Ferro is skilled at keeping all the plates spinning. Not only does she lead advertising sales for the company’s entertainment, news, sports and kids linear and digital TV and radio businesses, but also for its ESPN portfolio, the integrated sales team for Disney’s online, mobile and social platforms, and ABC’s eight owned local TV stations. Her advice to industry recruiters is to “make it an imperative in the talent pool of candidates you hire, tie it to the overall company compensation, and ensure that at every meeting, women have an equal number of seats at the table.”
What specifically does your company do to support and elevate the women who work there?
The Walt Disney Co. has always invested in ensuring that diverse talent have the training and development access to grow in their careers. I have been the great beneficiary of several of those programs. One specifically I am currently a mentor of is the Talent Network. This program has 50 women from around the world in variance divisions and disciplines across Disney paired with leaders from across all of these divisions. The goal is not only to provide them mentorship and sponsorship, but also to provide them access to leaders in other areas and to showcase some of our strongest female talent from around the world to leaders looking to fill important roles in their divisions.
How can the industry do a better job of recruiting women and ensuring they have a path to senior positions?
Make it an imperative in the talent pool of candidates you hire, tie it to the overall company compensation, and ensure that at every meeting, women have an equal number of seats at the table.
What advice would you give your 13-year-old self?
There are several important things I say and say often to my 14-year-old daughter, Tatiana, and I wish I knew them earlier: 1) If what you do doesn’t bring you happiness, don’t waste time on it and move onto something else; 2) Don’t be afraid of success, and that means financial success too; 3) Always acknowledge the intention and effort; and 4) Give back, people paved the way for you and it’s your responsibility to do it for others.