Sweeney: Disney is a family-oriented company

Exec says firm is very understanding of working parents

BEVERLY HILLS -- Disney is a very understanding company, especially if you're a mom whose parental duties overlap with work.
That's certainly the impression Anne Sweeney gave while speaking with California First Lady Maria Shriver, "Meet the Press" host David Gregory and others at the Milken Institute Global Conference on Monday.
Sweeney, the co-chair of Disney Media Networks and president of Disney/ABC Television Group, told of driving to her daughter's tennis tournament and receiving a call from Disney CEO Bob Iger.
"He said, 'Oh that's great, where is she playing?' There was never a moment of, 'Gee, I should be at my desk.' "
Gregory, who moderated the panel, likened moms to dads (while sheepishly asking whether it's OK to suggest children react differently when moms aren't around than when dads are out). Is Disney as understanding when it comes to dads? Absolutely, Sweeney said.
"It starts with communication -- the leadership sitting there with all of the employees and getting to know what the issues are."
She boasted of Disney's mentoring program and use of technology that allows parents to work from home.
Shriver -- with her husband, California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, in attendance -- noted that half of the U.S. workforce are women today, and just 20% of U.S. households contain a stay-at-home parent.