Since Jen has been part of #LifeAtPetSmart, she has felt as though she belongs. We love that, and we love that she took the time to share her story of belonging with us. Please check it out below!
The Belonging Program’s “I Belong” Series harnesses the power of empathy through storytelling. This series is intended to give associates a greater sense of understanding, a bridge to gain new perspective, and a way to build connection to each other. To learn more about the “I Belong” Series or to submit your stories, associates can visit PetSmart's Belonging Fetch Page.
Meet Jen | Store Leader
In the position I held before I came to PetSmart, I felt unable to be myself. I had come from a “cookie-cutter” culture where everyone was expected to just “fit in” with the “norm.” Being a queer-identifying woman covered in tattoos, this was difficult for me.
When I came to PetSmart, one of the first things I asked in my interview was PetSmart’s view on diversity, especially regarding tattoos and hair color. My District Leader assured me that diversity was celebrated at PetSmart and that everyone could be and show their true selves. On day one, I walked in, tattoos showing, hair purple, and was welcomed with open arms.
Seeing the You Are Loved PRIDE Collection start to arrive in stores, followed by the announcement that we would try to march in the PRIDE Parade in Calgary, cemented that I made the right career choice. Although the pandemic prevented us from walking, we were offered PRIDE shirts and pins, which we were encouraged to wear at work. Seeing a company present me with a rainbow pin stating they believed in unconditional love, multiple social media posts promoting PRIDE, and encouraging me to feel open and safe in this environment was game-changing for me. At that moment, I knew I wanted to build a lifelong career with PetSmart.
I’ve held jobs where I felt I had to hide my orientation, that my superiors and co-workers would think less of me or reject me. I have never once felt that way at PetSmart. Thank you, PetSmart, for creating an incredible, diverse, and safe place for us to express and be ourselves!