2016 Best Companies for Diversity: ADP

ADP

CEO: Carlos A. Rodriguez

 

The 50 companies on this year’s Best Companies for Diversity list represents brands that recognize the value of cultivating an inclusive environment, driven by company leadership through senior management and the board of directors, as shown in the BE Registry of Corporate Directors. Some are taking a step further to engage employees during turbulent and confusing sociopolitical times.

We would like to highlight ADP, a provider of human resources management software and services headquartered in  New Jersey, and what it’s doing to push forward and nurture diversity and inclusion.

ADP implements diversity and inclusion initiatives on various levels. As part of the National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC), the company recognizes that creating partnerships with diverse suppliers is a major competitive advantage. Last year, they spent millions with black suppliers, including World Wide Technology, Inc. and Diversant, L.L.C., two black-owned businesses on this year’s BE 100s list. The company has stated that its main objective is ensuring the inclusion of diverse suppliers as a part of their strategic sourcing and procurement process.

For their employees, ADP holds an annual Diversity and Inclusion Summit, which serves as an opportunity for leadership and associates to come together to drive common goals and consistency across the business.

The Office of Diversity and Inclusion has developed a joint strategy with the Talent Acquisition and Global Talent and  Learning organizations, to ensure that the actions of the recruiters, talent partners, and HR business partners are aligned with ADP’s goals of having African Americans and other minorities represented at all levels of leadership. This strategy includes special efforts related to oversight, metrics, recruiting, and accountability.

The company measures the success of D&I initiatives against five key performance indicators, including leadership roles held by women and minorities as well as female and minority populations at all professional levels.

Mentoring: My Evolution – An ADP Executive Shares Her Experience

mentoring

When I hear the words “mentor” and “mentorship,” in the context of corporate America, I think back to my early career. Twenty-one years ago, fresh out of Howard University with an M.B.A., I didn’t quite understand the terms.

I remembered that my professors had extolled the importance of a mentor in one’s career development, but when I reached the real world, I could barely recognize the concept. You see, I was pulled out of a management trainee program at a large Wall Street firm, halfway through the program. Senior leadership saw potential and wanted to develop me further in an entry-level leadership role. I’d never led people in a corporate setting and I distinctly remember feeling terrified and full of doubt. What could I offer these 12 associates, all of whom were much older and far more tenured than I? I was struggling with my decision to accept—or not—when one day a highly respected senior vice president pulled me into his office. He acknowledged my emotions and said, “You must take this role. If you don’t, you’ll be passed over the next time an opportunity like this arises, because you’ll be remembered as the woman who couldn’t.” Ouch! “Couldn’t” as in ….couldn’t overcome her fear, or take a risk, or even see past the present…just plain couldn’t. He went on to assure me that I’d have his support, and that of several others, to ensure my success. So it began—my introduction to mentorship.

Fast forward to the present—my understanding and appreciation of mentorship is more defined. I’ve benefitted from mentoring others, as well as, being mentored myself. I’ve also evolved in my view of mentoring in that I no longer believe that one person can be an expert in all areas of corporate interactions and be able to help me process every challenge.

My mentors (emphasis on the plural), have a wide range of strengths. There are two at work—one strong in HR and navigating our organization, the other strong in finance; my spiritual mentor and my family/life coach. Each plays an important role in my quest to be the best mother, daughter, sister, friend, and leader that I’m meant to be. Their mix of expertise and guidance has helped me to understand that my role as a mentor is not to have all the answers, but to help my mentee discover ways to stretch, or flex themselves, in various situations.

After years of experience with mentoring relationships, I walked into the 2016 BE Women of Power Summit, not sure that I’d glean anything new or enlightening on the topic. I really wasn’t expecting any new nuggets of information until one of the speakers, Mary Pender Greene, shared her concept of a Virtual Personal Board of Directors. Aha! It had never occurred to me that we could broaden the concept of mentoring to create a board of directors equipped with mentors, sponsors, millennials, life coaches…an entire network and support system for career and life. It meant that I could leverage the millennials on my board for help with Twitter, Instagram, and blogging while also being reciprocal in guiding them through a complex corporate environment.

What I’ve learned over the years and what has been reinforced by the BE Women of Power Conference is this:

  1. The mentor/mentee relationship is an important one and can be transformational to both parties.
  2. It is as rewarding as it is fulfilling in the reciprocal nature of the process.
  3. It evolves over time.

Embrace the evolution.

The views expressed are my own and not those of ADP.

Be the Leader You Are Meant to Be

Vashti Murphy McKenzie, the first female bishop of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, wowed the women during her keynote this morning sponsored by ADP at the Women of Power Summit in Hollywood, Florida.

[Related: Memorable Moments from Women of Power: Day 1]

With humor, sass, gravitas, and pinky swear promises, this leader of the AME church exhorted her listeners to not only own their truth, but to let go of hindrances holding them back. Here are a few highlights.

Opening up with a hilarious but common sense litany of things accomplished women ought to know, McKenzie captivated the audience. “You oughta know—

  • How to be positive in negative situations
  • That sometimes the answer is “not now,â€� and sometimes it’s “never.â€�
  • That Spandex doesn’t look good on every body
  • How to flirt without getting into trouble
  • If you don’t know, ask for help
  • What you care deeply about

The bishop also urged the leaders in the room to “go deep,� to not be afraid of abandoning the superficial but to address life-and-death issues our society must grapple with—such as the tragic lead-poisoned water in Flint, Michigan.

“Leadership is not for the faint of heart,� she said, and went on to describe how women are recasting the leadership model by being not only assertive, but also flexible and relational, inviting others into the decision-making process.

“Close the door to the past, open the door to the future, and walk into your destiny,� McKenzie had all the attendees—nearly 1,000 strong—promise and pinky swear.

“Promise me you’ll dream big and trust God to take you through the process,� she charged the women. “Start encouraging yourself since criticizing yourself hasn’t worked.�

“Stop working it out yourself and let God do the heavy lifting.�

“Stop wasting your time on things you can’t change, and spend time on things that have possibility.�

“Turn challenges into opportunities.�

“Leadership is reaching beyond your comfort zone.�

“The world is waiting for who God has called you to be.�

The keynote was so energizing, McKenzie and the audience broke out in a dance at the end! Be sure to watch the live stream for other unique messages that all women leaders need to hear from other Women of Power.