Pride Profile: JCPenney Associate Serves as Ally and Advocate

Star Grieve with her husband, Ian, and their housemates, Miette (left) and Dottie

Star Grieve is a Textile Design Director, helping create some of the men’s looks you’ll find on JCPenney’s racks across the country. When she isn’t applying her creativity at work, she is typically out applying it just about everywhere else.

Star is an advocate for women in the workplace, for ecology and sustainability, for Black Lives Matter, and for gay and transgender rights, to name just a few of her passions. She will soon lead JCPenney’s new Inclusion Council.

As an ally for gay rights, she will be out this Sunday at events in support of trans rights. It’s just one way she will celebrate Pride Month. Star is committed to advancing inclusion and diversity, something she has worked on at JCPenney since joining the Company in 2014.

“For me, being inclusive is the idea of celebrating each person’s whole self, respecting their unique perspectives and experiences, and the value they bring to the collective group,” she said. “Pride for me is a reminder for each individual to celebrate exactly who they are.”

It’s a philosophy she carries with her everywhere she goes and to every life she touches. When asked to speak to college students about corporate careers, she is often asked the typical questions about resumes, interviewing, and networking. Star brings it back to inclusion, which starts with the individual.

“I have found that what has benefitted me the most at all times is bringing my authentic self to work,” she says she tells students. “At all times, be your authentic self.”

That’s what being an ally is all about, said Misty Tippen, Inclusion and Diversity Senior Manager at JCPenney. “An ally is someone who willingly lends their expertise, talent, and passion to another cause as if it were their own. They aren’t just altruistic though – they benefit from the alliance. They learn, grow, stretch, develop, and can tap into the insight of the group,” she said. “That’s why Star is a fantastic ally. She uses her skills and knowledge to advance the cause of JCPenney, both professionally and personally.”

If you are looking for a way to mark Pride Month, Star and her teammates at JCPenney have put together these resources to help you celebrate Pride Month and learn more:

  • The Trevor Project is the leading, accredited national organization for crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and questioning (LGBTQ) people under the age of 25.
  • It Gets Better is a non-profit organization that connects LGBTQ youth with resources. It will host a Digital Pride Experience from June 24-26.
  • GLAAD promotes understanding, acceptance, and equality. It also provides a Pride Guide to celebrate even during social distancing.
  • Resource Center is a health center for the LGBTQ community located in Dallas that also provides education and advocacy.
  • Out of the Closet is a nationwide thrift store that directly helps fund the AIDS Healthcare Foundation’s HIV/AIDS programs and housing services.