Toy Foundation Supports Jazwares’ Internship Experience Centered on Diversity
The Toy Foundation’s DEI Program in Dallas will continue the conversation on the importance of talent from all backgrounds to advance the industry
August 16, 2022 | Aimed at uniting the toy industry behind the shared goal of becoming more diverse, equitable, and inclusive in all that it does and everyone it serves (customers, employees, and suppliers), The Toy Foundation (TTF) is facilitating internship and educational programs that introduce diverse young talent to the industry.
Jazwares, in partnership with TTF, is one of the industry leaders meeting this need through a new internship experience created by Janiece Smith, owner of The Answer Group Consulting, LLC, a female minority-owned firm that puts diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) at its center.
Recruiting and hiring diverse interns can create a pipeline of varied backgrounds and educational focuses for the benefit of the entire toy industry. Smith recently spoke with two of Jazwares’ summer interns, Emma, a pre-law student at the University of Miami, and Ryan, a recent communications graduate from Florida International University, about their experience and how the program can be improved to have a meaningful impact on future interns.
Thanks to support from TTF, Jazwares’ 23 summer interns received external mentorship sessions with Life & Career Planning LLC. Every intern was assigned a coach whom they worked with one on one to develop a unique life and career plan to help them thrive personally and professionally.
“It’s so refreshing to be a part of something where a company is investing in you from a place of care. The mentorship has helped me learn so much more about myself and my career path,” said Ryan. “It opened my eyes and gave me hope that there are career opportunities available in an office environment for creatives like myself where I can get the work done in my way.”
Jazwares prioritizes work-life balance for their interns, and every team member, so all come to work as their best selves. A diverse group of talent and an inclusive environment are also paramount to working at one’s best, where there is an active exchange of fresh ideas and perspectives that will push the company and industry forward.
“It’s important to have diversity and different perspectives where there can be pushback and agreement to innovate and make the company better,” said Emma.
Collaboration, passion, and humility encompass Jazwares’ core values where its greatest strength lies within their talent who share a commitment to improve and innovate together. Sara Rosales, Senior Vice President of Communications at Jazwares, will speak more on the company’s philosophy on why play matters at TTF’s DEI Program, sponsored by Jazwares, which will take place during The Toy Association’s 2023 Preview & 2022 Holiday Market.
“The Toy Foundation is proud to partner with Jazwares and other industry leaders to help push the industry forward and bring in talent from all populations to develop a stronger industry overall,” said Pamela Mastrota, executive director for The Toy Foundation. “We look forward to building similar programs in Dallas and beyond for the benefit of the entire industry.”
The full-day DEI Program is open to show attendees, young professionals, and students. The program starts at 9:30 a.m. on September 21 and will be held on the 12th floor of the Dallas Market Center.
To learn more about The Toy Foundation and its core programs, visit ToyFoundation.org.