The Toy Foundation’s DEI Pipeline Program Offers New Opportunities to Engage the Next Generation of Talent

toy-foundation-dei-programApril 10, 2023 | Diverse, young talent within the toy industry is key to instilling a culture of inclusion and equity within the industry, opening doors for all communities, and providing families with diverse, inclusive ways to play.

To support the industry in becoming more diverse, equitable, and inclusive, The Toy Foundation’s (TTF) Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Pipeline Program is offering toy companies new opportunities to connect with talented university students of varied backgrounds and educational focuses. Through virtual meetings and in-person events, companies will be able to hear the students’ insights on DEI within the industry, share their own philanthropic and CSR work, and potentially hire for internship and entry level positions.

Toy companies and professionals are invited to get involved in TTF’s DEI Pipeline Program by:

  1. Helping develop its fall 2023 semester collegiate case study program, which TTF is piloting at the University of Maryland (UMD) during the spring 2023 semester, by submitting a problem, goal, or question for participating college and university students to respond to;
  2. Serving as a mentor to these students and exchanging ideas to guide their case solutions with the goal of furthering the toy industry with DEI and philanthropy at the center;
  3. And developing and/or participating in workshops, mentorship, and recruitment opportunities at Toy Fair® this fall.

If you are interested in these opportunities or would like to sponsor the DEI Pipeline Program, contact TTF’s John Fistolera. Companies of all sizes and professionals at every career level and in every field of work are encouraged to participate in any capacity they can.

Currently, TTF’s pilot collegiate case study program with UMD students who are examining the intersectional impact of philanthropy, corporate social responsibility (CSR), and DEI within the toy industry. Experts from Paramount, Target, Thames & Kosmos, and The Walt Disney Company have joined virtual weekly class meetings to converse with and mentor students as they refine their case solutions.

“The weekly meetings with students are an incredible platform for exchanging thoughts and ideas about philanthropy, CSR, and DEI in our industry,” said Andy Quartin, CEO of Thames & Kosmos and chair of The Toy Foundation’s Board of Trustees. “It’s an honor to be able to offer my perspectives while also learning from the bright minds in the class. I highly recommend joining a virtual class for a similar enriching experience.”

TTF invites professionals of all career levels and fields of work to join the final two 2023 spring semester class meetings on April 11 and 18 from 5:30 – 6:30 p.m. EST via Zoom. Participants will be invited to introduce themselves, their company and specific role in the toy industry, listen and respond to the students’ pitch to test their case solution, and answer industry specific questions to refine their solution. RSVP to receive the meeting invite here.

This summer, following the close of the current collegiate case study program at UMD, TTF’s DEI Committee, university partners, program sponsors, and participating professionals will work together to develop the case topic for the fall 2023 semester.

TTF will also host DEI program activities at The Toy Association’s Toy Fair (taking place September 30 to October 3) to connect industry professionals with students. Activities include educational workshops and panel discussions, mentorship matching, and recruitment opportunities. Visit TTF’s website and LinkedIn for updates as the program develops.

To learn more about The Toy Foundation, visit