Evidence shows, our expectations about the workplace actually start to form as children.

This concept, known as Organizational Readiness, suggests cultural influences – such as TV and film – play a huge role in shaping our perceptions of the working world.

Perhaps no entity has had a greater impact on Organizational Readiness than Disney films.

For decades, popular Disney characters have worked jobs that are less than desirable. The workplaces are usually toxic and bosses are notoriously mean. Whether it’s Cinderella being forced to work for her stepmother, or Pinocchio being abused by Stromboli, many Disney films teach kids that work is not a happy place.

So, what does this evidence-based research mean for business leaders?

Their employees – especially brand-new ones taking on their first jobs – are not a blank slate. Their Organizational Readiness has likely been influenced by Disney-induced prejudices since they were toddlers.

And, while these stereotypes might be based in fantasy, it is the job of real-world managers to overcome them so everyone can work happily ever after.