Promoting Diversity and Inclusion Through Allyship

hands together in a huddle

In this maiden post in a series focused on breaking barriers and influencing social change, we shine the spotlight on the International Women's Inclusion Network (iWIN), a global Business Resource Group at ADP that is using allyship to foster diversity and inclusion across the business and in our communities.

anOne of the most powerful people-driven tools for promoting a culture of diversity and inclusion at an organization are passion-driven teams known as Employee Resource Groups (ERG) or Business Resource Groups (BRGs). These groups enable associates to influence the business, develop their careers, participate in service projects and support vital causes, during "off" hours from a traditional workday. At ADP, there are nine groups, several with a global footprint, that bring together associates with common backgrounds to advocate for diversity and foster inclusion.

Daina Bowler, Vice President of Sales for HRO and iWIN co-chair, believes that the structure of ADP's BRGs and the commitment from all levels is key to BRG success. "It starts at the top. When senior leaders are fully committed to help drive the goals and initiatives of a BRG, then the groundwork is laid for a successful BRG culture." Across the organization, Bowler notes, associates are encouraged to join multiple BRGs. "The suggestion to join one BRG you associate with and one that you do not creates the first step in inclusion."

How ADP Women Are Supporting Their Male Allies During Movember

In this first blog in a maiden series focused on breaking barriers and influencing social change, we'd like to shine the spotlight on the International Women's Inclusion Network (iWIN). iWIN's mission is to engage, equip and empower women to achieve personal and professional success. Year round, 6,496 iWIN members in 40 chapters across 25 countries focus on programming to support their mission.

As a strategic initiative, iWIN has focused on the importance of allyship to both increase reach across the ADP organization, and, more importantly, to bring more diverse experience to their programming. As explained by Doug Politi, President of ADP Compliance Solutions and executive sponsor of iWIN, "BRG allies widen the lens to bring in broader perspectives, involve more people in important initiatives, and promote inclusion across the organization. This in turn helps to promote a culture of acceptance, support and caring at ADP as an organization, and lends more power to chosen initiatives."

During the month of November, iWIN supports its male allies by sponsoring Movember. Amanda Lee, Legal Director and iWIN leader for Latin America explains, "This year, iWIN is sponsoring Movember, a social movement focused on increasing awareness of men's health risks such as prostate and testicular cancer and other physical and mental health issues. iWIN has chosen to support this cause through our BRG in an effort to show our support to our fathers, sons, husbands, grandfathers, coworkers, and mentors."

Daina Bowler agrees. "Our current support of men's health through Movember is an initiative I am proud of. By extending our hand as an ally for men, we are hoping to start a powerful chain reaction to encourage a greater sense of allyship in ADP and beyond."

How Allyship Can Create Change

Allyship is a powerful tool for effecting diversity and inclusion-related change. "I am a strong believer in paying it forward. By supporting people and celebrating their strengths, it allows the pendulum to swing forward. My simple action could ignite other future actions, ultimately leading to support for all individuals. One small action can create a small change," says Bowler.

As a woman-focused BRG, iWIN believes that forming alliances with men in the business and showing support for men's health is not only the right thing to do, but will strengthen its ability to address issues unique and important to women in business. Together with its members and allies, iWIN leadership can address issues that arise both within ADP and in the broader global business community. During the pandemic, for example, a disproportionate number of women have left the workforce. Broader support for women juggling these circumstances is vitally important.

For iWIN, and indeed all BRGs at ADP, allyship is an important building block. As colleagues learn about one another's unique circumstances and support one another through personal and professional challenges, they build connections that form a foundation for a truly diverse, equitable and inclusive organization. These types of organizations can in turn act as a powerful force for inclusivity in our global business community.

To learn more about ADP's commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion, please visit our Corporate Social Responsibility site.Visit ADP's DEI resources hub to help your organization do and be its best. You can also donate to ADP's Movember campaign here.