Ayo Davis

Davis, an 18-year Disney vet, received two promotions in less than a year. In September, she was upped to her current role, replacing longtime Disney exec Gary Marsh. She has had an active 12 months overseeing all live-action programming and helping fuel the company’s Disney+ streaming platform with imaginative projects geared toward kids, tweens, teens and families. In fact, buzz around Disney+ successfully drove an additional 12.4 million subs to the platform in August alone, rounding out total subscribership at 116 million. No one is a better cheerleader for Disney than Davis, who is proud of the company’s efforts in the area of diversity. “Access can be very different for various groups of people,” she says. “The company has many programs in play right now that are action-based and create change.”

Best advice for someone looking to re-enter the workforce after a hiatus?
Know and understand your value. Just because you took a hiatus doesn’t mean you lost the skills and knowledge that make you great. I think it’s essential to have a strong personal narrative that sums up who you are and what you bring to the table. Work the hiatus into your personal story as a beneficial experience in terms of your growth and development. And remember, relationships are so important — use and invest in them.

What’s one way your company has broadened the recruiting process to ensure greater diversity?
The Walt Disney Company is committed to improving diversity, equity and inclusion. Access can be very different for various groups of people. The company has many programs in play right now that are action-based and create change. As leaders, it is our responsibility to take an active role to ensure that our teams are diverse and dynamic. One such program that resonates with me is the Disney General Entertainment Executive Incubator Program, which identifies talent and jump-starts their career as an executive with a two-year rotation through various lines of business at DGE.

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