As senior vice president and general manager of Disney Channels EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa), Hélène Etzi oversees Disneybranded television channels available in 117 countries and 22 languages, and leads teams in charge of programming, production and acquisitions, marketing and operations. Etzi’s responsibilities include the development of Disneybranded channels in the digital world by creating new experiences on all platforms, consolidating Disney Channels’ audience leadership throughout EMEA, and increasing the local production of new content and the emergence of local talent.
Previously, Etzi was vice president and general manager of Disney Channels France and chief marketing officer for The Walt Disney Company France. She was responsible for marketing Disney brands in France and developing the franchise portfolio. Under her leadership, Disney Channels France won prestigious industry honors.
Etzi thinks that although diversity as a concept is very simple, it’s very complicated to execute. “To me, diversity and inclusion mean that workplaces reflect the world we are living in.” With regard to diversity in media, she has this to say, “As storytellers, I think we have a huge responsibility and must take it very seriously. The characters in our stories are role models for many kids – and their families. Every day, we help shape their view of the world, their understanding of the roles of women and men, and their aspirations for the future (from both a personal and professional point of view). Our content is designed to entertain them, of course, but it should also trigger conversations with their friends, their caregivers and their parents.”
Etzi offers this advice to women, “Trust yourselves, follow your instincts and your heart, and fight for what you believe in – your values, your ideas, your vision of the future and your management style. After you, your boss and a few key people on your team are the most important resources in your career. Make sure you share something in common, or something complementary, with them. This is important, as you need to develop a relationship based on trust, goodwill and kindness. Be fair and respectful – however, be careful not to be naive or weak.”