As vice president of technology for Disney Consumer Products and Interactive Media (DCPI), Nikki Katz is a driving force behind Disney’s efforts to bring its stories to consumers in inventive ways. Her responsibilities range from designing, developing and operating technology platforms that power games and websites; to new, expanded responsibilities in e-commerce. She leads and shapes DCPI’s platform services organization, while delivering large-scale technology solutions that are leveraged across The Walt Disney Company.

She launched her career at Yahoo! as a software engineer and progressed through technology roles across engineering, operations, product and management.

Katz’s focus on improving diversity within technology through education and career enhancing opportunities is groundbreaking, and her innovation and leadership inspire her peers. She believes in creating and investing in programs that will spawn the next generation of women engineers, and is a leader and an example in the technology world.

A champion for women in STEM, Katz helped found DCPI’s Women & Technology, an organization designed to support and grow female talent in technology roles. “I am very proud of our Women & Technology organization,” she notes. “It is a vibrant community of over 300 that continues to grow, achieve, give back and cement Disney’s position as a great workplace for women in technology.”

She is also the primary driving force behind a program that enables employees in non-engineering roles to pursue a new career in engineering.

Katz believes she achieved her leadership organically: “It was through a blend of hard work, an amazing sponsor and mentor, great teams, a supportive family and the opportunities that luck and life afforded me.” She reflects, “I do my best to pay forward the support I’ve received and success I’ve had through the mentorship of, and advocacy for, women at Disney and beyond.”

“Play your own game,” she tells younger coworkers. “Don’t worry about external expectations or limitations. Hard work, big ideas and character are always going to help you win, and are completely within your control. And when you have arrived, reach back to bring other women up with you.”