Disneyland Paris continues to introduce its magic makers with regular interviews with cast members about what they do, how they got to where they are, and other details about their positions. The newest interview that has been released is with Sophie Pedemonte, a Prevention Senior Manager at Disneyland Paris. In the following interview she shares about what she does, how she gets there, and the bigger picture focus of what her team does.
Could you introduce your profession in a few words?
I am a Prevention Senior Manager, and I am part of the Safety and Risk Prevention department within the FOS (maintenance) division. I have four teams under my leadership, including the Safety Culture, Prevention and Operating Process, Quality Assurance and Quality Control teams, which bring together around forty Cast Members.
Since 2012, I have also been in charge of implementing the Disney “Wild About Safety” program in France and across Europe. This program – which represents one of the biggest projects of my career – aims at raising awareness about risk prevention among children.
Can you tell us about your professional journey within the company. Why did you apply for a position at Disneyland Paris?
I first enrolled in a Classical Studies program. At that time, my mother – who was already collaborating with Disney as part of her profession as a fashion designer – encouraged me to apply for a Food & Beverage hostess position prior to the grand opening of Disneyland Paris. I was hired at Silver Spur Steakhouse, where I got to serve former French President Jacques Chirac on opening day! I then had an opportunity to become a trainee manager at Café Hyperion, where I got to expand my expertise thanks to my team leaders, as my tasks were way different from those, I was assigned in a table service restaurant setting. Additionally, at the time, Café Hyperion was the counter service restaurant that served the largest number of meals in Europe.
Thereafter, I was compelled to leave Operations teams due to health issues. I continued my journey within the Human Resources division, where I took on various roles that notably focused on the development of training courses for new Cast Members and guest satisfaction analysis.
My career took a new turn when I joined the Safety division, and especially the “Safety Culture” team, whose mission consists of raising awareness and giving Cast Members the keys to adopt the right gestures for working in a safe environment every day. We also have implemented the “Wild About Safety” awareness-raising program and we were the first Disney Park in the world to promote it through the TV sets installed in our hotels.
What are your everyday missions?
My scope of responsibilities broadened over time, and I am now at the head of four teams:
- The Culture team that is charge of raising awareness and developing communications around the safety topic for all divisions across Disneyland Paris.
- The Prevention and Operating Process team that brings together former Cast Members who – in light of their hands-on knowledge – are able to train Cast Members on operating procedures. They write operating procedures and help instructors get familiar with them.
- The Quality Assurance team that ensures regulatory compliance and audit management.
- The Quality Control team that makes sure that the spare parts we receive from our suppliers and those that undergo maintenance comply with safety requirements. They are also in charge of ensuring that the metal structures in our attractions remain intact by using ultra-accurate control devices, all the while looking after these tools. Finally, they also are responsible for supplier quality assurance.
I am assisted by fantastic teams, and I always tell people that “I don’t lead teams, but I am part of these teams,” because they help me grow as much as I strive to help them grow.
Our awareness-raising mission extends way beyond Disneyland Paris. Over the past two years, we have taken part in France’s biggest bicycle race event, and we even gave a presentation at the International Safety Education Summit to educate children on the safety issue. Wild About Safety is a program that is beloved by Cast Members because it makes it possible to teach safety rules to children in a caring and playful way.
Which teams do you collaborate with and how do you work together to ensure safety across the resort?
I collaborate with many teams, especially with the Maintenance department that conducts its operations both during the day and at night. I also work alongside Operations teams. Communications teams also help us bring numerous projects to life. All of the teams play a role in ensuring safety at Disneyland Paris.
Can you tell us about a project or a measure that contributed to strengthening safety across the resort, and of which you are particularly proud?
I am very proud of all of the projects we carry out in collaboration with passionate and engaged teams, but if I had to pick one, I would choose the safety culture project.
Our role is to make Cast Members realize that it is important to follow safety instructions to protect oneself and that their behaviors and choices may have a life-saving impact.
I am also particularly proud of the Disney Wild About Safety awareness-raising program, which is intended for children. Also, as part of the collaborative relationship we have had with the National Federation of Firefighters of France since 2016, we are going to raise awareness among children in schools. I think that if we manage to give children the keys to protect themselves in dangerous situations, our mission will be accomplished!
Is there anything you would like to add?
My many years of service have earned me many Disney Awards, but the reward that touched me the most was the Legacy Award. This reward is particularly important to me, and it shows that Disneyland Paris is truly appreciative of all our work.