Amanda Lee Cotrim Lopez, senior legal director LATAM, ADP

São-Paulo-based Amanda Lee Cotrim Lopez describes the inclusive culture at HR services provider ADP in Latin America, and her role as a lawyer in furthering D&I

Latin America is a melting point for ancestries, ethnicities and races, making it one of the most diverse regions in the world. It is also a region where minorities face significant barriers to employment. For example, recent studies show that around 90% of board seats are occupied by men. If women are not represented on boards of those huge companies that are listed, it’s hard to claim a true commitment to diversity.

ADP’s executive team in Latin America has a 40% women representation. This is well above the market average in the region. ADP was recently recognized by Great Place to Work (GPTW) as a top employer for women in Chile and Peru.

We were able to reach to this point because of the tone at the top. ADP has taken several affirmative actions to make sure diversity and inclusion is part of our DNA. In ADP, diversity and inclusion is not an HR only issue. The leadership team strongly supports D&I actions.

ADP has a global diversity and inclusion office, with dedicated associates. The D&I office works closely with HR and leaders of business units. The leadership is highly engaged and involved in diversity and inclusion globally. In Latin America, each senior leader sponsors a Business Resource Group (BRG). Since I joined ADP, I have sponsored iWIN’s activities in Latin America.


iWIN (International Women’s Inclusive Network) is ADP’s BRG with a focus on gender equality. iWIN currently has around 7,000 members across 16 countries around the globe. That is a big chunk of ADP’s 60,000 employees.

iWIN’s activities are conducted by a global board comprised of 25 ADP associates and by local chapters distributed in different regions and countries. iWIN organises events to create awareness, education and training – on unconscious bias, for instance. Our main goal is to make ADP a more diverse and inclusive place, not only in the workplace, but we also think about how we can impact the business and the communities close to us.

Doing the right thing

At ADP, the legal team plays an important role in terms of providing the business a perspective on what is the right thing to do. One of ADP’s main value is ‘integrity is everything’. Integrity is about doing the right thing all the time. In this sense, diversity and inclusion is the right thing to do.

When the legal team organizes the compliance week and trainings in Latin America, we educate our associates on anti-bribery and other relevant compliance aspects, but we also take the opportunity to discuss conduct, respect and inclusion. We create opportunities to discuss with associates about being inclusive and respectful with their colleagues at work, with family members, and when using social media.

Keeping an open eye

Corporate legal departments play an important role in promoting diversity and inclusion in the legal market in Latin America. We can influence the private practice market as clients and exchange experiences through our network groups.

When diversity and inclusion is part of your agenda, you will constantly call attention to inequalities, share practices to improve D&I awareness. It is important that in-house counsel keep an eye on what law firms are doing in terms of diversity and inclusion: if they have their own policies and if they are taking real actions towards their associates.

In Latin America, we have our eyes open to prioritizing discussions about minorities, either on the compliance training, hiring process, or when choosing a service provider.