TOTY® Awards and Toy Fair® to Spotlight Diverse Students’ Passion for Play

the toy foundation DEI programSeptember 12, 2023 | The next generation of toy industry leaders will be well represented at the Toy of the Year® (TOTY®) Awards and Toy Fair® this year, with students from Baruch College, Fashion Institute of Technology, New York University, and University of Maryland in attendance as part of The Toy Foundation™’s (TTF) curated DEI agenda at both events, the capstone of its Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Pipeline Program.

Purchase tickets to attend the TOTY Awards – industry’s biggest party of the year – taking place September 29 at Cipriani 42nd Street and support TTF’s DEI Pipeline Program.

The primary goals of TTF’s DEI Pipeline Program are to build awareness for careers in the toy industry among underrepresented college and university students, and to create a platform for Toy Association™ member companies to recruit students for intern and first-hire roles. To meet these goals, TTF piloted a case study competition with University of Maryland for which 100 diverse students examined the value and purpose of DEI in the industry. An equally diverse team of professionals from Crazy Aaron’s, Jazwares, Paramount, Target, Thames & Kosmos, and The Walt Disney Company, among others, mentored the students through their case development and helped illustrate the multitude of career pathways available within the industry.

“As a computer engineer, I never thought about a career in the toy industry, but after participating in the case study competition, I’m looking into opportunities once I graduate,” shared Kavin, a student from University of Maryland.

Companies of all sizes and sectors are invited to participate in TTF’s DEI agenda at the TOTY Awards and Toy Fair to connect with the students and learn more about how to participate in the upcoming 2024 case study competition.

“The meetings with students through the DEI Pipeline Program are an incredible platform for exchanging thoughts and ideas about philanthropy, corporate social responsibility, and DEI in our industry,” said Andy Quartin, CEO of Thames & Kosmos and chair of The Toy Foundation’s Board of Trustees.

TTF looks forward to sharing more about the DEI Pipeline Program at the TOTY Awards and Toy Fair. If you’re unable to attend or would like to discuss opportunities sooner, reach out to TTF staff.