Life @ ADP

Season 2 Episode 3: PRIDE in Giving Back

Episode Summary

It's Pride Month, and we sat down with Taylor M. to talk about her experiences being out at work, what motivated her to write a viral blog on the subject, and how she makes a positive impact in the community.

Episode Transcription

Season 2 Episode 3: PRIDE in Giving Back

Kate: [00:00:06] Happy Pride Month. Everyone, this is Kate.

Ingrid: [00:00:09] And this is Ingrid. Happy Pride Month.

Kate: [00:00:12] Happy Pride. So let's jump right into things because we have a super special guest today. Taylor is joining us, and recently Taylor wrote just the most incredible blog on her LinkedIn. And it really touched the hearts of so many of us here at ADP. So when Ingrid and I read this blog, we were like, Oops, okay, we got to get Taylor on the podcast. So, Taylor, welcome to Life at ADP, the podcast. We are so happy to have you here today.

Taylor: [00:00:49] Hi, thanks so much for having me. It's a real honor.

Kate: [00:00:53] So, Taylor, tell us a little bit about your journey here at ADP. Where are you located? What do you do? How long have you been at ADP and why did you join ADP? What made you decide to choose ADP as your employer of choice?

Taylor: [00:01:09] So I've been at ADP now for about eight years. Which in ADP terms means I'm kind of a baby. A lot of people come to ADP and stay their entire careers. So I kind of feel like a newbie most of the time, which is really amazing. I don't I don't know that you get that everywhere else in the corporate world. So I'm located out of Alpharetta, Georgia, and I am currently the data security project manager for National Accounts. So that means that I work on the security team. Its fascinating role as constantly changing and evolving. I feel like I learn something new every single day, and it's really an amazing place to be in the current technological climate that we're all living in.

Ingrid: [00:01:59] So, Taylor so here we are, right? So the million-dollar question, we want to know what inspired you to write this amazing blog? So why don't you share with the audience and with us what was behind this right? What inspired you to write the blog?

Taylor: [00:02:16] So a little bit of background, the central Pride BRG Leadership, Pride BRG being our LGBTQ+ resource group at ADP, they approached me for Women's History Month to write an article for our Out and About magazine that focused on women's stories in the LGBTQ+ community. And I really wasn't sure how to approach the article. I was kind of just given free rein to write whatever I wanted and whatever made sense to me. So I thought about my experience being in Pride at ADP and being a woman at ADP and really felt like I needed to speak from the heart. I really felt like I actually had something that I really wanted to say, when I sat down with my computer and I just started telling my story of coming out at ADP and what that experience was like for me. And it actually came out pretty easily, surprisingly. And I think by just being authentic in what I was saying and really sticking to what I felt like, I wanted people to hear about what it feels like, what the experience is like, how it is in the day-to-day to be at ADP and be out, especially having come from a position where when I first started at ADP, I wasn't out and sort of made that transition over time as I, as I speak to you in the article and to kind of let people know that it was such a great experience for me that I feel like it's okay anywhere on your journey to be, however out you're comfortable with in our workspace.

Kate: [00:04:17] So, Taylor, something interesting that you just mentioned was in the beginning of your ADP journey, you weren't out and how over time, you know, now obviously here we are talking with you on a very public platform, you know, about your decision to come out. Do you mind sharing a little bit with our listeners, you know, what prompted that?

Taylor: [00:04:43] Yeah. So I was out in my personal life and have been since I was a teenager, I've identified as queer, but professionally I wasn't really sure how my peers were going to respond or react to that. And when I first came to ADP, I was with a man and so no one ever asked questions. I was a part of the Pride BRG from I think the first months that I started at ADP because I thought it was such an amazing organization and I wanted to get involved, but I for some reason felt like I needed to kind of hide that part of myself when it came to my professional life. And when that relationship didn't work out, I, eventually, a few years later, I met my now wife and when she and I first met, I still I was I wasn't really straightforward with all of my coworkers. I did this switching pronouns and sort of just didn't really talk about it, and I found that it was really stressful a lot of the time to remember, to keep my pronouns straight and to kind of hide some of the stuff that I was doing when I wasn't at work because it was too hard to tell these complex stories, keeping track of pronouns. And so over time it just kind of wore on me. And, and so instead of making some huge announcement, I kind of started telling my closest circle of people and over time stop pushing pronouns and conversations and gradually just sort of started by tipping my toe in the water, so to speak, and over time being fully out.

Taylor: [00:06:43] And fortunately, there wasn't ever a single time that I can recall getting a strange look or a microaggression or any just any backlash whatsoever from revealing this side of myself. And the whole experience overall was just really positive, and I'm incredibly grateful for it. Once once Jenny proposed, I was pretty much fully out in the workspace, although I wasn't totally public with it, it wasn't all over, you know, I didn't have pictures of us on my desk or my laptop or any of those things. But by the time we got to that part of our relationship where I realized that this is my forever person and I'm going to marry this woman, it wasn't something I wanted to hide at all anymore. And so I just fully embraced that part of myself in the work in the workplace at ADP, and it has just been such an amazing experience. Yeah, to the point that I think showing up to work and speaking my truth every day and being fully myself and fully present has led to some really great opportunities, like being able to tell my story in the out-and-about magazine and being here to talk to you guys today about some things that are really, really important to me about our community and the outreach that we do through our BRG and the community involvement that I have as a result of being fully myself all the time, every day.

Kate: [00:08:31] Taylor, I am literally grinning ear to ear. I, I am. And I know that sounds so cheesy, but just hearing even like the tone of your voice shifted as you started, you know, talking about, you know, the beginning, how you were dating a man and then, you know, kind of this freedom, this sense of freedom that you mentioned, you know, I could literally hear you, you know, just becoming happier as you were telling that entire progression. So, you know, and for me as an associate here at ADP, you know, when I was looking for where my next home would be, so to speak, it was really important to find a place that is truly inclusive. And, you know, hearing your journey, you know, that is just proof right there, you know, that you haven't you were able to really be truly who you are and also, like flourish with your now wife, you know, and really only, hey, this is me. And to not have any sort of microaggressions or any sort of ramifications from teammates and so forth, I mean, that's just that makes me proud of the organization, who we are, you know. So thank you so much for sharing that. And my guess is you are probably one of many who have gone through something very similar here at ADP. And something that we're learning throughout this entire spectrum of the LGBTQ+ community is that there's a lot of fluidity. And I think, you know, when being gay or being a lesbian, if you will, once meant a certain thing. You know, we've really learned over time that there is so much more to someone's identity than just, you know, being gay or being a lesbian or identifying as one or the other. There's a whole spectrum now, you know, and I think that that's really incredible to recognize that too within the overall queer community.

Taylor: [00:10:51] Absolutely, absolutely. And I'm always a little bit hesitant to tell people to just be fully themselves wherever they are because I know that there is still a lot of trauma that exists in this world and there's still discrimination. And that's one of the things that I called out in the article is that you know, when faced with those things, it's important that you know, you're right. But at the same time, it's not about you. It's not about who you are because you belong, and everybody has a place and this is probably going to sound completely trite, but being at ADP, I feel like I belong and I have a place and have really experienced nothing but support from the people around me every day. And it's just it's I can't express how grateful I am to the people around me and the company culture at ADP that allows us to be who we are and wants us to show up with all of our diversity every single day. Because ADP recognizes that we need diverse voices at the table in order to get the best results. And the people, when they are allowed to thrive and be themselves, bring their best selves. It's also really important to me because I strongly ascribe to this idea that you can't see it if you can't be it. And I have two daughters that are eight and ten years old, and I want them to wake up and face the world as their whole selves every single day. They have two jobs. One is to do well in school, and two is to always be yourself. And those two things I've hammered into them basically from birth, because then, then anything is possible for them and for anyone else who lives by those two things.

Ingrid: [00:12:55] Hey, Taylor, thank you so much. I am. I'm just like here, you know, amazed because it takes a lot of courage not only to be yourself, you know, regardless of who you are, but it also takes a lot of courage to lead, right? And to teach and to somehow set the example of, you know, what do you want to see in others? So I want to thank you for that. I want to thank you for being open, but also for taking the lead and not only taking the lead in, you know, at ADP, but writing the article. And also, I know that you're, well, you mentioned that you're part of Pride BRG, which is our Business Resource Group, and how is Pride enabling you to give back to our community?

Taylor: [00:13:51] Yeah, so I joined the Pride BRG, as I mentioned when I first started at ADP and a couple of years ago, right before the pandemic started, stepped up to be chapter director for Atlanta Metro. And one of the big reasons that I wanted to do that is because I felt like the community at ADP has so much to offer the community at large. So we started looking for organizations around us that we could partner with in support and immediately found this incredible organization called Lost and Found Youth. And they are the only nonprofit in the city of Atlanta that focuses their services specifically on LGBTQ+ homeless youth. And I think a lot of people don't realize how pervasive and pernicious this problem really is, especially here in the South. There are still there's still a lot of stigma around coming out and expressing your full self. And often that looks like teenagers, young people being thrown out of their homes when their parents can't accept who they are. And these youths tend to not seek out traditional sources of support because they don't want to be traumatized again. They don't want to have to deal with that stigma that has already pushed them away from everyone they've ever loved. It's totally retraumatizing for them. So they will typically turn to other sources for survival and just hard choices that they shouldn't have to make. So this organization does several different things for youths.

Taylor: [00:15:52] They have a youth center, they have emergency housing, they have a long-term housing program that gets these kids, you know, interview practices and job coaching and all sorts of different opportunities for them to enter the workforce and feel comfortable doing so and figure out who they are and get the things that they need to thrive. So this last year we started this partnership with Lost and Found Youth, and at the beginning of the of the funding year, we were able to make a sizable donation to the organization that is going to help with their new housing. We are going to be hosting them at the Alpharetta location in June in honor of Pride Month and then immediately following will be doing a clothing donation drive for their thrift store, that's on Chantilly Lane in Atlanta. The thrift store is 40% of their revenue to provide money for their other programs. So it's a vital source of revenue for them and they really rely on donations from the community to keep their doors open. So we're we're super excited about this partnership and what this is going to mean for us and for the organization in the future. And it's one of the things that has really been made possible because the Pride BRG is so strong and committed to working with folks in the communities where, where we, where we work.

Kate: [00:17:39] And Taylor, what I love about what you just shared is giving back to the communities in which we serve is one of our core values here at ADP. I mean, if you go to either of our career websites, you know, or, you will see giving back throughout both of those sites. That's just something we believe in organically here. It's just part of who we are. So thank you for sharing that and what amazing work that you're doing on behalf of the Pride Resource Group to give back to the local community there in Alpharetta and Atlanta. And I know that some of that was part of the blog that you had written and had shared.

Taylor: [00:18:30] I do want to point out that it is one of the things that sets ADP apart from a lot of other companies that I can think of, is that we really live our core values. We don't just put them up on a website. It's the day-to-day reality for people who work at ADP. And it is such a fortunate place to be in. I mean, there's there's a reason that ADP typically ends up in the top for all kinds of awards when it comes to culture and inclusion.

Ingrid: [00:19:03] I wanted to share super quick for our audience just in case if they don't know. I would like to call it a fun fact. So, yeah, as part of our core value of giving back to our communities, we have this amazing, I will call it celebration, which is May the month of caring where we actually do different volunteering opportunities around the world, which again is just another testament of our values and what we do here at ADP.

Kate: [00:19:33] That's a great call out, Ingrid.

Taylor: [00:19:35] Yeah, ADP also, you're probably aware that ADP matches most organizations for any donations that you make. They'll sometimes run like promos during Earth months or whatever. Well, they'll match like 150% or 200%, depending on what's happening in the world. But we also pay organizations per hour for the time that associates work or volunteer, I should say, at those organizations outside of work hours. But every hour that you volunteer outside of ADP, work hours to volunteer in organization, ADP will also match those hours in a dollar amount to contribute to the organization.

Kate: [00:20:18] Wow. I did not know that, I knew about we have the 8 hours of giving back to the community built in each of our yearly time card, if you will. But I did not realize.

Taylor: [00:20:30] Yeah, yes. Yeah. We also I don't think a lot of associates know that we do that. But but we do. And I tend to be pretty vocal about it because if you're like me and you volunteer outside of work, that's like another added perk that you can contribute even more to the organizations when you're volunteering.

Kate: [00:20:47] Yeah, no thank you for sharing that. That's really, really cool. Ingrid, did you know that?

Ingrid: [00:20:52] I had no idea. So thank you. Taylor, again.

Kate: [00:20:57] I was bringing so much information today. I love it.

Ingrid: [00:21:01] Awesome stuff. Yeah.

Kate: [00:21:02] So, Taylor, what would be your piece of advice for someone who's considering a career at ADP? Like, what are some of these takeaways that someone should know that you'd want them to know?

Taylor: [00:21:16] That's a really difficult question to answer, kind of narrow it down to something just simple. There's honestly just so many things that I love about working at ADP that it's really, really hard to narrow it down. The culture is amazing. The people are amazing. I think that if you're considering working at ADP, you should absolutely check out the job postings and find something that you're interested in doing. One of the things that I love about ADP, besides that, the culture, the fact that you can pretty much try anything that you want to do at ADP because you get to try all different hats and learn all different new things. And I think that's one of the reasons that people stay. One of my teammates just left actually last Friday was her last day and she's been at ADP for 35 years. It's actually super common to have people around you retire after really long periods of time. So I think that speaks volumes to what kind of company ADP really is.

Kate: [00:22:25] That's a really great point, Taylor. And, you know, Ingrid and I, we've interviewed many people at this point, you know, being that we're on season two of life at ADP, the podcast. And a common theme that we've heard is the fact that, you know, people have been able to stay at ADP because they're encouraged and nurtured to to grow their career here and try new things. And if they move from one team to another and, you know, after a year or two, they're like, yeah, I want to go back to my other team. You know, they have a welcome home, you know. So I really love that about the organization. And I think that is to something that's just blueprinted it within, you know, who, who we are. So, you know, learning and development and growing your skill sets in various arenas is absolutely supported here. So that's a really great takeaway for anyone who's considering a job here. You know, learning and development, you know, inclusivity, value and diversity, you know, the huge core value of giving back in social responsibility. You know, the list goes on and on. So, hey, listen, thank you so much for joining us today. This is the perfect way to honor Pride Month, and we are just so happy to have had time with you. You know, Taylor, is is there a place where people can find you on LinkedIn?

Taylor: [00:23:51] Yeah. So I can be found on LinkedIn at Taylor Lauren Miller, Yep. You'll see me I'll pop right up with ADP and Lost and Found Youth and Wellesley College.

Ingrid: [00:24:04] Taylor, thank you so much for your time today, for writing that amazing blog, for being part of the community, for setting that example for the young members of the LGBTQ+ community. You are just super amazing and I just wanted to say thank you and to everyone make sure you follow Taylor over LinkedIn, but also if you want to read that amazing blog, we actually have it over So again, go to so you can read Taylor's amazing, amazing blog. And yes, thank you so much, Taylor.

Taylor: [00:24:42] I wish you could see my face right now because it's so red from blushing. Thank you so much for having me. It's it's really been an honor talking to you ladies today.

Kate: [00:24:52] Awesome. All right. Thank you, Taylor.

Taylor: [00:24:54] Thanks so much. Have an awesome day.

Kate: [00:24:56] Thanks, Taylor. We'll talk to you soon. This is Kate.

Ingrid: [00:24:59] And this is Ingrid.

Kate and Ingrid:[00:25:00] And we are part of Life @ ADP, the podcast.