4 ways to empower women in tech

Check out these 4 ways to empower women in tech and make your workplace more inclusive!

Despite challenges stemming from the pandemic, society continues to empower women at work, especially related to senior leadership opportunities. That’s according to Women in the Workplace 2021 — the largest study of women in corporate America by management consulting firm McKinsey. 

Industry experts have seen a rapid advancement of women in tech over the last decade. This has enabled significant strides in equal representation; however, there’s still lots of room for improvement:  

  • Women are 24% more likely to lose their jobs compared to men 
  • Mothers with careers are 23% more likely to experience burnout than fathers 
  • Globally, Women are still taking on the majority of unpaid caregiving and housekeeping tasks 

It’s no longer about women leaning in. It’s about how companies lean in to support female leaders and empower women in technology. 

With this in mind, we talked with a few female technologists at Intuit to hear about their unique experiences in the workplace. Their stories serve as lessons learned—how might organizations empower women to thrive, even when they face structural challenges, burnout, fatigue, and more? What emerged are four ways to empower women to excel in technology roles. 

Create A Culture of Diversity

A culture of diversity can make a big difference in employees’ workplace experience. Just ask Tulsi Pargain, the mother of a toddler, an avid learner, and the leader of a platform that powers data-backed insights for  QuickBooks

Tulsi Pargain
Tulsi Pargain, Intuit Staff Software Engineer

Tulsi says she felt like she could strike a balance between her personal life and professional career. And she feels like she can bring all parts of herself to work.  

“This kind of culture allows women like me to feel supported and be more focused at work,” she says. 

Hima Kurian, another Intuit engineer, also credits Intuit’s culture with her career transformation. She went from a reluctant engineer to a new mother with the career of her dreams — leading, designing, and building innovative products. 

Hima’s journey proves that creating equal opportunities for men and women can strengthen teams and organizations.  

“I have seen women in leadership positions bring many perspectives to decision-making,” she says.  

Put Women in Leadership Roles

Today’s companies know that women in positions of power can lead to more innovation and better outcomes. Tulsi shared her story about leading a team through a location transition from Mountain View to India last August.  

“This kind of work is monumental,” she says, “because the team’s work is leveraged by multiple global teams of  QuickBooks to surface personalized real-time insights for millions of our customers.”  

Tulsi adds that having ownership of the project gives her the freedom to make bold decisions and build momentum. It’s also paving the way for rich learning opportunities. 

While leading the effort to address configuration pain points, Tulsi guided the team to conduct  follow-me-homes with other teams. The team observed a pain point in this learning process that made automation necessary to eliminate cumbersome manual processes. 

Next, she set up daily  brainstorming sessions, which have led the team to re-architect their system in a way that has significantly reduced launch and execution time. This platform’s operational excellence improvement would not be possible without Tulsi’s ownership. 

Hima also reports similar benefits from having ownership of a project. Along with a female colleague, she was given the lead to explore and build a high-profile project. Their innovation and hard work on this project became the highlight of an internal event – which the team is incredibly proud of because it exemplifies operational excellence. 

Implement Mentorship Programs

An inclusive workplace means normalizing career growth discussions. But that path isn’t always clear and straightforward. Often, it may include feelings of confusion, challenging questions, and tough conversations. Mentorship programs can be part of the solution to help employees earlier on in their careers find their way along this winding road. 

Hima Kurian
Hima Kurian, Intuit Staff Software Engineer

For Hima, signing up for one of Intuit’s mentorship programs was a key steppingstone in her career. Specifically, she was looking to explore program management. 

“I was quite confused about which route to take in my career,” she recalls. Hima goes on to say that an Intuit mentor was instrumental in helping her get clear direction to move forward on her career path. Her mentor’s experience of transitioning from a developer to a program manager was “eye-opening,” according to Hima. 

Mentorship not only makes women more aware of their opportunities but also helps them build confidence in the workplace. In fact, Hima’s experience was so rewarding that she, like many other mentees, went on to become a mentor herself. 

“I love extending support to new members in the team and encouraging them to be bold and strong and to build a brand for themselves,” Hima says. 

Get Leadership Onboard

With the proper support, we can empower women to thrive in their technical roles. For Tulsi, the last five years have been a whirlwind of transformation, helping to overcome what she describes as an inherently shy personality. 

“Peers and leaders are always giving me the opportunity to speak up. The fact that they are open-minded and always willing to receive feedback has helped me build a sense of confidence that my opinion matters,” she says. 

At Intuit, we aim to increase representation of women in technical roles. In the past fiscal year, we met our goal in representation of women in technology, reaching 30% of our technology organization. Intuit has been recognized among the top 10 India’s best workplaces for women for 2021. The progress we continue to make through empowering women in the workplace, like Tech Women @ Intuit and Intuit Women’s Network, paves the way for women to achieve their dreams. 

The more diverse we are, the better we can reflect our approximately 100 million customers, build empathy, and create products and services that solve their unique problems. We are always looking for great talent to join us at Intuit. Visit our careers website to learn more and apply for open roles.