Introducing Brayden Benedict

In the summer of 2022, Enotria started a Diversity and Inclusion committee and Customer Service Executive, Brayden Benedict, was nominated as Diversity and Inclusion Champion.

1 - Hi Brayden! Firstly, how did you end up working here at Enotria?

I was in hospitality for quite a few years before and I was feeling like I wanted to move somewhere and progress. I knew someone who worked at Enotria and they told me there were job openings. I then began working here in August 2018.

My experience of working in hospitality has definitely helped me in my role now. I understand the pressures of working in this environment. It has given me an understanding of what the person on the other end of the phone in going through or what problems they may be dealing with meaning you can empathise with them. I decided if I was already in hospitality, it made sense to go into the other side of the industry as I already had the opportunity and knowledge. Why not work for the company that sells the product?

I had thought transitioning from hospitality work to office work would be a big change and difficult move. However, I was lucky enough to come into such a welcoming, diverse, interesting team which made me change my previous viewpoints of what an office might be like.

Since working here, I have always been in the same department however I have progressed within this department. I think it is great that this company encourages progression.

2 - Are there any changes in the company you have seen during your time working here?

Our most major change happened due to the pandemic and lockdown. We had to change to an automated system and use a lot of different and new programmes that would allow us to work with more flexibility. Now this means we can still sometimes have people working from home for different reasons with this improved flexibility. A lot of the change has definitely been taking out the more manual side of things which has made us as a team better. At the moment we have 70% automation of orders coming in.

We have had a huge influx in direct-to-consumer sales, especially the increased usage of our retail websites and this meant we needed to implement new processes. Also, we have recently partnered with The Telegraph which has also led to some change in processes and the way we work.

Brayden and friends at 50th Anniversary Party

3 - Why did you decide to become the Diversity and Inclusion Champion?

I have always been interested in advocating for diversity and inclusion as I have grown up in the LGBT+ community. I am constantly surrounded by people who are very active in promoting equal rights and equal opportunities. When I heard there was going to be a committee, I was really keen to join. I feel as human beings we have a responsibility to ensure that everyone feels equally respected and equally welcome in any circumstance.

I believe my ability to show my voice and be myself has helped with my role. People know I am passionate and have the desire to follow through with what the role entails.

4 - Why is it important to you that a company has a Diversity and Inclusion committee?

The reason why the Diversity and Inclusion committee is necessary is to ensure that we do not have just a limited amount of people making important decisions and instead have a number of different viewpoints. The committee itself is not just about the diversity of people but also about the diversity of viewpoints and experiences. It is important that these ideas come from different teams and people within the company.

I believe that celebrating other cultures is a very important thing because it is so great to be able to ensure that people feel seen and can share their cultures. For example, in October a number of people organised a Diwali celebration in the office which was enjoyed by everyone.

Brayden and friends at 50th Anniversary Party

5 - Have you seen a difference in attitudes towards Diversity and Inclusion within the company/industry?

I do believe there has been change in recent years. I think the industry previous lacked diversity in gender and race. The change has been quite drastic comparatively in the past few decades and the industry has certainly transitioned to a more diverse and open space. But even still, we understand as a company there is still a need for more diversity.

6 - What difference do you hope the diversity and inclusion ventures could have in the next few months or years?

We currently have a number of ideas in the works and events organised. The main focus we have had in recent meetings is regarding progression stories and progression ladders. This relates to people who are looking to move up in their department or who want to move on to other departments. However, it is not always so simple when there are not so many resources to find out which direction you can go in. Therefore, we want to find progression examples to highlight and give directions and tools regarding how this is possible.

7 - In what ways can the Diversity and Inclusion committee work with the Charity and Social Committee?

I think the two committees will work together a lot. I have already attended some of their meetings and they have made it clear they would appreciate my input. Some of the events they will be doing will be for charities that champion diverse people so for this reason there are already some of these links naturally. It is important that people from within the company are choosing to diversify the charities we work with.