Smash! Pow! Bam! SXSW Attendees Break Barriers with ADP and Wired

ADP and Wired Break Barriers at SXSW 2019

ADP and Wired magazine gave attendees at the 2019 SXSW® conference in Austin, TX, the opportunity to smash professional obstacles with their Breaking Barriers exhibit.

Amy Labruo adjusted her helmet, lifted her baseball bat, and smashed the living daylights out of an old desk phone.

"That felt great," she said, letting out a deep sigh. "Outdated technology is definitely the most frustrating part of my job."

Barriers are everywhere at work. Whether it's old technology, career stagnation, poor work/life balance or the glass ceiling, invisible obstacles frustrate the most dedicated employees and force them to carve new paths to success. Sometimes, they just want to take a baseball bat -- or a crowbar, or a pipe wrench, or a ball-peen hammer -- and smash their way out of it.

ADP and Wired magazine gave attendees at the 2019 SXSW conference in Austin, TX, the opportunity to do just that with their Breaking Barriers exhibit, a series of "break rooms" based on common work challenges. Visitors could use a variety of heavy objects to break a glass ceiling, smash outdated technology, destroy a piggy bank, or pummel a clock to vent their frustrations at their professional hurdles.

"I felt like my mom had already overcome the glass ceiling," said Ligia Mazurkiewicz of content portal Voicers, who had just smashed a pane of glass into smithereens. "But guess what. I'm almost 40, and it's still there."

Even Lorraine Barber-Miller, ADP's chief marketing officer, got in on the fun, demolishing a ceramic piggy bank to symbolize the fight against pay inequality. "That was very liberating," she said. "We've come a long way as a society, but there are still barriers to break."

Jason Herman of GSK Consumer Healthcare was succinct about his feelings after shattering a glass ceiling of his own. "That felt good," he said. "There are not a lot of opportunities in your daily life to pound things."

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