Empowering diversity: Victoria nurtures growth within her team

Victoria Sittig, holding her young daughter, and are sitting in front of a statue.They are smiling at the camera.

As the Concord store manager, Victoria Sittig wants every customer to have at least one staff member they can relate to. Looking for a classic cashmere sweater? What about a grunge 90s t-shirt? Victoria has a teammate who that customer can connect with. As a self-described “people-person” her team reflects all ages, genders, and backgrounds.

The secret to making this diverse team is simple. Victoria creates a foundation of safety, risk-taking, and growth. In this environment, the team can fully express who they are. It defines the culture of the team.

Victoria encourages her team to develop and grow. She likes to push people comfortably out of their comfort zone.

Victoria shared a story of Jen, who has a disability. When Victoria arrived at the Concord store, Jen’s job was to hang kids’ clothes. Victoria saw that this was an easy, and monotonous task for Jen. Victoria changed it up. She added accessories for Jen to sort and tag, then books. Soon Jen was sorting and tagging shoes. As her skills grew, so did her confidence. Jen dreamed of working on the registers. But like any dream, she had fears too. She was nervous about handling money. Victoria, seeing past that fear and onto the dream, set Jen up with training, a job coach, and other natural supports.

Once at the register, with a job coach next to her, Jen processed sales and chatted with customers. She was great! While she had a couple of cash issues – not any different from anyone else – Jen’s skills improved, and her confidence deepened. Jen is now successfully on her own at the register. This experience changed her life. Now, she is looking at living independently in transitional housing.

Victoria said Jen now has real job skills that she can take with her. Goodwill gave her the support and chance she needed. The rest Jen did on her own.

Victoria has a vision to see people for not just where they are now, but where they can be. She said she doesn’t want to see any of the team leave, she understands it is part of life. If they leave Goodwill for bigger and better things, it’s nice to know they were given the tools and the experience to move up. Victoria says, “At the end of the day, I love my job. It’s rewarding and satisfying, with a little competition, all at the same time!”

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