Fostering a diverse and inclusive environment is not only the right thing to do—it also strengthens our company. Our Petco partners’ rich diversity fosters innovation, supports continuous learning, and creates an environment where people feel comfortable bringing their whole selves to work.
All Petco leaders participate in diversity, equity, and inclusion training aimed at building respect in the workplace. Additionally, we developed and launched formalized awareness and experiences training with key stakeholders and leaders. As we bring this professional development opportunity to more Petco partners, we are committed to acknowledging and working to repair systemic inequality.
In 2022, we increased representation of people of color among new hires to 42% and maintained a strong representation of women new hires at nearly 65%
We respect the universal human rights of our Petco partners. This includes maintaining a workplace free from discrimination. Our Code of Business Conduct and Ethics and our Harassment, Discrimination, and Workplace Conduct Policy outline that support, as well as expectations for our Petco partners.
Our employees have a passion for pets and pet parents; we want to nurture that passion by providing an inspiring work environment where they can grow and develop. We also want to reward them fairly for their work, which is why we’ve increased our minimum wage for our non-trainee hourly employees to $15 an hour and provide a competitive benefits package. We believe that this empowering work environment will help us attract and retain the most passionate employees, contributing to the success of our business.
Petco holds regular Safety Committee meetings for both our Petco Pet Care Centers and distribution centers to ensure all relevant leaders are aware of their safety obligations. In addition, distribution centers have daily stand-up safety meetings, weekly safety leadership meetings, safety boards, and other recognition programs to promote safe behavior. At our Petco Pet Care Centers, we hold territorial safety calls with field leadership and conduct safety assessments both on-site and virtually.
Training is a critical component to ensuring the safety of our Petco partners. Every new Petco partner is provided with a robust training program that covers OSHA safety, environmental compliance, and safety topics specific to their individual roles. These online programs and courses complement the on-the-job training partners receive from their line managers. Annual training occurs on a variety of topics to ensure Petco partners are always current with new regulations and safety policies. Training topics have included enterprise-wide subjects like hazard communication, emergency action preparedness, safe lifting, injury and illness prevention, incident reporting and investigation, and job-specific topics such as lock-out/tag-out, forklift certification, electrical safety, and safe handling of companion animals.
Since 2020, we’ve taken proactive precautionary steps to ensure we continue to meet or exceed local, state, and federal regulations, as well as recommended health and safety guidelines from the CDC. To provide ongoing support to our more than 26,000 partners as they have faced the effects of COVID-19 and other hardships, we established the Petco Partner Assistance fund with more than $2 million in initial funding from the company and its leaders. It has since provided an average financial support of about $1,000 to more than 1,400 partners and their families impacted by pandemic, fires, and hurricanes.
Additionally, we have invested millions in additional compensation for every Petco Pet Care Center, distribution center, and field partner as our way of recognizing the courageous way they are serving pets and their families in these uncertain times.