Intuit is ranked among the best companies for diversity. How do we do it? Employee networks, such as the Intuit Indian Network, play a key role in championing diversity, inclusion, and belonging at Intuit.
What started as a way to connect Indian Intuit employees outside of India turned into a company-wide program to help individuals grow themselves and the business. We sat down with the global leaders of Intuit’s Indian Network, Michele Ramachandran and Manish Puri to learn more.
Intuit: First, tell us a little about yourselves and how you became the global leaders of IIN…
Puri: I have been with Intuit for 12 years, and love every day of my work here. I’m currently on the Customer Success team as the Group Manager for TurboTax Live. I’m responsible for driving growth and attaining scale in our fast growing Professional services.
I joined Intuit Indian Network (IIN) in 2008, after reading an article about the Diwali event at the Mountain View campus. In 2009, I started the Mississauga IIN chapter in Canada, and became the global co-leader in 2013.
Ramachandran: I’ve been at Intuit since 2001, spending the majority of my time in the FinOps organization until this past year when I moved into a new position in the Finance Enterprise Business Systems organization.
While I was not born in India, I have a passion for Indian culture and my life is influenced by both Indian and Polish traditions. I’ve been involved with IIN since the beginning. I was on the planning committee that organized the kickoff Diwali celebration. I eventually became the Mountain View site leader, and in 2014, the global co-leader with Manish.
Intuit: The IIN was originally started as a way to connect Indian Intuit employees outside of India. Can you tell us about the network today?
P: The goal of IIN is to inspire Intuit employees and communities to celebrate Indian culture, connect, and grow themselves and Intuit’s business. We encourage employees to join IIN to learn, share, and celebrate Indian culture. Our programs help members connect with fellow employees and leaders, learn more about the company, and learn how to advance their careers.
We currently have chapters in Mountain View, San Diego, Mississauga, and Edmonton, and plan to become global as we expand to London and Bangalore.
Intuit: What opportunities does IIN provide for its members to help them celebrate and learn Indian culture?
R: We host cultural events such as Diwali and Holi, but it’s also important that we offer members the opportunity to learn and grow. For example, we host a Chai Series, where we serve chai tea and invite senior leaders to share their journey with network members. We also have “lunch and learn” programs, which have featured interviews from Vijay Annand, Greg Johnson, and others.
We are also focused on opportunities for us to give back to the community. In 2015, we had the largest fundraising event for Intuit in India where we raised 1.2 million INR.
P: It was a collective effort across the IIN to raise money for Save the Children in India. We have also supported other India based NGOs – for example, Ashaya Patra, which provides midday meals for kids in government schools.
Since the inception of IIN, we have worked with many local charities and participated in We Care and Give Back (WCGB) opportunities every year.
This past year, our San Diego chapter along with the WCGB team organized a donation drive for Father Joe’s village, collecting gently used goods and clothing. At the Mississauga chapter, we worked with the local Movember fundraising team to support donations around our Diwali event.
Intuit: Intuit takes a holistic approach to create a culture of diversity, inclusion, and belonging. How are networks, like IIN, a key part of this approach?
P: Networks like IIN help encourage employees to bring their whole self to work, which ultimately creates a strong and diverse culture at Intuit. This open and vibrant culture where we celebrate diversity allows Intuit to retain and acquire top talent, thus continuing to be a top employer of choice. Such a system of diversity and inclusion based networks allows us to learn from our diverse workforce and evolve into a better professional, co-worker, employee, and human being.
Intuit: With all IIN does, what are you most looking forward to in 2019?
R: In addition to planning events, such as executive flagship events, we are also looking for ways to support members and their careers. For example, in 2019 our goal is to secure an executive sponsor for our network, as well as hire additional site leaders.
Ultimately, we want continue fueling the passion around IIN and ensuring our members are getting what they need, while at the same time supporting the the broader network community at Intuit.
Learn more about Intuit’s commitment to diversity and inclusion from Our Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer, Scott Beth, here.