June 3, 2021
No matter where you are, communication is power. And for Skyla Marvin, what you do with that power can change perceptions and strengthen lives.
"If you need help, ask for it," said Skyla Marvin, a member specialty manager at a Sam’s Club in Colorado. "There is a lot of power in talking to people and having open communication. It can open a lot of doors if you take that step to open the first door with communication."
Skyla is transgender. Before coming to Sam’s Club, she worked for another retailer, but was told by a colleague she should come to Sam’s Club because she would be happier and feel more included. That’s when the first door opened, but she knew she needed to be authentic. So, a little while after starting with Sam’s Club, she did just that.
"I wanted to take control of my career here and I did that by being authentic to myself," she explained about the day she came out to her coworkers. "When I went into the club the next day, my club manager stopped me and said he was proud of me and gave me a fist bump. Nobody had told me they were proud of me for coming out, until then. It was a touching moment for me."
And that was all it took for Skyla. She realized just that little bit of communication gave her the power to feel confident enough to start impacting the lives of others. Whether it’s personally or professionally, that’s where Skyla realizes she can truly make a difference.
I want to be a role model for other trans people. We need to see other people represented in leadership. If they can see me and identify me as transgender, and there’s nothing wrong with me, then hopefully I can empower others as well.
She’s not empowering just by example, she’s also leading the way with actions. She realized whenever we don’t see people like ourselves in leadership, it can really discourage people to want to progress further. That’s one of the reasons she started a women’s empowerment group at her club. To further advance women in leadership. Outside of the group she also is changing perceptions.
"I’m getting really great feedback from associates seeing a manager like myself leading people. It has encouraged them," Skyla said of her leadership role and being able to focus on development. "One of the most rewarding things is to develop someone else. It’s really special."
And for Skyla, she’s going to continue embracing everyone’s differences and leveraging her communication skills and competitive nature to become a club manager. Who knows… maybe even Senior Vice President?
"My next big goal is to be a club manager. I do want to promote further than that. I really want to take over Ben Hasan’s position. That’s what I say is my goal," Skyla explained, having her sights set on Ben Hasan’s role, who is the company’s Senior Vice President and Chief Culture, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Officer. "But my next step is to be a club manager and go from there."
Career aspirations aside, if Skyla had it her way, and by the way things are going, she will… she wants everyone to celebrate people who are different from themselves. “The more we embrace differences in people (no matter who they are), the stronger we are and the more united we are,” she said. “I think any difference in anybody should be celebrated and is really something that gives us power.”