As we wrap up diversity and inclusion month, I speak with Cantaloupe Director of Human Resources, Alyssa Braniecki, on what it looks like to employ D&I as part of the total employee experience.
Alyssa credits her ability to find her voice as a female in the workplace to growing up in a blended Hispanic/Italian family with two volumes: loud and louder. She originally got her degree in psychology with an emphasis in developmental psych but has always had a passion for facilitating groups and creating balance within them. Her desire to be part of the total employee experience eventually led her to Cantaloupe, a digital payments solution in the unattended retail sector that also provides logistical software servicing to the locations of those unattended retail spaces.
To her, diversity and inclusion are two very separate things that cannot work independently of one another. Diversity is the different characteristics and attributes that define the employees within the company — their race, ethnicity, gender, etc., while inclusion is embracing all those differences and welcoming them fully, as well as appreciating and nourishing them. Diversity is a fact while inclusion is a choice. You can gather data about adversity but if you’re not intentional about inclusion, you’re not truly going to see a diverse and inclusive workforce.
Alyssa and I discuss how the industry is doing as a whole when it comes to D&I, as well as what advice she has for companies getting started on their own diversity and inclusion program. One of the important points she has to offer is diversity and inclusion are not something that starts with the hiring process. Well-established hiring protocols are only part of a successful D&I program. They are not the point of origin.
According to Alyssa, it all starts from the top down and Cantaloupe’s CEO, in my opinion, does an exceptional job of driving this point home.