We’re continuing to celebrate Pride Month with stories from Enterprise employees who are members and allies of the LGBT community. Carleen B., a Branch Manager in Canada, spoke with us about how the most powerful support she has received is simply being treated the same as her coworkers.
How did you first learn about Enterprise as an employer?
I had a friend working for the company, and I was looking for a career that would combine my passion for business and my love of customer service. She suggested Enterprise and the rest is history.
Tell us a little bit about your career with Enterprise. How did you start and how did you get to where you are now?
I started in March 2014 as a Management Trainee in Downtown Calgary. After 9 months I became the Assistant Manager of the Calgary International Airport. In February 2017 I had the opportunity to open a branch in Downtown Calgary, which set me up for the role I am in now: Branch Manager of the Calgary International Airport, the largest operation in Western Canada.
Why do you enjoy working for Enterprise?
The people. The greatest joy I experience is seeing my team succeed. We work with an amazing, diverse group of people. I have learned so much about different cultures and perspectives. I have so many lasting friendships and incredible allies now, I can’t imagine how big my Enterprise family will be in 20 years.
How does Enterprise support LGBT+ employees and allies?
The first time I wanted to add my partner to my benefits, I worried about what hoops I would have to jump through. I found all I had to do was fill out the exact same form as everyone else.
Being accepted and treated as an equal has been one of the most honoring and lovely experiences of my adult career. EnterPride is real!
I have also had the honor of speaking to local universities about being a member of the LGBT community at Enterprise and sharing the message that if you join the Enterprise family, you will be accepted, and you’ll never have to hide who you are.
How did you go about coming out at work? How important is it for you to be out at work?
I am proud of who I am and not ashamed of being LGBT, but it’s not something I advertise, as I’m not a fan of being treated differently. In my interview we were making small talk, and I mentioned my girlfriend. I remember being nervous when I realized it, because in the past those types of slips have changed the climate in the room. But my interviewer just kept the conversation going.
Enterprise has embraced the culture of the LGBT community and clearly only hires people with an open mind as I have never been treated differently once.
How have you personally felt supported by Enterprise since coming out?
My success is based on my performance. I can be myself and bring anyone in my life to a work event and be treated like anyone else. When you have always been treated as different for something that is perfectly normal, it’s refreshing and inspiring to not be treated any different than anyone else.
How important do you think it is to have LGBT role models at work?
At Enterprise I have been more open about being LGBT than anywhere else. For one thing, it comes up in small talk and I have nothing to hide. But I also know that many people have come from similar situations, and me being out and proud inspires others to feel comfortable enough to come out at work too.
In your opinion, what sets Enterprise apart from other employers?
Enterprise embraces their people for who they are. We all start in the Management Training program and are promoted based on merit. If you come to work and make a positive contribution, are passionate about your own growth and the growth of those around you, have a desire to be the best you can be and are willing to put in the effort, Enterprise will support you.
What career tips would you offer to someone starting out at Enterprise?
Demand what you desire
Don’t wait for someone else to succeed to start preparing for the next step