Tech & Innovation Blog

Designing For All People: Inclusive UX at ADP 


UX Design, Inclusive Design, Voice of Our People

Amber's Header

Amber Abreu, Senior Manager of User Experience (UX) research at ADP, speaks with us about the essentials of inclusive design, educating with empathy, and the future of UX innovation at ADP. 

Designing For All People: Inclusive UX at ADP  

Amber Abreu, Senior Manager of User Experience (UX) research at ADP, has devoted her career to working in the field of inclusive and accessible UX design. She speaks with us about the essentials of inclusive design, educating with empathy, and the future of UX innovation at ADP. 

What are you working on these days?  

I just started a new role as Senior Manager of UX Research for the Growth team. ADP’s Global Product & Technology organization has three UX teams working under an “OneUX” umbrella: Our Generative team focuses on foundational understanding of our customers and internal associates, the Emerge team handles next-generation products, and the Growth team, my team, does boots-on-the-ground, day-to-day research for various product teams. OneUX is a huge effort with a focus on inclusive and accessible design. It’s a new initiative, and we’re all sort of holding hands as we move through this process together. 

As a team leader, I’m excited to support people who are making a positive impact. The work we do on this team really does help people in their lives. I like having a sense of purpose that gets me out of bed every morning, and I want to share that feeling with the rest of my team. 

You’ve had quite a career journey and came back to ADP. What brought you back? 

Someone I used to work with at ADP remembered me, told me they had an opening and asked if I was interested. I liked the people and thought it was a good fit. It was that simple. But I also saw it as a place where I could make a difference. In the 15 years since I’d previously worked at ADP, I’d worked on UX teams at companies like Delta and AT&T, where I’d been able to educate so many people about accessible design.  

I think lots of organizations don’t fully understand what inclusive design actually means, even if they think they do. They might have UX teams, but sometimes they’re just checking a box—though I see this less and less as more people become aware of what smart user experience design can achieve. I was happy to come back to ADP because their commitment to inclusive UX matches my own. 

Your passion for inclusive design is evident. How did you follow that career path? 

In art school, we had only one semester on inclusive design, touching only a small facet in the much larger field of research and design. Inclusive UX is very technical, but the way you implement and deliver technical requirements can be so innovative. I’ve always been drawn to the intersection between problem-solving and really technical aspects of design. Think of some of the technologies we take for granted, like Alexa or Siri. Those ideas came out of inclusive UX design trying to help people with different capabilities and needs. Now everybody uses them, not just people with disabilities. Also, consider people who, for whatever reason, can’t use a mouse. What’s their user experience going to be?  

My personal story is one of the reasons I’m passionate about inclusive design. I was paralyzed due to one of my pregnancies and lost the use of one side of my face. I couldn’t drink from a cup anymore. I couldn’t close my eye. I had to relearn how to do all sorts of things. My experience isn’t the same as someone who is permanently disabled or missing a limb or blind, but I think going through that and being willing to share the experience helps us talk about how UX can affect people and how it can help. 

Probably the most significant technological innovation in modern history has been computerized technology and the internet. Technology was supposed to make our lives easier—but an entire segment of the population wasn’t considered and was left behind, which is antithetical to the whole purpose. If anything, computerized technology should create more equity instead of causing a great divide. I’ve been working my entire career to close the gap. 

What’s your approach to inclusive design? 

I try to educate and create empathy. At previous companies I’ve worked for, I’ve tried to bring people from the community to help inform designers of their particular experiences. I’ve also taken designers to an exhibition called Dialogue in the Dark that simulates total blindness. When you go in, you’re in utter darkness. You can’t see the hand in front of your face, and you confront the challenges blind people face every day. People who aren’t blind know it must be challenging, but being exposed to their daily experience helps us understand what that means. 

It’s important to ask a lot of questions, seek knowledge, and share that knowledge. I tell this to people all the time: You’re not the first person to have this problem; someone has solved it. We just need to talk to each other.  

How do you see your work shaping the future of ADP? 

We’re still in the early days of evolving our UX teams. One area we are focusing on is the employee experience—if you’re an employee and you have to go out and check your payroll statement or your W-2, you’ll see changes there. We’re also updating our all-in-one platform for payroll and HR software targeted at mid-market clients. We’re working to make all of our visual design and interactive components accessible from a shared library. Once we get further, those changes will be visible across other products in our portfolio. 

In the next six months to a year, I would like to put in place a solid foundation for an inclusive research program. It would include recruiting partnerships to bring people into research who have different disabilities and language capabilities and people from communities outside of ADP offices. Long term, I’d like to stand up a dedicated research program focused on informing future-thinking designs so we can operate on an international scale in countries with stricter accessibility requirements like Australia, UK, and Canada. 

What excites you about what’s next? 

There’s this misconception that the accessibility guidelines are only for people with disabilities, which is not true. They are for people whose first language is not in the system language. They’re for people who are older or less educated. There are different tiers of accessibility. And the core fundamental principles are that this work should lift up everyone.  

There’s a lot here to be excited about, and because we’re all working together, we’re going to be stronger in the long run. Our team is growing, and we want people who care, who are willing to say, “I don’t know, but I’m willing to learn.” Every person who works on the project will say that they directly impacted someone with a disability in a positive way.  

Interested in a career as a UX Designer or Researcher?

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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

Women Engineer Magazine Top 50 Company.


Recognition, Awards, Women in STEM

Woman Engineer Magazine: 2021 Readers' Choice: A Top 50 Employer

ADP is thrilled to earn a place on this year’s 30th Annual “Top 50 Employers” in Woman Engineer Magazine for a second year in a row.

Readers of Woman Engineer Magazine chose top US companies they would most like to work for and/or whom they believe would provide a positive working environment for women engineers.
They chose ADP as one of the Top 50.

ADP is proud to build diverse teams that represent the diversity of our clients to drive innovation. At ADP, we focus on inclusion and reflect a diversity lens within our products.

Our focus on such programs as our partnership with Girls Who Code and our Women in Technology Leadership Mentoring Program has led to distinctions such as AnitaB.org naming ADP a 2020 Top Companies for Women Technologists Winner in the Large Technical Workforce category.

AnitaB.org recognized ADP for making the most progress toward women’s equity among companies with large technical workforces. We know that having a more diverse organization makes us stronger, and we are proud of supporting women in technology.

Our Global Product and Technology (GPT) organization stays close to industry benchmarks and has adopted measures to continue to drive progress. ADP also supports philanthropic organizations that nurture the career development of girls and women in the technology field, helping them fulfill their potential as future tech leaders.

Our technology leaders are committed to driving diversity, including recruiting and developing women technologists while providing opportunities for them to grow their careers.

Some recent product examples include the ADP DataCloud Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) Dashboards to help companies see real-time workforce demographics. Some other products to promote a diverse workforce include our Candidate Relevancy tools and the award-winning Pay Equity Explorer.

We strive to offer personal development opportunities through self-driven platforms, and our International Women’s Network and our Empower Committee focused on Women in STEM. Regardless of your role, we offer opportunities for women technologists. Meet Some of the Women of ADP DevOps and how they drive data-centric development.

Some recent product examples include the ADP DataCloud Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) Dashboards to help companies see real-time workforce demographics. Some other products to promote a diverse workforce include our Candidate Relevancy tools and the award-winning Pay Equity Explorer.

Visit us at tech.adp.com and learn more about what we do.

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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 (some of) the Women of ADP DevOps


Women in STEM, Voice of Our People, DevOps

Collage of Stella, Natalia, Tao, Monica

One group of women within our DevOps team share their story of camaraderie and making a difference at ADP. Every day, they work in close support of one another to tackle exciting technical challenges and to drive data-centric development across the company.

ADP is a 2020 Grace Hopper Award recipient for our commitment to diverse teams and the overall development of women, no matter where they are in their careers. One group of women within our DevOps team share their story of camaraderie and making a difference at ADP. Every day, they work in close support of one another to tackle exciting technical challenges and to drive data-centric development across the company. We recently caught up with Monica Bansal (Application Developer), Natalia Ermolayeva (Senior Application Developer), Tao Hu (Principal Application Developer), and Stella Jia (Senior Director, Application Development). It was clear from our chat and how they complement each other’s work why they’ve become such a tight-knit group. Below, they share what makes their collaboration work so well, their recent wins, and what they’re excited to learn—and build—in the months and years to come.

What do each of you do at ADP, and why did you join the team?

Monica sitting by a body of waterMonica: My job is a blend of application development and data analytics—I assist ADP’s data scientists with experiments and then build out the APIs. I’ve been with the company full-time for about a year now; I started as a summer intern while getting my master’s in data science and computer science. I knew I wanted to continue my career in this field, and I liked getting to work with real data and implement it in the real world. I did another part-time internship last spring while finishing my degree, and then I joined Stella’s team.

Tao: I’m a principal application developer, which means I build many of the libraries and components that allow our work to scale—they become the blueprint other teams implemented. I’ve been with ADP since 2013. Before that, I worked in finance as a Java developer. A friend of mine recommended ADP after my company moved farther from my home. I have two young boys, and I wanted to make sure I had time to take care of them. I knew ADP had a reputation for being a family-friendly employer.

When I started at ADP, my work focused on producing reports. But once Stella joined, our team shifted to more machine learning. I love problem-solving and simplifying processes, so it’s been really fun for me.

Natalia: I’m a senior application developer, and I see my role as keeping data safe and available—I handle testing and operations. I’m very new to ADP; I joined about four months ago. One big attraction was the level of collaboration between departments. I was very impressed with the people who interviewed me. Everyone was very professional, and they mentioned many modern tools that I was excited to use. I knew ADP would be a good place to broaden my skills across a lot of different areas.

Stella runningStella: I’m a senior director for application development. My job is to lead the Application Development team and make sure we’re delivering insights that will help ADP build better products. As Tao mentioned, that involves a lot of machine learning work and other statistical analysis, as well as data mining and visualization techniques. An intrinsic strength of this team is connecting the data to the real people we serve. When we look for patterns and anomalies, we’re trying to figure out how we can make people’s jobs easier as we ADP innovate and grow.

I joined ADP about four years ago; a mentor and friend I’d previously worked for recommended I apply. He had great things to say about the leadership and the vision for transformation from a service company to a technology company. The people were great, too, and I liked that I’d get to learn about a lot of domains I hadn’t worked in before. I think it’s an excellent environment for anyone who wants to grow by adding value and helping others.

How do you support each other’s work?

Tao: We’re helping each other every day, sharing results and ideas for new approaches. For example, we’ve been using a new data analysis tool to build some reports, and now we’re looking at other projects that might benefit from those same functionalities. Because of our roles, Monica and I work especially closely, but I feel like I can pick up the phone or message anyone on the team when I have something to figure out, and I’ll get help right away.

Natalia with a cat on her shoulderNatalia: Yes—I like that my teammates are always just a call or text away. Knowing each other as people, chatting and joking around makes it so much easier to communicate and work together. We’re comfortable sharing ideas freely and collaborating, even when we’re not in the same room.

Stella: Definitely. We’d love to hang out in person more, but even with everyone virtual, it’s turned out really well. And that collaboration is so important. I think of the team as a set of pillars—if any of them aren’t there, none of it works. Monica is doing the analytics and research, slicing and dicing the data. Once we’ve found something we want to build upon, Tao steps in to create that foundation. And then Natalia is there to make sure we’re not only maintaining privacy but keeping things sustainable from an operations perspective. We all need each other, and we’re all working toward the same goal and figuring out how to measure success, which could be a product’s stickiness, preventing errors, or saving people time.

Monica: I think everyone on the team is naturally very passionate about working toward what we all want to achieve. You can always go to someone with a question, and everyone pitches in when someone needs help to make sure we’re hitting our targets. Stella is great about making sure we’re all happy and doing the kind of work we want to be doing.

Tell us about some of the ways you’ve made an impact at ADP.

Tao in Death ValleyTao: We recently started using a new workflow manager tool, which has been a big win. Before, if we had a lot of ETL (extract, transform, load) jobs, we’d get files from other teams and load them into the database. With all the pieces and feeds, it wasn’t easy to see the status of any particular piece. That was frustrating. Stella recommended a workflow tool, which I hadn’t heard of at the time. After I got up to speed, we started building things out, adapting the data monitor and using the workflow manager to grab all the outputs, sending them to the monitor, and building the dashboards there. Now we have an accessible overview to see what’s working and what isn’t. It’s been so helpful.

Natalia: Due to the nature of my work, success isn’t always obvious. If things run smoothly, no one notices what happens in the background, which means I’ve done my job. As I get more familiar with how things work at ADP, I’ll have some opportunities to automate more daily, repetitive tasks. That’s a big priority.

Monica: We did an error-detection project recently where we built a model to help us flag problems on the back-end when a client runs their payroll and how users respond when they get those warnings. If we have a proper pipeline of data to run the model regularly, clients can see predictions for the entire week, and we can see whether they’re using or ignoring the information, which tells us whether we need to make some corrections.

More broadly, our team helps others understand the importance and potential of data, especially here at ADP, where we have such rich data. We want to drive data-centric development, which starts with data collection. Before we can do the analytics, our data needs to be clean. So we work with a lot of other teams, helping them understand how to use the tools and making sure they’re comfortable and up-to-date on everything they need.

Stella: We are part of a data-informed culture. Technology evolves quickly. At ADP, we want to stay ahead and be proactive rather than reactive. Data is a huge asset in that effort. It gives us much faster feedback loops and insights into our clients. We can quickly see when and whether a client’s hitting a milestone.

But to leverage that asset, as Monica mentioned, we need a certain level of data literacy throughout the business. If developers understand how data can help them build a better product, it will be much easier to scale. Part of our team’s job is to encourage data literacy. We also help establish standards, offer training, and get development teams running on an autonomous path to adopt a canonical format every team can follow. We find that it is contagious. Once a few teams embrace the data, other teams understand the benefits more quickly and have more colleagues to help them learn.

What are you excited to learn next?

Natalia: There are a lot of tools I’m excited to learn more about, including the ones my colleagues have mentioned. I’m looking forward to using new technologies in general, particularly machine learning tools. I think I’ll have many opportunities to code for our team’s internal purposes, for affirmation and monitoring, too. Because I’m new to the team, I’m also learning the big picture and how everything’s connected. ADP is great with documentation, so I can find almost everything I need on my own. But I can always ask my colleagues or get up to speed through a learning session with one of our senior team members.

Tao: I’m excited to keep learning new technologies, too. I’ll often jump over to educational resources to get a quick sense of something, then I come back and try to use it. The machine learning side of things is especially exciting. Besides learning new languages, I love new concepts for how to approach our work.

Monica: I feel like I’ve grown so much already! From the start of my first internship to now, I’ve been able to work on many different services and projects, from machine learning models to APIs to analytics. Whenever Stella says, “I have an idea,” we get excited. The technologies are always changing, and that helps us grow.

Stella: One thing I’m thinking about is how to give developers more visibility into what we do. As Natalia mentioned, most of our foundational work tends to happen behind the scenes. We look forward to building stronger connections with our frontend partners, which will provide even more opportunities to enjoy the results and get recognition for our work.

At ADP, our talent pipeline is so important. It’s about getting the right people and building a strong culture. We want the goal, in everything my team does, to be a better developer experience. We strive to make people happy, make their jobs easier, make their days more efficient. If we provide them with a platform that allows them to test and measure their ideas more quickly, they’ll have more time to explore new ideas and innovate.

Tech & Innovation Blog

“Building a World of Truly Inclusive Technology,” AnitaB.org Names ADP a Top Company for Women Technologists.


Women in STEM, Recognition, Grace Hopper

AnitaB.org Top Companies for Women Technologists Winner

AnitaB.org recognized ADP for making the most progress toward the equity of women among companies with large technical workforces. We know that having a more diverse organization makes us stronger, and we are proud of supporting women in technology. Hear from Krupali who describes her recruiting experience with ADP at Grace Hopper.

DylanAt this year’s virtual Grace Hopper Celebration hosted by the nonprofit social enterprise AnitaB.org, they announced ADP earned the distinction as a 2020 Top Companies for Women Technologists Winner in the Large Technical Workforce category. Read the full press release here.

AnitaB.org recognized ADP for making the most progress toward the equity of women among companies with large technical workforces. We know that having a more diverse organization makes us stronger, and we are proud of supporting women in technology.

Our Global Product and Technology (GPT) organization stays close to industry benchmarks and has adopted measures to continue to drive progress. ADP also supports philanthropic organizations that nurture the career development of girls and women in the technology field, helping them to fulfill their potential as future tech leaders.

Our technology leaders are committed to driving diversity, including recruiting and developing women technologists while providing opportunities for them to grow their careers.

KrupaliSince we are celebrating Grace Hopper, let’s check out a post about one of our attendees and hear from Krupali as she describes her recruiting experience with ADP & Grace Hopper.

#WomenInTech #ADPLife

To learn more about our Campus Programs, visit Who We Hire.

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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

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ADP recognizes three students for STEAM Awards

ADP recognizes three students for STEAM Awards

Tech & Innovation Blog

ADP recognizes three students for STEAM Awards


Scholarship Winners, Women in Tech, Diversity & Inclusion

Video: ADP recognizes three students for STEAM Awards

Catch all the feels as Aisha, our Chief Diversity, Inclusion & Corporate Social Responsibility Officer, and Kanyatta, one our Vice Presidents, break the news to three lucky STEAM winners for ADP scholarships. (Spoiler: there may have been some tears!)

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Urvashi

Women in STEM Profile: ADP’s CTO, Urvashi Tyagi

At Urvashi Tyagi’s first job after college, there were no other women in the company. None. ADP’s Chief Technology Officer knows first-hand how challenging the path can be for a woman in STEM.

Urvashi Tyagi grew up in India. She and her three sisters are all engineers; her oldest sister paved the way. When her sister told the family she wanted to become an engineer, Urvashi’s parents, aunts and uncles were worried no one would want to marry a woman engineer. And besides, it wasn’t even a good career choice with barely any job opportunities for female engineers. After an extended family meeting resulted in an unfavorable outcome, her parents had a change of heart and let Urvashi’s oldest sister join the engineering program. When it was Urvashi’s turn, no one questioned the decision. (And she and her sisters are all happily married and enjoying their professions.)

The Only Woman

While both technology and culture had changed a lot, there were still many challenges for women engineers. When Urvashi was a college undergrad, she was one of only four women in a class of 90 engineering students.

As she was graduating, most companies were not interested in recruiting women. So, she didn’t get a job from campus interviews. But Urvashi noticed an ad in the newspaper at a company that developed machine tools and wanted to hire college grads with design and computer numerical control programming experience. She was invited to interview and was delighted to get the job.

Show up, keep learning, and often it works out better than you could have imagined.

– Urvashi Tyagi, Chief Technology Officer at ADP

When she showed up on her first day, there were no other women in the company. There had never been a women’s bathroom. “Someone printed out a sign that said, ‘Women Only’ and taped it to one of the bathrooms for me,” She says. Grateful, Urvashi overlooked the fact her bathroom was in a different building than where she worked. “I had to figure out how to co-exist on the shop floor and focus on the work. Most of the time it was good. I learned a lot about solving complex engineering problems.”Urvashi-profile-pic

Urvashi Tyagi

Later, she found out the hiring manager never had the permission to hire her. He sent the offer letter because she was one of the top two candidates selected based on test scores and interviews. His boss was not entirely pleased. “I got the job because of one individual who did not see things in a stereotypical way and was focused on finding the right person for the role.”

While working full time, Urvashi went back to school to earn her MBA. From there, she decided to teach operations management and information systems. As an academic associate for a couple years at the premier Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad, she had the opportunity to work and connect with top professors all over the world. But she realized she enjoyed solving problems more than being in a classroom. One of her colleagues encouraged her to apply to a master’s of science program at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, in Worcester, MA. Urvashi wasn’t sure she wanted more school or how she was going to pay for it, but she looked up the program. The customizable curriculum and the focus on applied learning swayed her. She learned that the deadline to apply had already passed, but after speaking with a professor at the school, she submitted her application and was admitted.

Her family didn’t want her so far away. Once again, her older sister supported her and encouraged her family to let her go. Urvashi’s sister was also moving to the United States with her husband and promised to keep an eye on Urvashi. Her parents scraped together the money to purchase their first-ever airplane ticket and a couple months of living expenses. She arrived in Massachusetts with two bags, one full of snacks.

Learning and Solving Problems

Since graduating from WPI in 2001, Urvashi has worked for many of the big names in technology, including IBM, Microsoft, and Amazon. She’s led global engineering teams doing product strategy, architecture, and development. When you download an audiobook or send an Outlook email, know that Urvashi was involved with the engineering and teams that made that possible.

Urvashi-With-family

Lockdown birthday celebration at home (left to right): daughter Riya, husband Shishir, Urvashi and son Tanish.

Today, she is ADP’s Chief Technology Officer, taking on that role in 2019. “I had no idea that I would be a CTO three years ago,” she says. “I didn’t plan it. I try to live in the moment and put all my energy into what I am doing and the problems I am working to solve. That drives the next things that happen.”

Urvashi’s approach is to make sure she is always learning and delivering in her role. “While the foundations of engineering and technology may not change that often, the applications are evolving constantly,” she says. “The only way to keep up is to be a lifelong student.”

It’s also essential to understand your own value to the organization. “Always know how the work you do will impact the company’s bottom line and how your work is adding value and taking the company forward.”

This can be challenging for women of color who often experience more scrutiny of their work, more criticism, and less credit for their accomplishments. “The one area where I have experienced unconscious bias is with criticism,” Urvashi says. “I have to listen carefully and know when the feedback is genuine and when it is more about the person giving the feedback. When I understand that, I can embrace the situation and not take it personally.”

Urvashi’s best advice is to live in the moment. “Things don’t have to be planned or the way you think they should be. Show up, keep learning, and often it works out better than you could have imagined.”

Ready for more?

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

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.

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All-Female 48-Hour Hackathon Attracted 200 Virtual Participants

All-Female 48-Hour Hackathon Attracted 200 Virtual Participants

ADP supports events such as this in an effort to encourage more young women to pursue STEM careers.

During a global health event with social distancing in full swing, is there any group better prepared to embrace a 48-hour virtual gathering than tech-savvy female students? Probably not. For the second time, ADP sponsored the Major League Hacking (MLH) Hack Girl Summer Hackathon to encourage female software engineers to pursue their dreams. But this was the first time the event was not held in person.

The June 19-21 virtual hackathon attracted more than 200 participants and at least 50 ADP associates volunteered as organizers, mentors, judges and participants for this event.

Daina Bowler, ADP Vice President of Sales and iWIN board chairperson, kicked off the event, delivering her remarks via streaming platform. Daina told viewers that the ADP iWIN business resource group is comprised of 5,000 ADP women from around the world who are dedicated to encouraging and preparing women and young girls to achieve successful careers in STEM.

After the welcome, participants quickly organized into 70+ teams and then started the creative process and coding effort to develop the best application. The popular gaming chat application Discord was used to find team members to work with and to find mentors to chat with while hacking.

ADP volunteer mentors had their own active Discord channel where coders could ask for guidance on project ideas or pose technical questions to troubleshoot issues. As the corporate sponsor, ADP also presented two well-received workshops.

ADP workshops

Workshops

Aini Ali, ADP Vice-President, SBS Operations and iWin Empower Board Chairperson; and Laura Colon, Senior Program Manager – SBS Operations; conducted the first workshop, “Up and Coming Technology” which described all the amazing ways technology has changed the world. She described the incredible advancements in robotics, artificial intelligence, machine learning and automation that will drive future innovation. It is a very exciting time to be a techie!

Ellen Hongo, ADP Senior Director of Strategy GSS, conducted the second workshop “Crafting a Chatbot People Want to Use.” Ellen described what goes into designing and creating chatbots using IBM Watson technology, and how they are used at ADP to improve client experience and support. Ellen’s workshop opened a new area in automations for the young women to consider as they prepare to enter the workforce of the future.

The ADP challenge “Happy at Home Presented by ADP” was to create a hack that helps folks stay happy at home. The participants’ project could be designed to tackle at-home productivity and entertainment, make working remotely easier, or help users connect with friends and family remotely.

After 48 hours of intense coding and a long sleepless weekend, it was time for the judges to see all the application demos and presentations by the students. There were 27 terrific submissions on DevPost for the ADP challenge. DevPost is a global community where software developers share their projects to inspire and learn from one another. The ADP volunteers on the judging panel evaluated and rated the projects on originality, technology, design, completion, learning and adherence to theme. There were so many fantastic projects made by women, for women. It was no easy task to choose the winner of the ADP challenge.

ADP happy at home challenge

Challenge Winner

During the closing ceremony, Aini Ali announced the ADP challenge winner which was the application called “Inspiration.” This creative iOS application was developed by a high school student who wanted to empower other young women to pursue their interests in STEM because diversity is important in the STEM field. The Inspiration app allows young girls to explore different STEM careers through simple objects.

Users point their phone’s camera at an object and take a picture of it. Using machine learning and object detection/image labeling, the app detects what object is in the photo. It then displays relevant careers in STEM involving the object and prompts the user to view an influential woman in the same career. Every day, the app’s home page displays a new influential female for girls to learn about.

The iOS app was built using Xcode and SwiftUI. For the front end, the student designed all the UI using Sketch. For the backend, she used machine learning API and Firebase. The machine learning API uses the ML Kit Image Labeling’s base TensorFlow model in order to predict the objects in the photos. The Inspiration app was truly a very creative and innovative application!

The Major League Hacking Organization (MLH) organizers truly appreciate ADP’s sponsorship and partnership. We look forward to doing many more hackathons together in the future. Thank you to all the ADP volunteers for the outstanding energy they brought to this event. We all learned so much about new technologies used to conduct a virtual event of this magnitude and it was an amazing experience.

ADP is proud to support women’s hackathons to encourage more young women to relentlessly pursue their dreams of changing the world using innovative technology. Through this hackathon sponsorship and our significant partnership with Girls Who Code – focused on closing the gender gap in tech — ADP demonstrates our commitment to Diversity and Inclusion by promoting and supporting women in technology careers.

Learn about STEM career opportunities at ADP by visiting tech.adp.com.