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Accelerating the Female Future

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At Intuit, we know that innovation thrives when teams comprise a wide range of life experiences and work in a supportive environment that lets great ideas rise to the top. We also believe that we can best power prosperity for our customers when we have deep empathy for them, so we continuously strive to create a workforce that reflects the demographics of those we serve.

One key group we serve is small business owners. According to a 2017 report from the U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business & Entrepreneurship, women are majority owners of 39 percent of the country’s businesses. Also, the number of women-owned firms grew by 45 percent between 2007 and 2016 – five times faster than the national average. It follows that within the next 10 years, women will own a majority of businesses in the U.S.

The future is female, and Intuit plans to be all in through our Intuit Women’s Network (IWN) and Tech Women @ Intuit (TWI) initiatives. IWN builds connectedness, leadership capability and confidence to help women bring their best to Intuit and their communities. TWI focuses on increasing representation of women in our technical teams – even greater than our current industry-leading 29 percent globally – by running a multitude of programs designed to attract and recruit, retain and advance top female technical talent. TWI also invests in building the pipeline of future technical women by sponsoring programs that encourage girls to choose careers in STEM.

And so today, the International Day of the Girl, Intuit was excited to host Dr. Lisa Hinkelman, founder and CEO of Ruling Our eXperiences, Inc., who revealed additional analysis from the groundbreaking report, Girls, STEM & Careers: Decoding Girls’ Futures in the Age of Social Media. When the report was first published in 2017, it introduced The Girls’ Index, the largest survey on the attitudes, perceptions, behaviors and thoughts of adolescent girls in the United States. The index identified the factors behind the 26 percent drop in girls’ confidence from 5th to 9th grade, as well as the correlation between time spent on social media and depression.

The 2018 report, available to the public as of today, includes additional analysis on the 2017 data captured from nearly 11,000 girls. From 5th to 9th grade, the percentage of girls who believe they are good in math and/or science drops 15 percent. However, girls’ interest in pursuing a career in math and/or science increases 12 percent in that age range and continues to increase throughout high school.

By the time they hit 12th grade, 50 percent of the girls surveyed are considering a career in math and/or science, and 66 percent of them believe they are good at math and/or science. But there are significant ethnic differences in girls’ perceptions. Hispanic girls are 31% less likely than Caucasian girls to believe they are good at math and/or science, and Asian girls are 21% less likely. These vast differences illuminate the need for culturally appropriate interventions and programs where girls of all races and ethnicities have the opportunity to build their STEM interests and competencies.

Dr. Hinkelman’s analysis revealed some factors that contribute to a girl’s interest in a career in math and/or science. It’s 11 percent greater if she plays sports, 8 percent greater if she is part of a youth group or religious organization, 7 percent greater if she has a paying job, and 5 percent greater if she participates in music, band or theatre.

Intuit can add another factor that increases girls’ interest in a STEM career: our sponsorship of Girls Who Code. For the past five years we’ve hosted 20 girls entering their junior or senior year in high school for the 7-week Summer Immersion Program, where they learned computer science through fun projects like building apps, websites, video games, and robotics. Alumni of the program choose to major in computer science or related fields at a rate 15 times the national average. Intuit is also a sponsor of the Girls Who Code Sisterh>>d campaign, launching on the International Day of the Girl.

In the female future, confident girls will become great technologists and business owners. The Girls’ Index will track their confidence and interests in their early years. And Intuit aspires to hire those technologists and power prosperity for those business owners.

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