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Helping to change hearts and minds

Helping to change hearts and minds

Employee: Kristin

Job Title: Manager – Payment Services, Product Development

I graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with a bachelor’s degree in Economics. I also have an MBA in Economic Crime and Fraud Management from Utica College. I’ve worked in financial services for 16 years, focused primarily on operations and risk management.

 Your first day at Discover, what were your thoughts?

“I am surrounded by smart, funny people who love what they do. This was a good move.” After 8 years with the company, I am happy to say I feel the same exact way.

Diving a little deeper, how is Discover following our values of “Doing The Right Thing”?

I’ve been fortunate to be on teams of smart, passionate people. We work hard, we have fun, and we get stuff done. Sometimes you befriend your colleagues and sometimes they are just teammates who come and go. I’m proud of the work I’ve done in product and fraud risk management, but perhaps my proudest and most humbling achievements have been with the PRIDE Employee Resource Group at Discover’s headquarters.

Over the years I’ve managed PRIDE’s education initiatives before becoming co-chair for our chapter. Of my time with the group, two particular instances stand out. We’ve had a speaker from PFLAG present on campus multiple times, once on how to be an Ally to the LGBT community and once on trans inclusion. After the ally training, we had a new member come to the next membership meeting and share that she had been moved to tears by the training. She freely admitted she hadn’t been the most accepting person in the past, but the speaker had altered her perspective and she wanted to change. Needless to say, we welcomed her with open arms!

Another memory that stands out was after a trans ally training. We received an email from an attendee whose neighbor’s child had recently come out as trans. The neighbor was supportive, but wasn’t sure what to do next. This employee leapt into action – they gave the neighbor their copy of PFLAG’s guide to being a trans ally, directed them to the PFLAG website, and shared a few quick tips they remembered from the training. The neighbor was grateful, and asked for additional copies of the guide for the grandparents. Both of these were powerful moments of validation for me that we are definitely Doing the Right Thing – not only arming people with information, but helping to change hearts and minds.

Through these experiences, I’ve been able to clearly see the impact of the work I do reflected in the results we’ve achieved – and that has been immensely rewarding.