environment more inclusive.
On Tuesday, Josh D'Amaro, Chairman of Disney Parks, Experiences and Products, announced in a blog post on the company's website that a new initiative will allow employees (which they refer to as "cast members") greater flexibility when it comes to their costumes, hairstyles and more.
"It's important to me to share how we're creating a place where everyone is welcome and taking action to create meaningful change," D'Amaro wrote. "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."
The blog post went on to share that Disney listened to employee reviews and suggestions by adding a fifth pillar to its "four keys" (safety, courtesy, show and efficiency).
D'Amaro explained that "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," he continued. "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."
D'Amaro explained that they "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 that extends to employees as well. "And we want our cast members – and future cast members – to feel a sense of belonging at work."
The post concluded with D'Amaro acknowledging that "the world is changing" and Disney parks is committed to "change with it." He said the company believes that cast members —
"who are at the center of the magic that lives in all [Disney] experiences" — will do their best work when they have the freedom to express themselves.
"There's more to do, but we're committed to listening, learning and making meaningful improvements."
"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," he wrote. "Thank you for joining us on this journey."