Diversity and inclusion

How Danielle promotes kindness and inclusivity

March 20, 2024

A photo of Danielle standing inside of her store. 

Inclusivity isn’t about having all the answers—it’s about the willingness to learn. That’s according to Danielle Poot, Front Store manager at a Shoppers Drug Mart® store in Winnipeg, MB.   

In the year and a half she’s been in her role, Danielle has worked hard to ensure both employees and customers feel at ease.  

One of her first steps was working with the store’s security team to make sure customers from the Indigenous community felt welcome and were not unintentionally being racially profiled while visiting the store (which is known to be an on-going issue for many Indigenous peoples). For the National Day of Truth and Reconciliation last year, she also shared information about residential schools with her peers, helping them to understand the significance of the day.   

“We can wear an orange shirt on Orange Shirt Day, but what does it matter if we're following people around the store?” asks Danielle. “The orange shirt really means nothing if you don't understand what's going on behind it.”  

Each month, she picks a different focus under the umbrella of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I). One month, she educated beauty teams on how to support trans women buying makeup. Another, she organized a store-wide employee potluck, with each person bringing a dish from their culture.  

Seeing Danielle’s passion, her District Manager approached her about becoming the DE&I champion for 20 stores in the area. Danielle didn’t hesitate to say yes. Danielle’s reach will soon expand to 80 Shoppers locations across Manitoba and Saskatchewan.  

This work is personally important to Danielle. Her husband and two children are Métis, and one of her kids is a member of the 2SLGBTQIA+ community.   

“I see my child get misgendered or assumed straight, and that's an uncomfortable position for a child to be put in, where he has to correct adults and share something about himself that maybe he doesn't want to share,” she says. “A lot of the initiatives in our store are to educate our staff on not gendering or profiling people.” 

Danielle also believes women are well-positioned to lead the way on DE&I, because they have often experienced discrimination. Before she started at Shoppers six years ago, she was a stay-at-home mom. When she re-entered the workforce, it occurred to her that employers might not like the five-year gap on her resumé or think that she’s not an ideal candidate because she has young children.  

“I think that a woman who’s gone through that is going to understand it a heck of a lot better than somebody who's never had to think twice about it,” she says. 

Danielle acknowledges that as a white, cisgender, straight woman, she doesn’t have all the answers. But she’s always willing to learn and champion allyship.  

“If we want to look in the mirror and think that we're good people, we should be willing to hear people out and make small adjustments to help them feel more comfortable,” she says. “It doesn't take huge actions to make the world a better place, you just need to listen to what people are asking for.”