Kristin was selected as 2022 Woman Of The Year by the Arizona Diversity Council, which was gifted at the Women in Leadership Symposium, hosted by the National Diversity Council in March.
The Woman of the Year Award is a prestigious honor that recognizes extraordinary women who have significantly impacted diversity and inclusion. These are women who have demonstrated professional excellence and consistent leadership as role models and mentors for other women whose achievements contribute greatly to the community and national advancement.
Since joining PetSmart in 2018, Kristin proudly serves as the Head of Belonging and, with her team, focuses on facilitating conversations to support the diversity strategy and partnerships that drive inclusion across the organization. She shared the below Q&A with the National Diversity Council and proudly shares them with our associates in celebration.
How have you been an advocate?
KR: From global marches to social media campaigns, associates raise their voices in unison – in and out of the workplace. As a leader in diversity and inclusion, amplifying their voices is a core part of my job. I’m honored to be able to remind all 50,000+ associates that we’re celebrating the progress that continues to be made.
What can organizations do to support associates within the workplace?
KR: We made a public commitment to do better by enhancing development and recruiting efforts to improve representation at PetSmart. Since then, we have not taken our foot off the gas, and I believe it’s what organizations need to do – and stick to – to see change.
What is one leadership lesson you have learned throughout your career?
KR: Over the past several years, we’ve made a lot of progress on our diversity and inclusion strategies, and I have been fortunate enough to be in this space where shifting strategy in support of our associate experience is always at the forefront of our working topics. From this, I have learned – and continue to affirm – that a sense of belonging is essential to our, and any, culture.
What is one pearl of wisdom you would like to leave us with?
KR: Diversity and inclusion are often rolled out with a top-down strategy in most organizations. While we celebrate that PetSmart’s belonging efforts actively engage 70% of senior leadership, as sponsors in specific key roles directly supporting our journey, one should never discount the impact of individual associates on one’s culture. Thus, the pearl of wisdom that I would like to leave with you all is that you should never solely represent your organization’s breadth of experiences. My ability to advocate and amplify is a direct reflection of our associate voice. Listening is a vital part of the PetSmart journey and why we can say our associates feel like they belong.
Learn more about Belonging at PetSmart here.