HR Mavericks

HR Maverick

Kristen Ben, SHRM-CP

Kristen Ben, SHRM-CP

After a decade in various roles around Orlando theme parks, Kristen recently made a career pivot into HR. After experiencing many toxic cultures, disability discrimination, and many broken processes in hiring and retaining talent, she decided to jump in and try to fix it from the inside. Kristen will be starting her second year of her Masters in HR and Organizational Development with a completion date of May 2024. She currently serves as an HR Associate for a non-profit that promotes workplace belonging for the LGBTQ+ community. Kristen has big dreams of creating truly equitable and inclusive work environments and would love a role that mixes her experience in communications, data analysis, and HR such as an Employee Experience Coordinator or similar roles within Organizational Development. Kristen is passionate about candidate and employee experience and wants to truly listen and build cultures that serve both organizational goals and employee goals. Kristen genuinely believes in bringing your full and true self to work, transparent communication, and servant leadership that supports employee development and growth. Kristen is a huge nerd and is happy to talk about almost anything Star Wars, Battlestar: Galactica, Firefly, and Marvel among others. She lives in Orlando, FL with her husband, Jonathon, two dachshunds, and a sun conure parrot. Kristen's Fun Fact: Kristen worked for a few years in zoological education and animal care. She spent six weeks in Cape Town, South Africa rescuing and rehabilitating African penguins.

What words of advice and encouragement would you give to someone just starting out in HR?

I’m just getting started myself, but my advice is to really analyze why you want to be in this field. Use that “why” to propel you through the challenges of breaking into the field. Once you arrive, there will be challengers. Your “why” may not align with others in your company or department. Keep fighting for your “why” anyway. We need more change makers. We need more challenging of the status quo. There will be days when you feel like you’ll never make a difference, but if you make a difference for one person, you change the world.