Tech & Innovation Blog

Oscar Valdes, Principal Application Developer, represents ADP at Render(ATL), the first major React Conference in the Southern US.


Career Journey, Voice of our People, Alpharetta

ADP’s Global Employer Brand team had the pleasure of catching up with recently promoted Principal Application Developer Oscar Valdes from our Alpharetta, GA tech team. Oscar has been a great brand advocate for ADP over the last couple of years, and we’re thrilled to feature him. If you’re attending Render(ATL), check out his story of ADP’s tech stack journey and meet him and some of our other technologists at our booth!

Render(ATL) is finally happening! I remember when you brought the sponsorship opportunity to us two years, now, during our focus group. And you’re our speaker, that so exciting! Time flies.

Can you tell us a bit about your career journey and how you ended up at ADP?

Yeah, so I went to the University of Georgia and worked all through college. I worked at the Home Depot with a lead that had come from ADP. When he came back, he brought me with him.

So, tell us a bit about your technical background and what you’re doing now. 

Well, I just got promoted to Principal Architect. My career has moved pretty quickly. Thankfully, I had a great mentor while I was in college. He was one of the trailblazers that helped get JavaScript going in the nineties. It was a unique opportunity to work with him. He did a lot of consulting. So, I was able to grab a lot of experience early on, just consulting with all kinds of backend and frontend technologies. By the time I graduated, I had consulted for over 100 companies before landing at Home Depot. I was there for about three years before I came to ADP. I’ve mainly worked on the MyADP product. I started working on the time-off feature and then moved to more architecture and infrastructure-related things. We recently rebuilt the whole application shell from the ground up, evolving it to a more high-performing solution. Today, I’m doing something similar, but for the mobile app. It’s super exciting!

How did you initially get involved with the Render Atlanta conference? Do you know Justin personally?

So, I worked with Mehul and Rederic, the co-hosts of the Peachtree Devs podcast. We met while working at The Home Depot. They told me about Render when they had me on as a guest for their podcast. Rederic is the CTO for Render, and they are both always advocating grassroots movements in the Atlanta tech scene.

“Leadership values technical input. That’s been a huge driver of why I’ve stayed and the fact that we are always innovating.”

I know why you came to ADP, but why do you stay here, and what was the biggest thing that surprised you about ADP?

I think the level of innovation surprised me the most, and I’ve stayed because leadership has been so responsive to technical input. Our leaders are willing to do the right thing and make the right technical decisions. Technical decisions don’t always align with the correct product decisions because sometimes, that means you have to take some steps back to go forward. But we have leadership that values technical input. That’s been a huge driver of why I’ve stayed and the fact that we are always innovating. We’re not just building for today. Many of the decisions we’re making right now are for things we’re thinking about five-plus years down the road. It’s exciting to hit milestones and see the things we thought about years ago come to fruition.

Awesome, well, it sounds like all your effort paid off with a new promotion.

Yeah, it’s been awesome, especially in my group, where everything is merit-based. If you produce, you can get promoted, and it’s not always like that at other companies. This promotion is my third in three years.

Impressive! Does ADP create a roadmap for advancing, or did you have to figure that out on your own? How did this happen for you? How do you see it happening for your peers?

In Alpharetta, every org is different, so there’s no set protocol. Leadership is very involved with 1:1s, and they’re very committed to letting their direct reports guide the conversations about their goals. I talk with my peers all the time, and everyone is different. Some people want to get promoted and want more responsibility. Some people are happy in their roles, and they don’t want to go into leadership. Some want to stay on the technical route. You know, there are so many different permutations of what people want, but really, it’s leadership, being aware of that, and catering to different roles and different people. At least, that’s what I’ve seen. It’s one of my favorite things about being at ADP. Leadership listens, and if getting promoted is your top priority, they let you know what you need to do to achieve that. There’s no mystery. It’s very straightforward.

So, what are you talking about at Render?

Yeah, so I was going to give a quick background of how I got involved in tech and what it takes to break through because a lot of people struggle with that. Then, I’m going to dive into our technical journey, taking a 10-year-old platform the size of MyADP and discussing the growing pains we’ve gone through.

What kind of skills do you think would make someone successful in the environment you’re working in?

The main thing is being an engineer who is a problem-solver at your core. Our environment gives engineers plenty of room to solution and come up with creative ideas. I think that’s something many engineers like, but it requires the engineer to enjoy and excel at problem-solving and solutioning.

What’s your one piece of advice for anyone entering this career, or a takeaway you would like them to have from your 10-minute presentation?

Probably that allies exist all over the place in the tech space, and if you’re struggling to break through, don’t be afraid to reach out or speak up because there’s someone to help. I’ve gotten to where I am extremely quickly, but it’s only because of the people who helped me along the way.

I’ve had amazing mentors who propelled me forward. For some reason, they wanted to help me. So, look for allies, and return the favor by being a helping hand to others.

See Oscar take Stage 1 live at Render(ATL) on Tuesday, September 14, 2021, at 4:30 pm for his talk, “A Tech Stack Journey.”

Interested in a tech career at ADP or just want to check out our blog? Visit tech.adp.com

Tech & Innovation Blog

Roberto Masiero, SVP Innovation, talks about his journey from entrepreneurship to founding ADP’s first Innovation Labs.


Senior Leader, Innovation, Career Journey

Roberto Masiero, SVP of Innovation, talks about his journey from entrepreneurship to founding the first Innovation Labs at ADP

We decided to open the first lab in Porto Alegre, Brazil, with a specific goal: to develop new products as quickly as possible.

After starting his career as an entrepreneur in Brazil, SVP of Innovation, Robert Masiero first came to ADP 20 years ago through an acquisition—and he’s been building new technologies here ever since. Below, he reflects on what led to the founding of the ADP Innovation incubators in Brazil and the U.S., explains the beliefs that shape his leadership style, and shares the cutting-edge challenges the team is taking on next.

First, tell us about your background and what brought you to ADP.

I started working in technology while I was in college as a mainframe operator on the overnight shift. I didn’t get much sleep! After that, I learned to code and became a developer, then did mainframe support. I had this urge to start my own business—and I did a few times. The first two failed, but the third one, a consulting company that transitioned applications from mainframes to open systems like Linux and Unix, did well. Eventually, we decided to create our own software for things our clients needed, things like HR, payroll, and accounts receivable.

That software went through several iterations, from character-based to client-server, Windows-based to the web. That was the mid-90s, and it was unusual to have software that could run in a browser, so large companies started showing interest. We added team members, but eventually, our product outgrew our business—we needed to expand our sales force, distribution support, and ability to do on-site implementations. At the time, there was no venture capital in Brazil; your only options were getting a bank loan or finding a partner. So we started going to trade shows. At one of them, we knew ADP would be two booths down from us, so we made sure to get their attention—we had this big TV screen showing all our client logos, many of which were also ADP clients. That started a conversation, and ADP ended up acquiring the business.

What was it like to integrate into such a large company?

I remember thinking we had a massive opportunity to succeed because, back in those days, ADP had mostly manual processes—people called or faxed in their payroll. So, in our first six months, we took the software we’d built for our clients to use and built a layer on top of it that allowed ADP to run things on a client’s behalf. We were just this tiny new acquisition, and ADP was very conservative at the time, so when we presented the updated software we’d created, I wanted to put on a big show. I rented a hotel ballroom, even though I didn’t have the budget for it, and I invited the entire leadership team.

They gave us a couple of large clients, and that turned out to be transformative. After a while, ADP shut down their mainframes in Brazil and moved those clients to our software—including GPA, which is like the Wal-Mart of Brazil, and the largest single payroll we ran globally. The complete transition took a few years. When we were done, ADP’s U.S. leadership team sent their CTO down to take a look; I think they weren’t quite sure it was real. But he liked what he saw—clients were happier, costs were down—so they invited me to move to the U.S. and adapt the software from a new tax credit services acquisition.

You started the first ADP Innovation Lab around that time. What led to that one—and the second lab?

We decided to open the first lab in Porto Alegre, Brazil, with a specific goal: to develop new products as quickly as possible. At the time, I was more familiar with the talent there than in the U.S. In Brazil, I could build a team of people I already knew, who were already familiar with the technology we wanted to use. So, ADP’s primary development team handled payroll, while we had a small team that focused on the tax credit work.

After the project was over, ADP invited me to run a Shared Services team of 700 people who handle identity management, the enterprise service business, and our internal associate portal. Then I moved over to Enterprise Architecture for a while. But I still had an entrepreneurial drive. About a decade ago, I went to ADP leadership and said I wanted to build an Innovation Lab here in the U.S. to focus on incubating completely new ideas. They said, “Okay, let’s do it,” and they gave me a team of four to get it started.

Roberto sailing

Tell us about some of the projects that the lab has developed.

We launched around the time the iPhone came out, so our first project was ADP Mobile. We put it together in about a year, and we used modern database tools like MongoDB rather than the Java- and Oracle-based ones that were typical at the time. We also built it for everyone; small businesses and multinational corporations could use it, and it worked in every country and supported 40 different languages. It grew very well—I think we reached a million users in less than a year. But I’d said from the start when we created that lab. I wanted to keep it small and flat, never more than 30 people, which meant when a project reached a certain level of maturity, it would “graduate” from the lab and get a dedicated R&D team. That’s what we did with mobile, which now has something like 25 million users.

After that, we worked on the tablet application and then built out semantic search, which we now use across ADP’s core products. The most recent project that graduated from the lab is ADP Marketplace, a collection of HR solutions that clients can customize and integrate with our software. The latest product we developed is called Roll™, which required an entirely different way of thinking about our services. Roll™ is a 100% mobile chatbot platform that simplifies payroll using state-of-the-art AI and natural language processing technologies. It can intelligently alert a client when something needs their attention—it’s an unprecedented level of automation.

What do you think makes a good leader?

In part, I think it’s about completely understanding the work your team is doing. When you’re running a large organization, of course, it’s also about who you put in charge—you have to trust your direct reports to make the right decisions. But even when I was leading hundreds of people in Shared Services, I still wanted to be familiar with the processes and skills they needed to do their jobs.

I never want to micromanage, but I do want to be hands-on and in the know. It’s leading by example—if there’s a production issue, for instance, I’ll be on a late call with the team. People appreciate it when you’re committed to their ideas, and they can trust you to have an educated conversation about the decisions that need to be made, whether that’s around technology or go-to-market strategy.

A good leader also ensures everyone on the team has a voice, whether they have ten days of tenure or ten years. In fact, the untrained eye of someone who’s starting their career can be a phenomenal asset to the rest of us. If you have an opinion or see something we could do differently, it’s so important that your input be heard and considered. Ultimately, we have to be pragmatic in our decision-making, but I love debate. I love being challenged and being proven wrong. The push and pull from many different perspectives makes this work fun.

What’s challenging about your work?

The toughest thing for any leader is making difficult decisions that affect other people. If you’re letting someone go, for example, even if it will be healthier for everyone involved, that’s very hard.

ADP’s size can also be a challenge because change is difficult for any big company. But I see that as an opportunity: If something has been done the same way for decades, let’s ask why. How could we change that process to make it more efficient? ADP is exceptionally open to challenging the status quo. Our people have the incentive to challenge existing ideas and revisit how things are done to find opportunities to improve or design for better outcomes. Just as I like my team members to challenge my assumptions, we get the same message from the very top of the company: If you see a better way, a chance to transform the way you work, you should be able to do that.

What’s exciting to you about ADP’s future?

I’m excited for us to continue investing in new ideas to make the lives of our clients and ADP associates better. We’re going through a period of significant change, and that’s never without challenges. But the level of commitment I’ve seen keeps me hopeful. We’re doing our small part in the lab with products like Roll™, and that’s just a portion of a company-wide effort to deliver on new technologies and innovations. All of us are committed to success and meeting our clients’ and associates’ expectations with innovative products and technologies that will have a phenomenal payoff and carry us through many years to come.

Tech & Innovation Blog

Tashina, VP of Operations & Digital Transformation, shares her journey and why it’s an exciting time to work for ADP.


Women In STEM, Senior Leaders, Career Journey

Tashina, VP of Operations & Digital Transformation shares her journey and why it's an exciting time to work for ADP

When I joined ADP, they were in the midst of investing in next-generation products…it was a transition period, which I thought would be a great time to join the company and lead through that exciting change.

ADP’s Global Employer Brand Editorial Team, Liz + Kate, catch up with one of our Senior Leaders on the Global Product & Technology Leadership Team, Tashina Charagi, our VP, Operations & Digital Transformation. She shares her career journey, some of the exciting projects she’s worked on, and why it’s such an exciting time to work for ADP.

Welcome, Tashina! Tell us a little about the career path that brought you to ADP. Tashina stands in field of tulips

Sure, so I’m originally a technologist by training with a Master’s degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering. I worked as a software developer before going back to school for an MBA. I worked on a Windows Mobile phone (if you remember, the thing that looked like a Blackberry). That was around the time Apple introduced the iPhone, and the competition pretty much crushed us. I realized that in my role as an engineer, I didn’t have a full view of what was going on in the market, what customer preferences were, or how strategically we make some decisions. I took that as the impetus to go and broaden my business education.

After getting my MBA, I ended up consulting, again with the same desire to broaden my education and learn about different industries.

As I reached mid-career in consulting, even though I enjoyed the work I did with technology applications and the impact I was driving, I realized the amount of travel wasn’t feasible anymore. The second thing I realized was that I couldn’t see the final impact of my work. I couldn’t see the actual human impact or benefit to clients. That’s what I wanted more of, so I ended up looking at ADP.

At the time, I knew the reputation of ADP and the kind of work they were doing. Most importantly, I knew that they were going through a transition, and they were at a critical point in time. Our CEO liked to say we were a “75-mile-march” company. We’ve been around for a long time, but at every single phase of our life at ADP, we have made significant changes required to serve our clients in the best possible way.

When I joined ADP, they were in the midst of investing in next-generation products and divesting non-core areas of focus like Dealer Services. So it was a transition period, which I thought would be a great time to join the company and lead through that exciting change.

Wow, that’s a fabulous answer. What has your journey been since you got here?

Yeah, I joined the Corporate Strategy group. I was fortunate that I got to work on some big and exciting projects. One of the first projects I worked on—the one I’m the proudest of—was under the Obama administration when the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) released new guidelines for how a company needs to report pay equity, which had become a very important issue.

At ADP, we started discussing how to enable our clients to comply with these changes in regulations. But really, what we needed to do was take a step back to make sure all our business units approached this cohesively. An interesting conversation came up about how ADP pays 1 out of 6 people in the United States, which meant we had a treasure trove of data regarding pay equity. Across a worker’s lifetime, we touch 90% of US workers in some way. We realized we had an opportunity to go further than meeting minimum compliance. We could offer our clients something above and beyond that.

An example of how a client could use that data would be if they wanted to expand into a new geography or enable a new kind of role for the first time. Often clients have questions like, “What do people make in this city for this role?” or, “Where are pay scales rising – both by geography and by roles?”

We had that data. We just needed to aggregate it and eliminate identifiable information.

Taking that data, we built analytics on top using AI and machine learning and provided dashboards for our clients to look at equity in a more comprehensive manner. So, not just like, “Hey, I need to fill out these forms,” but we looked at it with a feature focus: “In this geography, am I being competitive to the geography and this role?” What about diversity? “Am I being competitive across every diversity element?”

The product we developed was so different from anything that was on the market at that point. For two years, we won product awards for that offering. And what excited me was that this wasn’t a client “ask” of ADP. We took the initiative to serve our clients in a way they hadn’t thought of or expected. Those are the type of opportunities that I’m excited about here at ADP.

Since then, I’ve had the opportunity to lead a couple of high-impact projects that are cross-functional and span multiple business units. That really excites me, too.

What roles have mentors and or sponsors played in your career as you’ve navigated your journey here at ADP?

Yeah, I would say a couple of things. One was pretty early in my journey here, when I worked on some of these massive cross-business unit opportunities. There’s no way I would have been successful or have a successful team without having these mentors and sponsors who could get me deeper into the requirements for each of the different business units. They helped me understand how the business units were structured and how I could best use the resources we have here at ADP. Mentors, specifically, have played a significant role in my ability to succeed in these huge projects.

I’ll use my current role in digital transformation as an example in terms of having a sponsor. I was coming back from my second maternity leave and trying to figure out my future at ADP. Don Weinstein, who was my manager in my strategy role, was the one who brought up the GPT role where I ended up. I’ve been in this role for the last two and a half years. Sponsors have played an important role in making me aware of various opportunities, or in this case, creating an opportunity for me. So that’s been quite good, I’d say.

Have you ever been a mentor for someone else?

Yes, definitely. I’ll give one specific example. There was an associate who worked with me on a couple of different projects. I thought she was fantastic. She wanted to get broader experience outside of the United States. I was able to talk her through her options and give her some feedback on how to think about positioning and opportunities. Now, she’s in Europe in her next role, which she loves, and with a team who absolutely loves her too. So, that’s one example of mentoring, but I have had a couple of other opportunities. Each of them has been very exciting.

With most organizations still working remotely due to the pandemic, how are you staying connected with your teams and keeping everyone motivated?

Obviously, 2020 and 2021 have been very challenging. What’s resonated well, silly maybe, but we’ve exchanged a lot of memes and jokes. Our WebEx Teams rollout helped us keep in touch through instant messaging and made that easier.

On the serious side, our Senior leadership team has always had monthly check-ins. We’ve made them more robust. So, it’s not just about updates on specific products. We added more white space to focus on the “water cooler” talk. Things like casual problem solving, “Hey, we have these dependencies, what do you think?” or, “Hey, I’m kind of stuck on this one thing. Have you guys solved this before?”

I think we’ve also done a pretty good job of including some social aspects during these meetings. We’ve had happy hours, and that’s been pretty great…and enjoyable. There have been happy hours where we’re looking out over a waterfront in Brazil in the background. Another positive, as weird as ’20-’21 has been, there’s been this sense of closeness. You’ve seen inside people’s homes. You’ve seen their pets and kids in the background. I feel that made us feel more connected and human, more so now than ever before.

Why do you think it’s a great time for people to join and a tech career?

If you think about all the different things going on right now in human capital management, supporting workers is an essential piece. Besides the pandemic and working remotely, base labor force changes make HCM an interesting and impactful place to be. We are truly impacting people’s lives in a positive way. That’s one big reason why being at ADP is exciting.

Then, within ADP, I would say that the transition that made me join is continuing and going into the next phase of that transition. We’re still doing work on our next-gen products, but we are also doing more work around analytics, machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI), and such things as rolling out chatbots. As I keep working on these technologies, I try to reach out to the industry to understand the best practices. In some cases, I’ve come to realize that we are on the cutting edge with these technologies, pushing the boundaries and defining the best practices. I’m excited to come to work every day. I hope anybody joining would feel the same way.

How do you incorporate culture into your everyday work?

One of the biggest things that I’ve taken away from seeing how our CEO Carlos Rodrigues and the rest of the executive team works has been humility. That, and a feeling of equality, ensuring everybody’s voice is heard. That resonates with me a lot. I think that feeds through into our culture. Those things have always been a part of every team I’ve worked on.

It’s not only about a leader’s voice here. There’s no dictatorship. It has always been about listening to everybody’s voice and coming to a consensus. So, those qualities: humility and that feeling of equality, carry forward in all the work we do.

What’s your advice for anyone looking to pursue a career with ADP?

LOL, apply at tech.adp.com? Kidding aside, feel free to reach out to me on LinkedIn. I love our experiences at ADP, and I would love to have more people engaged.

So, what does work-life balance mean to you? And how are you able to achieve that working here?

What work-life balance means to me is that you get your work done in the time that you have during the day without necessarily having to work 9 to 5 on somebody else’s schedule. As a mom of two young kids, I’ll give you an example that happened to me today. My child’s daycare had some heating problems, so they had to cancel daycare, and my daughter is at home. So, my husband and I traded off on the responsibility to watch her around our meeting schedules. I don’t know any other company where I could tell my team and my manager, “Hey, guys, I just need to be flexible for the next couple of hours,” and have an outpouring of support with things like: “What we can do?”, “Yes, absolutely,” “Happy to move things.”

Managing my schedule and having flexibility means a lot to me. It’s not to say you don’t get things done that need to get done. You still do that. It means when things come up, there is an understanding and the ability to be flexible. That’s really important to me.

I think that’s super important for many people right now, just based on what’s happening globally. Great story. Do you belong to any Business Resource Groups (BRGs)? Which ones?

I belong to several BRGs. One I’d love to talk about is Women in Leadership (WIL) and the access it gives me. When I was doing this pay equity work, I reached out to a bunch of folks through the WIL network to get some feedback on specific user screens that we were putting inside our product.

The BRG gave me exposure to senior leaders, who manage hundreds, if not thousands, of people at a time. To get feedback from them as users and hear them answer the question, “What would you do as a manager?” was really powerful. That’s a tactical example of where a BRG was helpful in my work. More broadly, especially in today’s world, BRGs are an excellent resource for making connections. They organize all kinds of events, virtual for now, to keep people connected. Recently, our Women in Leadership BRG had a virtual event focused on resilience. They brought in a Peloton trainer (Robin Arzon) who was a motivational speaker. Super inspiring. I find it energizing to learn from people I might not work with every day.

What’s your favorite thing about where you work?

It’s definitely the people. In today’s world, I miss walking into someone’s office when I have a question. That’s changed in the virtual world, but we still do it, just in a different way. The thing I love is still the people that I work with and the trust we have. We’re there for one another—and that’s special.

Explore tech careers at ADP on tech.adp.com.

Tech & Innovation Blog

Future of UX Design at ADP: Making Life Simpler for Everyone.


Senior Leaders, UX Design, Career Journey

Future of UX Design at ADP: Making Life Simpler for Everyone

“In my interview with our Chief Product Officer…it was clear that I would be part of a leadership team that truly supports one another and that the support extends across ADP.”

From engineering to design, Kevin Mackie has had an extensive career in leadership. Our new VP of UX Design System started programming at 12 years old, working his way up the ladder to engineering management. There, he discovered his love of User Experience (UX) and how it helped him “probe into the problem space” before looking for solutions. Now he’s combining everything he’s learned for a new challenge: building a design system at scale. Below, he shares what attracted him to ADP, his plan to align his multidisciplinary team, and how he’s moving UX design forward for large enterprises.

Tell us about the highlights of your career so far. What brought you to UX design?

Each weekend when I was 12 years old, my neighbor, a programmer for the U.S. Navy, would bring home a 27-pound portable for me to play games on. He began teaching me to program, and I got addicted, later completing a degree in computer science. About 20 years ago, I started working my way up the leadership ladder, and by 2011, I was running a global engineering team at Taleo.

One day, the VP of product management brought in a UX expert to talk to the design team, and walking past their conference room, I saw an explosion of Post-it notes. I was so intrigued that I asked if I could crash their party, and that’s how I learned how to do user research in the field and turn it into insights. While engineers and software developers love to jump into the solution space—which often leaves us solving the wrong problem—this introduction to UX showed me the possibilities for probing into the problem space instead.

I started leading UX teams in 2014 when my former general manager unexpectedly asked me to join CA Technologies as the VP of Design, and that’s when I really fell in love with UX. Recently, though, I began feeling the need for a change. “I’ve led engineering teams globally at scale; I’ve led design teams globally at scale,” I said to myself. “How can I leverage the experiences of doing both?” Clearly, the universe listened because ADP called shortly after Thanksgiving to ask if I’d be interested in leading their design system.

What made you want to join ADP?

Usually, I’m the one trying to convince leadership about the value of a design system. But in my interview with our Chief Product Officer, he was the one who articulated its importance to me. That showed me I’d be joining a team committed to improving the experiences we deliver to our employees, our customers, and particularly their employees—our end users. It was also clear that I would be part of a leadership team that truly supports one another and that the support extends across ADP.

My intuition paid off on day one. I joined as we’re building a small coalition to focus on UX. After the announcement introducing me went out, people flooded my inbox with welcome messages and offers of help. I’ve never experienced that reaction at a new company before. There’s also an entire ethos around playing to each employee’s strengths to build a great overall team. No one hired me to fix anything; I’m here to complement the leadership team. ADP is a great place if you want to be part of an organization invested in helping you grow.

What’s your approach to building ADP’s design system?

What I love about UX as a discipline is how diverse we are—most of us did not go to school for graphic design. So, I know this sounds right out of a management book, but I’m starting with the “people” part of “people, processes, and products.” I’m about halfway through the one-on-ones I set up with each of my team members to understand their products and their specific journeys. I’ve talked to people who started off in music, building architecture, or went from chemical engineering to design. Tapping into these individual perspectives can help us better understand our problems and develop some really creative solutions.

We’re approaching the design system as a separate product. Developing a shared language about what makes a great experience is part of the transformation. Instead of building something we think our designers and developers need, we’re partnering with them, so when we deliver the design system, the teams will already be on board.

When it comes to philosophical alignment, the best approach is empathy. Not only empathy for the product managers and developers but empathy for our own work. The more we appreciate and understand the motivations and challenges of others, the better we can work together as a high-performing, cross-functional team. I encourage people to have healthy disagreements and act as influencers who can go back to their teams and bring everyone along on the journey.

What is most challenging about your work?

It’s challenging to build a design system at scale in a company of more than 58,000 people. Thankfully, with the large number of UX professionals throughout ADP, we’re not starting from scratch. My team’s job is to take already great work to the next level—it’s like we’re a group of conductors from different orchestras, asking how we make the whole thing come together.

A lot of it comes down to transparency and alignment on what’s working and what’s not. To do that, we need to measure the usability of our apps and define whether someone has a good or bad experience. For example, our ADP Mobile app has a 4.7 rating with more than 1.5 million reviews in the App store. Even so, usability studies show us people sometimes hover over the submit button for minutes, likely out of uncertainty about their selections. So, how do we give them the type of “confidence experience” so that they can review their choice and say, “Yes, that’s what I want,” and click without hesitation?

We’re also figuring out the right things to measure. Successful consumer-grade applications always measure how long it takes someone to do something and prompts them for feedback. So how do we incorporate more feedback into our products? Since I recently got my ADP account, it thinks I’m a new user. Thirty seconds after searching for the first time, I got a nice pop-up asking, “How did you like the search experience?” Then after I answered, I got a second prompt asking, “Would you like to tell us why?” I thought that was a great way to get feedback in the moment.

What does the future hold for you and ADP?

First, we’ve got a pretty clear vision of the future that we’ll continue to refine. Whether it’s a frontend developer, a designer, or the product team with limited UX resources, our goal is to get our teams on board. We want to make it easier for them to deliver better experiences faster to make life easier for our users. After all, business owners don’t wake up in the morning because they want to run payroll software. They started a company because they have a dream. And we’re here to help them realize that dream by making payroll, benefits, and compensation easier for them.

We have the unique ability to learn from what’s working at small, medium, and large businesses. There’s no reason why we can’t deliver consumer-grade experiences at an enterprise level. Whether you’re an employee of a five-person organization or a 1-million-person organization, you still want to understand your compensation. You still want to grow professionally. I joined ADP specifically because we’re committed to putting in the work to help simplify life for everyone. When our clients come back to us and say, “Oh yeah, this product is great. It enables our business,” I’ll know things are humming.

Curious about a career in UX? Check tech.adp.com for our current openings.

Kevin Mackie is a Vice President, UX Design Systems at ADP based in California.

« All Blogs

Women in STEM

ADP Women in STEM Profile: Laurie Liszewski

“As a leader, I’m outgoing and have strong opinions. But when it comes to the team, I want people to feel comfortable challenging me. I want to create an environment of empowerment with diversity of thought and perspectives.” – Laurie Liszewski, VP Product Development

If you tell Laurie Liszewski she can’t do something, she will do it, take pictures, and show you how well she did it. “It’s my mantra!”

Laurie grew up in New Jersey and isn’t afraid to try or learn anything. She’s been a real estate agent, an emergency medical technician working on an ambulance, and now is a vice president of product development at ADP.

“Find what drives you. We all work so hard. You have to love what you do and work for people where you feel comfortable being yourself,” she says.

Coming to ADP

Laurie says she fell into a job at ADP. Her husband worked for the company in the “Total Time” area as a customer service rep. Laurie’s family had grown to three children and it was time to pursue a new work opportunity. So, she applied to work as an administrative assistant at ADP and says, “It was a great way to learn the business and get experience from the ground up.”

She started as an assistant to the business systems analyst team that managed ADP’s Autopay solution. “I was in awe of the people I worked for,” Laurie says. “They had such deep knowledge of both tech and business. I asked how they got there; it turns out no one there went to school to be a business systems analyst. It evolved from a core skill set.”

Laurie Liszewski

Above: Laurie Liszewski

For people who don’t know what business systems analysts do, Laurie explained, “they bridge the business need with the technology and design. You have to understand and speak both tech and business. Today, the title isn’t as prevalent as it was in the 1990s. The position has evolved more into product management, although we have a few core areas like compliance where the role is vital.”

It wasn’t long before the vice president in that area noticed and was impressed with Laurie’s work. She told Laurie she was very analytical and had a unique perspective, then asked her to consider a three-year training program to become a business systems analyst. Laurie jumped at the opportunity and says, “That’s where my true tech career started.” Laurie’s vice president was Bernie Sussina, her first mentor and sponsor. “I always aspired to be as well respected and valued as Bernie. She was truly an icon to me, an inspirational woman in leadership in a predominately male world of tech. To this day, I am forever grateful to Bernie for the opportunity.”

Laurie completed the program and moved into an associate systems analyst role, then worked her way up to senior systems analyst.

When ADP began working on the new platform for small business services (SBS), many people on her team moved over to the new product. Laurie ended up following them and took a role working on the design of a client-facing user interface.

“I learned so much because I was at the front end working with clients,” she says. “You can see how they actually used the system. I was able to attend trade shows and client user groups. I also had the opportunity to do ride-alongs with the sales team. It opened a whole new world for me and so much clicked. I realized that what they were doing was much more than just a series of tasks. I learned and understood what they needed to accomplish to run their business.”

Becoming a manager

When Laurie started thinking about the next steps in her career, she began to pay attention to how people were chosen for different roles. “ADP is great at seeing people’s potential rather than just their experience,” she says.

“I had great leaders who inspired me to become a leader. But it’s a big shift. You move from controlling your own destiny to your success depending entirely on the success of your team.”

She applied for her first leadership role and was pretty sure she wouldn’t get it because she didn’t have management experience.

“I scheduled a one-on-one with Rich Wilson, the senior vice president of SBS product development, and asked why I wouldn’t be qualified for the job. If I wasn’t qualified, I wanted to know what I needed to do. He had no idea who I was and was a little taken aback. I wondered if I had made a mistake. But he was impressed, and I got the position. I chuckle to this day because he loved to tell that story. Rich was my second huge supporter, mentor and sponsor.

“Don’t get me wrong, he was tough. I attribute much of my success to his rigor. As I reflect on my career, Rich pushed me to stretch and grow in ways I never had before. He always put me in roles I wasn’t sure I was ready for. It was the best preparation for my future because I kept learning the tools and skills I needed for the next step on the journey. I am forever grateful to Rich for believing in me.

“I was also very inspired by Regina Lee, division president for SBS, who explained it is a leader’s responsibility to help people grow in their ADP careers. Our obligation is to not only hold people to their current goals but also to empower our teams to hold us to the career goals they set for themselves.”

Next, an opportunity opened on the ADP retirement services team. Laurie talked to the new senior vice president about it, and he encouraged her to apply.

“I had my payroll wings, but only had a small idea of what the retirement business was based on my own personal experience with 401(k) plans,” she says. “That role gave me the opportunity to learn that part of the business and a new product. While I was there, one of my key responsibilities was to help the organization move from a waterfall development life cycle to the more modern agile methodology since we had done the transition on the backend of the RUN Powered by ADP® payroll solution a few years before.”

2019 GPT Conference

The above photo was taken in October 2019, at the GPT conference in Miama, FL. ADP associates shown, left to right, are: Karen Stavert, Erin Moss, Manish Bhatnagar, Laurie, Mike Ruangutai* and Ranjan Aggarwal. (*No longer at ADP.)

About the same time, ADP moved as an organization from business systems analysts to product managers.

“I had a choice to be the Senior Product Manager for ADP’s retirement services division or go back to the RUN team,” Laurie says. “I scheduled a meeting with Don Weinstein, ADP’s chief product and technology officer, and asked where ADP needed me most and where I could make the greatest impact. After talking with him about it, I decided to go back to the RUN team as a senior product owner.”

Eventually, Laurie moved from product management back to product development, where she focused more on compliance and statutory requirements and worked as a liaison with the legal team. Additionally, she led portfolio management for the Autopay solution and loved her team and work there.

For Laurie, it was like going home. At the same time, she could see how far she had come.

“I went from ordering pencils to leading the team I was in awe of when I started this journey,” she says. “I wondered how I would ever measure up and whether I would be strong enough to lead these amazing people. Earning their respect was the best thing I’ve done. I also love compliance work, and this gave me the opportunity to lead that for the major and national account services payroll engine.”

She landed in her current role as vice president of product development when the senior vice president of ADP’s small business services division took a role in compliance services. Laurie loved working with him because of his transparency and honesty. It was also an opportunity to learn something new, particularly employer tax compliance, reporting, filing and payments.

“Tax is a whole other level of complexity,” Laurie says. “In every group I’ve had the honor to work in across ADP, each team thinks their systems are the most complex. And it’s true! It’s all complex.”

Girls Inc

The above was taken at a Girls, Inc. event in June 2019. Shown left is Alyssa Liszewski (ADP La Palma, CA office) with Laurie.

Laurie loves the challenge and responsibility.

“Here I am. Never, ever would I have thought that I would be leading a division responsible for managing all the tax liabilities for the clients we service,” she says. “It’s enough to keep you up at night, thinking about the impact you have on people and the economy. The value ADP brings to the economy and each individual we pay and employer we service has never been more amplified than these past 13 months with the pandemic. The number of stimulus plans and tax law changes all of the compliance teams had to react to are like nothing I’ve ever experienced in my career.

“As a leader, I’m outgoing and have strong opinions. But when it comes to the team, I want people to feel comfortable challenging me. I want to create an environment of empowerment with diversity of thought and perspectives. We need people who understand our clients and know what it’s like for employees as well as businesses – out of the box thinkers who evolve with the market.”

Ready for more?

Explore the stories of these and other ADP Women in STEM, and learn about careers at ADP.

Team building escape room

The above was taken at a team building event in October 2019. ADP associates pictured left to right are: Victor Mak, Erik Kachmarsky, Mike Plonski*, Laurie, Margo Dear, Ajit Kumar, Jordi Conrado, Maya McGuinness, Mat Saunders*, Mike Ruangutai* and Arjun Hegde. (*No longer at ADP.)

Tags: Tax and Payroll Reporting Diversity Equity and Inclusion Leadership Trends and Innovation Technology Articles

Tech & Innovation Blog

Meet Roberto! One of the brilliant ADP Machine Learning developers behind our new payroll app, Roll™ by ADP®


Machine Learning, Brazil Labs, Roll by ADP

Meet Roberto! ADP Machine Learning Developer, and One of the brilliant minds behind Roll by ADP

We had a chance to catch up with Roberto at ADP’s Brazil Innovation Lab in Porto Alegre. He shares his career journey, why he chose ADP, what keeps him excited, and why it’s a great time to work in machine learning.

On February 25, 2021, ADP unveiled an exciting and groundbreaking new payroll app called Roll™ by ADP® to help small businesses run payroll anywhere, anytime, quickly, and compliantly with no experience needed. The app’s artificial intelligence-backed conversational interface allows users to complete payroll on their mobile phones in less than a minute simply by texting, “Run my payroll.” Full press release. Watch a quick video of the app.

We had a chance to catch up with Roberto, a Machine Learning developer and one of the brilliant minds at ADP’s Brazil Innovation Lab in Porto Alegre.

Congratulations to you and your team on the launch of Roll™ by ADP®! We’d love to learn a bit about you. How long you’ve been at ADP, what brought you here, and what do you do here?

Yeah, sure. I’m working with machine learning here and part of Brazil’s Innovation Lab. I’ve been with ADP for three and a half years, so I started in 2017. I worked previously at HP, you know, the printer company, right? In their research lab.

I came here to start building the chatbot—a product complete within itself. A system where we can leverage the intelligence to make life easier for people that are using it. I’ve used chatbots, and sometimes they can be painful. Our job is to take the pain away. During development, we closely followed what our clients saw in production and what they said. When they are happy, that made us happy. We tried to understand our pre-production clients, make sense of what we learned, and iterate improvements before he launched.

So, our team is global and is split between here, the US, and India. We have about 13 people in Porto Alegre, but only four are working on just machine learning. We have around 32 people in Roseland, New Jersey, and about 20 colleagues in India. Our job here is to take care of the chatbot and help customers when they have questions. It’s kind of like using Alexa or Siri. When users ask questions, the AI is doing other things while trying to reply.

We’re also trying to extract insights from what customers are doing. For example, when you hire someone, we get the information behind the scenes, and then we do some tricky calculations to assist. The bot checks on things like gender and pay equity and offers data-driven insights to the client. For instance, in this location, you should offer a higher salary.

Family portrait of Roberto, his wife and child, and dog. Tell us a bit about your career journey.

Sure. It’s a little bit messy. I’m an electrical engineer and worked a little bit in the automotive industry. I started as a hardware engineer working for Johnson Controls on a project for Fiat. Then I moved to a semiconductor company as an engineer and spent some time there. After that, I decided to move into technical marketing.

From there, I decided to get a master’s degree in Technology Management. I’ve lived with my wife in Lausanne – Switzerland, for two years. That was the initial plan. Then I got a job at Texas Instruments in technical sales. We stayed three more years before moving back to Brazil in 2015 and getting a job with HP. That was a big shift. I went from technical sales to software engineer. I had a colleague there that was working on machine learning. I fell in love with it, and I studied more about it. Then I got this opportunity at ADP to work 100% on machine learning. That’s why I came here. We pay 1 in 6 people in the US. There’s a lot of data here and good stuff we can do with it. So, I’ve been here since 2017.

I’m 41, almost 42, now. I have a daughter (Gabriela), she’s one year old. She is definitely my biggest project!

What still excites you about working here?

The team still energizes me. Before the pandemic, I enjoyed working with people globally and meeting the US teams in person when we still could travel to New York. We are trying to build this culture of applying available technologies and bridge the gap between open source and what folks in academia are doing with practical, real-life applications in our product, Roll™ by ADP®. Using this outside perspective, we filter what makes sense into our products to mature our technology.

I think the dynamics and openness of the machine learning domain are really driving the market right now. There’s a lot available in open source, and it’s our job to be up to date on the latest developments. It’s an exciting time to be working in machine learning.

Tell us a little about your project.

We beta tested with clients for almost two years. Last year, we did many internal demos based on our work with a gourmet ice cream company recommended by our Business Anthropologist, Martha Bird. We expanded and started working with our Small Business Services group and built our client list to 70 before we launched in February.

As we scaled for our GA release, we matured the product using input from a small number of clients. ADP’s executive team was happy with the product, and yeah, we hope people like what they see. As I mentioned, I go into production logs every week and see what customers are saying. Sometimes you get some nice comments, which is lovely, right? People talking to the chatbot and just saying, “Thank you!” I love seeing that. Martha measured pre-release net promoter scores (NPS), and they were really good. But we will keep the ball rolling and bring new features to future releases.

If someone asked you why they should choose ADP over other tech companies, what would you say?

I can say one of the things comparing ADP with the other companies where I’ve worked, and maybe it’s just specific to our product or my leader, but something I value a lot is openness. When I worked at other companies, there were a lot of layers. I think people are pretty open here also in terms of technology choices. I know that engineers like to experiment and test to see if stuff works. We try to do that here, experiment with things.

We are shifting from a service company to a more technology-oriented company. Here in Brazil, we are trying not only to apply technology but also to share ideas across the company. Roberto and his baby daughter seated at a desk with a laptop.We created a machine learning discussion group. There are about 12 of us. We discuss papers, review articles, create challenges to learn new skills. We sometimes do presentations, attend or present at conferences. Everything is online today, which makes it easier. We get to exchange ideas and nurture our learnings across teams. We’ve discussed starting to produce some technical articles, and I’m happy that we can use the tech.adp.com blog to share them in 2021. I wish I had more time to write, but I don’t have as much time with my little one.

We also did our first internal developers conference in 2020, and I presented Uncertainty in Deep Learning. It was an amazing experience, great to share, but also to get feedback.

When I mention that we do these things during interviews and other things we are trying to do, candidates like this. I know in some companies people work in silos, but you cannot do that here in Brazil. We share as much as we can here. The openness I mentioned, it’s important.

Above, you mentioned exploring open-source and academia. Are there any projects outside of ADP that excite you right now?

Great question. Yes, there’s an open-source project called Open Mined and a course I’m interested in related to privacy with machine learning. The program is called “The Private AI Series.” Facebook is one of the course sponsors. They have a framework behind the scenes that helps people take care of customer privacy. In case you are interested, here’s the link: https://courses.openmined.org/.

Our team also continues to study and review new technologies. We are following Harvard CS224W online for graph neural networks and Causal Inference (lots of interesting applications will come out of this domain for sure!). For neuro-linguistic programming (NLP), we follow a vibrant startup and open source community called Huggingface. (https://huggingface.co/).

One last question! If you could advise your younger self or someone starting their career, what would you say?

Be inquisitive. Study. Help others.

Thanks for your time, Roberto!

Tech & Innovation Blog

Being your Authentic Self: Out and Proud Technologist @ADP


Culture, Inclusion, Pasadena

Out and Proud @ ADP

Andrew Luria, Senior Director, Major Incident Response located in Pasadena, California, shares his personal journey about what it’s like to be LGBTQ+ in a technology company.

Andrew Luria, Senior Director, Major Incident Response located in Pasadena, California, shares his personal journey about what it’s like to be LGBTQ+ in a technology company and encourages anyone reading this to be open to the idea of being Out and Proud at work. At ADP, we stand behind our belief in bringing your authentic self to work as part of an inclusive culture focused on creating a safe space where everyone can thrive.

Andrew LuriaI wasn’t out when I first started at ADP back in 1995, not just to my coworkers but to anyone. I moved from Arizona to Georgia, not for a job but a fresh start. Living a ‘double life’ during college grew increasingly challenging to the point that hiding my authentic self started to take a toll on my health. After a while at ADP, I made friends with many of my coworkers. As with any friends, conversations steer from work to life outside the office. Before I was out, I had to edit what I told them, which made me feel like I’d never left Arizona. I finally said, “no more,” and decided to trust them and myself, and slowly came out.

I remember the first time I thought, “Wow, I really belong here at ADP.” In 2001, my husband and I hosted a Holiday Wine Tasting party in our home with all my ADP coworkers, who had become true friends. We shared an amazing, fun-filled night.

In 2016, I joined ADP’s Pride Business Resource Group (BRG) as a local Chapter Director for the West and ultimately transitioned into the VP of Chapters. As a member and leader for Pride, I have the opportunity to drive direction and connect with LGBTQ+ and Ally’s in an embracing community.

There are three things I learned personally and professionally on my journey:

First, in my twenty-five years here at ADP, mainly in technology, I can attest that my choice to be open about who I am has made my job easier and strengthened my relationships with my peers, leaders, and the people I lead.

I’ve chosen to be out and proud, regardless of the audience. I speak openly about my life and my husband. Outside of work, I spend all my time with him, so excluding him from the conversation would be like keeping a big part of my life hidden. Being able to speak openly about my life with my coworkers keeps us more connected, and that connection builds better and more genuine relationships. Those relationships have had a lasting, positive effect on my work and productivity.

Second, as a leader, I feel coming to work as my authentic self allows me to lead with a stronger sense of kindness and empathy than before. I can give my team 100%+ of my time and energy, knowing I’m not worried about people finding out I am gay. This authenticity provides the foundation of my health and happiness and makes me a better leader. Allowing me the ability to lead at my fullest potential not only gives the company the best leader I can be but has an immeasurable impact on the people who work for me.

Third, for anyone LGBTQ+ thinking about a career in technology, you are in a unique position to influence the downstream impact of new products and technologies that support Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. Recently, ADP enhanced several of our payroll products to include Self-Identification. The enhancement allows employees using our payroll products to self-identify as LGBTQ+. Just imagine decisions made about products and services without our input! As a technologist, we have a seat at the table.

John Luria with his husband seated in a carWorking in tech at ADP has been an incredible journey for me—one that contributed greatly to my personal success and the fingerprint of DEI at ADP.

I understand this isn’t an easy task for many members of our community. But at ADP, our strong commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion by our CEO, our Executive Committee, and all our senior leaders across the globe have made it possible.

I’ve experienced a lot of support here. I never have to hesitate when speaking about my husband. There’s no need to hide who he is to me. I think ADP’s commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging, and respect for people of all backgrounds is one reason I love working at ADP and why I’ve built a long career here.

« All Blogs

Women in STEM

ADP’s Margaret Tuohy shares her STEM Journey

Take inspiration from this Vice President of Product Management of National Accounts who says she wasn’t one of those people who knew what she wanted to be at the age of 5. She’s learned to just figure out that one next step.

Margaret Tuohy grew up the oldest of three in Brooklyn, NY. Her parents, both immigrants, still live there. “My parents are the classic immigrant story. They independently came to the US from Ireland when they were 17. They both sent money home. I learned early on to admire their work ethic and even as a child, I respected the sacrifices that they made for my brother, sister, and me.”

She went to college at SUNY Albany in upstate New York. Thinking she wanted to be a lawyer, she majored in English and Political Science. After some summer jobs working for law firms, Margaret changed her mind.

Finding the Path to Product Management

She still loved the analytic and methodical thinking of law. So, she explored other graduate programs and continued at SUNY Albany for an MBA with a concentration in Management Information Systems. “It was a pragmatic decision. I enjoyed technology and they had a great program. I was awarded an assistantship that would cover tuition and I knew there were job opportunities when I graduated.”

Margaret found the classes fascinating, especially information systems. “There was quite a bit of statistics and math, operational problems, and field projects. I enjoyed the work.”

Margaret Tuohy

Margaret Tuohy

She was recruited by GE and entered their Information Management Leadership Program. Margaret was attracted to the opportunity to rotate throughout different GE businesses utilizing different technologies. An added benefit was the ability to move to a different geographic location every six months. “I had a lot of exposure to different business concepts, ways of doing things, and technologies. About midway through the program, I rotated to the San Francisco Bay Area by myself for what was supposed to be six months. I loved the area so much, I ended up living there for several years. In addition to work opportunities, the Bay Area is where I met my husband and bought my first house. It was an exciting time.”

During the last part of Margaret’s GE tenure, she spent her time working as a developer on a data warehousing project where she managed a team focused on data conversions and integrations. One technology Margaret developed expertise in was Informatica. A friend knew someone at the company and Margaret learned they were recruiting.

Margaret joined Informatica as a sales engineer where she was doing demos, traveling to client sites, and implementing proof of concepts in short engagements. “The pressure was pretty intense. As a sales engineer, you need to be able to install, run, and develop programs in an unfamiliar environment, all with the client looking over your shoulder.” She loved working with clients and understanding tech from their perspective, as well as working with the product managers in the company. Margaret stayed in the business intelligence space for a few more years, managing larger development teams. After eight years in California, Margaret’s husband, an environmental scientist and professor, had a job opportunity in Atlanta and they decided to move back East.

Margaret Tuohy and husband Derek Shendell

Margaret with her husband, Derek Shendell, hiking on vacation in Sonoma, California.

Margaret moved to Atlanta and quickly found a position with CNN, supporting a data warehousing effort. About 7 months into that role, another opportunity opened with CNN in the New York bureau. The role was responsible for product managing digital media for CNN’s business coverage. Margaret applied and was in NY within a couple of weeks. “That time was a bit of whirlwind. In the space of 16 months, I had lived in the Bay Area, Atlanta, and then then New York. Fortunately, my husband quickly found a position with Rutgers University, so the move was good for both of us.”

Margaret was in the newsroom, working with editorial and developers to build more effective ways to report business news and financial data across digital, social, video, and mobile. “I loved the job and being in the newsroom. It was fun to be part of something new in an environment where we could get things done quickly. I had great executive support and resources in a unit that was very nimble. And I had a lot of autonomy to roll things out on the site.”

Best advice: When you’ve made the decision, be at peace with that decision. Trust yourself enough to not second-guess.

– Margaret Tuohy, VP of Product Management, ADP National Accounts

Although she had managed teams before, CNN was the first place she could build a team from scratch. “I knew what I was looking for in the first person, but it was not the same as what I needed in my fifth hire. As the team grew, the work and people were evolving. So, we needed new personality traits and skills sets that weren’t part of the picture at the beginning.”

After eight years with CNN, an opportunity arose with a start-up, Business Insider (BI). Margaret joined as the SVP of Product Development, running product management, launching international versions of the website, and using analytics to build an audience.

Coming to ADP

She had hoped BI would be more like CNN, but it was a different organization in a different stage of development. “I remember being on vacation and while I was hiking, I came to terms with feeling like the job was not a fit. So, I gave myself permission to leave. I went home and started putting out feelers. This time I cast a wider net beyond media. I was looking at companies that sold software products and solutions. I was still open to media, but I was also willing to explore something new.”

At the time, ADP had several open roles that looked interesting. Margaret checked her LinkedIn connections and found someone happy to pass on her resume to the right person.

Then she got a call and interviewed with Don Weinstein, who hired her. She started out in a product portfolio and strategy role, which was perfect for learning about HR technology and ADP. Eager to get back into Product Management, Margaret moved into her current role, VP, Product Management of National Accounts. “It was the natural next step and there was a lot to learn. In National Accounts, we work with large clients with complex needs and high expectations. I was also learning the market while at the same time, structuring my team.”

“In the last couple of years, I really feel like I’ve gotten to practice Product Management at scale. National Accounts has many products within the portfolio, we have a good number of Digital Transformation projects in flight that will deliver strong business outcomes, and the Product Management team has really evolved. It has been exciting to see product managers that are relatively new to the organization develop confidence to not only manage product backlogs, but also become the experts on client webinars. Likewise, there have been opportunities to tweak or develop roles so more tenured associates can continue to grow.”

Margarets extended family

Margaret with her family after a dinner out in Brooklyn, New York.

Find and Be a Mentor

Margaret strongly advocates finding a mentor and then being a mentor to others. “I was lucky to have a sponsor at CNN who understood me. He had my back and helped handle the politics so I could focus on the work. It was really valuable. Even now, I text him once in a while and ask for advice.”

“Find someone who knows you in a professional context and can give advice. At CNN, I was a Sr. Director and needed someone who supported and challenged me at the same time. Earlier in my career, I had a mentor who was more of a teacher who could provide expertise and encouragement. They were the right mentors for different stages in my career.”

Best Advice

The best advice Margaret received along the way was from a trusted teacher in high school when she was trying to figure out where to go to college. She was weighing options, making tentative decisions, and then second guessing. The teacher advised, “You’ve made the decision, now be at peace with that decision. Trust yourself enough to not second-guess.”

Her advice to others is related. “I’ve always been a little envious of people who knew exactly what they wanted to do since they were 5 years old. I’m just not that person, and I’ve learned to be ok with that. I often tell others, you don’t have to decide your life plan; just decide what you’re going to try next. Figure out that one next step. Just ask yourself whether the opportunity you are going after will take you in the right direction, and then trust your decision.”

Ready for more?

Explore the stories of these and other ADP Women in STEM, and learn about careers at ADP.

Read why ADP was named the “2020 Top Companies Winner for Women Technologists” by AnitaB.org.

Related Video: How ADP Walks the D&I Talk

One way ADP encourages diversity and inclusion (D&I) among its associates is through business resource groups (BRGs). ADP’s iWIN BRG is the company’s largest with 5000+ members (male and female) from 19 countries across the business. Learn how iWIN engages, equips and empowers its members to achieve personal and professional success through networking, professional development, and other educational opportunities. iWIN is an internal organization open only to ADP associates.

Tags: Leadership Trends and Innovation Professional & Technical Services Articles Career Management

Tech & Innovation Blog

Curious about UX Design at ADP?


UX, Pasadena, Why ADP

Video: Curious about UX Design at ADP?

Curious to know what to expect as a UX Designer at ADP? Hear from Katie as she shares how her role involves solving complex problems, which is what drew her to the role in the first place.

Tech & Innovation Blog

Internships to a Full-Time Career


Campus Development Programs, Intern to Full-Time, Pasadena

Internships to a Full-time Career

As you may be aware, we have a robust technology internship program. This is where we train our future leaders and innovators. Hear from Omar as he shares his experience as an Intern to a Full-Time Application Developer, why he chose ADP, and why he is proud to work for #ADPTech.