Skip to main content

Closing the Gap for Single Mothers

Woman wearing purple jacket hiking in the trail.

I am grateful to have ADP’s support as the company continues to take corporate social responsibility and builds a diverse and inclusive workforce.

By Manjula G., Senior Director of Product Development

I grew up in a small town near Hyderabad, India, with three other sisters and a brother. When I was 16, our father passed away. My mother became a single mom in the blink of an eye, and I vividly remember stepping in to help her.

From my mother’s experiences as a homemaker, I just wanted to be the best support for my family. I helped my younger sister with her homework and getting dinner ready at night. Although our family went through a tumultuous time, what didn’t waver was my mother’s strong belief in her children receiving the best education possible.

Fast forward to today, I’m proud to provide support to other families in need as a Senior Director of Product Development at ADP and recently named Single Mothers’ Program (SMP) Volunteer Director at Women in Technology (WIT). I dedicate my time outside of my tech career to supporting other women to build a career and foster a safe place for them to ask questions and grow, all so they can provide a better life for themselves and their children.

WIT provides an IT Fundamentals and Cybersecurity Certificate Program to benefit single mothers who live in poverty and are interested in starting a financially sustainable career in Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math (STEAM). As an SMP Volunteer Program Director, I engage at all levels responsible for managing and enhancing the program from recruitment to mentor-matching.

Manjula and her sons Abhi and Ritvik with their two dogs in the forest.
Manjula and her sons Abhi and Ritvik

People often ask me where I find the energy to guide the program outside my full-time job. Looking back, my mother has been my role model and the foundation of why I do what I do. Supporting other women is now my mission, and I believe in bringing positive impacts on their lives.

While conducting the SMP interviews, I found myself deeply moved to hear about the single moms’ journeys and their daily hardships in working multiple jobs. Many mothers were in tears sharing their personal stories but determined to be a part of the program to change their children’s lives. I had a moment of self-reflection and gratitude as I was overwhelmingly inspired to be part of their life-changing journey.

You may be wondering how I found my opportunity at WIT. Well, ADP’s sponsorship of WIT includes mentorship opportunities. I encourage leaders and associates to participate, together raising awareness in supporting single mothers’ careers in tech. I learned the key is kindness and empathy while having patience, persistence, and staying positive in helping them work towards their career goals. Read more about the program and testimonials of the cohort graduates here.

Many single mothers are not exposed to the wide variety of technology careers or know what it’s like to work in tech. So, we love to see our associates share their work experiences and open doors to them. Technologists, I invite you to tell your story to whatever degree you are comfortable with and help a single mother better understand how to navigate in today’s fascinating world of tech.

A group of women at a table at 2022 WIT Award Ceremony in Atlanta.
2022 WIT Award Ceremony in Atlanta

It has been nothing but a rewarding journey for me personally. As I connect with other technologists through volunteering, I broaden my network and perspective across and outside ADP. The opportunity to serve has helped me become more human and open the underprivileged to jobs in the technology domain.

I am grateful to have ADP’s support as the company continues to take corporate social responsibility and builds a diverse and inclusive workforce. My volunteer team aims to bridge the gender gap as we support these women and introduce them to STEAM fields.

Consider becoming a mentor, sponsor, or partner today to help underprivileged women break through barriers and advance career opportunities.

#WomenInTech #STEAM #Mentorship #WomeninSTEAM #Engineering

Click here to search for your next move, and visit Who We Hire.


Related Articles