Earlier this year, The Mom Project announced we are working with Banfield Pet Hospital, the largest general veterinary practice in the United States. Not only were they we're named one of the Best Companies for Women in 2021, but they understand what it means to be a working parent and have to manage several responsibilities at once both at home and in the workplace.
September 16th is National Working Parents Day, which pays tribute to those parents who work outside the home to provide for their families. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, around 61 percent of families with children have both parents working outside the home.
Banfield offers various roles within their organization, including some that are remote and hybrid. We took some time to learn more about Banfield from Dr. Veronica Talbert – Field Associate, and Nicolas Skopil – Sr. Manager, IT PMO, both of whom are working parents.
TMP:Thank you for taking the time to speak with us today, and for answering some of our questions! Let’s jump in with your name, title, and how long you have been with Banfield.
Dr. Veronica:My name is Dr. Veronica Talbert, and I am a Field Director who is also a veterinarian. This November will mark 10 years with Banfield.
Nicolas:My name is Nicolas Skopil and I am a Senior Manager of IT PMO. This October will be my 11-year anniversary with Banfield.
TMP:Wow – you both have been with Banfield for quite some time! Can you share what makes Banfield a great place to work, or why you chose Banfield?
Dr. Veronica: I love the sense of family that being part of a larger organization brings, and the many connections I have made throughout my career with Banfield. As a veterinarian and a local field leader overseeing hospitals in my region, I get to put my education into practice in a way I ever thought possible – both at a leadership level but also utilizing my degree in veterinary medicine to help ensure the pets in my local community receive high-quality care.
Nicolas:The people! I have made lifelong friends with people who started as fellow Associates. They care about me as a person, and I care about them. I have had the opportunity to learn and grow in different roles at Banfield – and building teams and creating strong relationships with my peers have always been the stronghold for my purpose here. Banfield is a principled-based company that provides a framework to guide how we make decisions. For me, this also matches my personal life and values. There are opportunities to put your family first while having a career and work in an industry that your kids even think is pretty cool.
TMP: It’s clear you both love what you do. I’m sure 10 years at one company goes by fast, but could you give some insight into your day-to-day in your role?
Dr. Veronica: For an associate doctor it is arriving at the hospital and having patients prepared and ready for examinations and care by a well-staffed and skilled hospital team. At Banfield, we prioritize scheduling days so that Associates have time during their shift to take breaks and moments for themselves in support of prioritizing their own wellbeing – so they can focus on doing what they do best: ensuring pets get the high-quality preventive care they need.
Nicolas:No day is the same for me. My role at Banfield is to centrally support a team of project managers who work to deliver new programs and capabilities to our hospitals. I have daily meetings, assignments, projects, and tests, but what might be different than other organizations is when I am in the office, I get a friendly hello from a visiting dog. I always know that no matter what, my work is in service to a profession that makes a difference for families every day, and I am surrounded by passionate people all with a shared goal.
TMP: Your roles seem truly rewarding in so many ways. And, as working parents I’m sure that means a lot of jugging, prioritizing, and more. One thing that is truly important to our community of Moms looking for roles are family-friendly benefits. What sort of family-friendly benefits or flexible options does Banfield offer?
Dr. Veronica:Banfield’s family-friendly benefits – including paid parental leave, 401K match, and childcare assistance – are second to none. Having the flexibility to choose the number of days and hours per week I work and being able to clock out at the end of the day as an Associate and fully focus on being with my loved ones has made such a positive impact on me and my family.
Nicolas:While I have been at Banfield my family grew by 2. We have 2 amazing children that light my life and at the time of their birth I used PTO to have time to learn, grow, enjoy, love, and sleep. I had the opportunity to share my feedback with leaders that I thought there were opportunities to further support parents at an integral time in their life. Since my family has grown, Banfield has added paid parental leave to their Associate benefits to provide additional support to their partners and family. The pandemic brought many challenges, but it also created new opportunities to have distributed teams. I now find myself being able to enjoy more meals at home with my family as I don’t have to spend that time commuting. For me personally, working in a hybrid environment brings many benefits but there are also moments of adjustment. It’s not always easy, but I’m so grateful to have options for me and my family.
TMP:And how does organizational leadership help champion and support flexible and/orfamily-friendly benefits?
Dr. Veronica:At Banfield, we are driven by our purpose: A Better World for Pets. We understand that in order to make an impact on pets, we must create a better world for Associates so we can be empowered, engaged, and supported to provide the best possible care to our patients and their families. With leaders like Dr. Molly McAllister as our chief medical officer, Banfield is plugged in and knows the geography of the workforce. As a working mom herself, she champions and supports initiatives keeping parents balanced and satisfied in their working time.
Nicolas:My leaders continue to support flexibility which has given me the ability to enjoy more time at home, attend back-to-school nights, go to doctor visits, be at practices, and more. And our organization encourages in-person opportunities to build relationships and have important interpersonal connections.
TMP: Thank you so much for your time, and for sharing your experience not only as a working parent but as a Banfield employee. Is there anything else you’d like to share about Banfield as an employer that might resonate with our community and with working parents?
Dr. Veronica:Banfield leverages its size and scale to support its people and the broader profession and is constantly making investments in programs and benefits that meet the ever-changing needs of the veterinary workforce and clients.
Nicolas: There are always opportunities for an organization to improve, but Banfield makes it a point to listen, make necessary changes, and always aims to grow and improve how they support its people. It’s like I teach my kids: try your best, learn from your mistakes, and do it better the next time.
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