Building Inclusion: how to create a legacy of representation

Damion Wright is using his role as a DEI leader to create more of the representation he wishes to see by the time his daughters enter the workforce.

A professional headshot of a Black man in a grey sweater, smiling at the camera with a colorful bookcase in the background.
A professional headshot of a Black man in a grey sweater, smiling at the camera with a colorful bookcase in the background.

This February marks the 53rd year that Black History Month will be observed in the US. It’s also observed in Canada and Ireland, as well as the UK in October. As the name suggests, it’s an opportunity to honor the legacy and contributions of Black Americans while also celebrating those creating a brighter future.

As our global diversity, equity, and inclusion programs leader, Damion Wright is an integral part of our overall DEI strategy. In his eighth year at Intuit, this Denver-native is also the global co-chair of the African Ancestry Network employee resource group. We caught up with Damion to hear his thoughts on diversity in the workplace and what Black History Month means to him and his family. 

Tell us a little bit about yourself and what brought you to Intuit.

I tell everyone that Intuit is the best professional move I’ve ever made. I genuinely think the people I interact with daily are some of the smartest people I’ve ever met; however, they aren’t driven by their egos.

I came to Intuit as a sales leader, but I now lead the DEI talent programs. This is a HUGE mountain to climb, and although we’ve made progress, there’s still room for improvement. When we think about DEI through the lens of building principles for 17K+ employees, you can only imagine how much time, effort, and change management it takes to make progress. One phrase you hear often within my organization is “we are solving for progress, not perfection.” 

I am also a member of the Racial Equity and Advancement Leadership (REAL) team. This has been an enormous part of my personal and professional development. The team was created in 2020 to understand the nuance of the Black employee experience and provide meaningful counsel to the company’s strategy while inspiring real change. We play a part in re-examining our hiring, retention, promotion, and pay policies to continue to attract talent from underrepresented communities. 

Damion Wright and Tia Bradley, global co-chairs of the Intuit African Ancestry Network ERG

Do you remember your first acknowledgment of Black History Month in the workplace, and what does celebrating this at work mean to you now? 

I’ve worked for some pretty progressive companies in my career, so I can’t say I remember the first acknowledgment in the workplace. More importantly, it’s about me having thoughtful conversations with my daughters and my family. 

As they grow up to be professionals, I want them to understand they have a voice, and it isn’t just during Black History Month. It opens the door to having specific, thoughtful conversations with them, and setting guardrails for what they should expect from an employer as it relates to Black History Month and beyond. 

Our theme for Black History Month is ‘Acts of Courage’. How has courage played a role in your own career path? 

I think courage is part of the reason I am where I am. I asked some really thoughtful questions that caught the attention of some senior leaders, and those questions turned into opportunities. 

When I think specifically about ‘acts’ of courage, I think about moments in time and the courageous people who sacrificed their livelihoods for the betterment of others. Courage is standing up for what you believe in and speaking up for those who don’t have a voice. It’s a core part of one’s moral compass.

Lastly, what advice would you give to someone looking to pursue a career in tech? 

My oldest daughter is an aspiring data scientist and she is trying to find her way to pursue an internship, so these conversations happen often in our house. But in general, there are a couple of actions I’d recommend. 

  1. Be willing to put yourself out there. What makes you different than all the other applicants? There are A LOT of people who want to be in tech, but they aren’t willing to put in the work. 
  2. Have a compelling story to tell. What’s your journey, what makes technology compelling to you? What intentional steps have you taken to break into the industry? 
  3. Be able to articulate your transferable skills. What role are you looking to get into in tech? What skills, competencies, certifications, degrees, etc. do you have that make you a prime candidate? 
  4. Take a look at more than the job description. There are foundational skills and values that are essential to being successful in the role. Do you know what they are? What have you done to show that you have the core competencies and capabilities? 
  5. You don’t have to be a technologist to be in the tech industry. Have you done research on the roles you would be an ideal candidate for? Have you talked to people in the position you are pursuing? What did you learn? Have you talked to hiring managers? Find out what’s essential for you to be successful in the role.

At Intuit, we aim to foster more positive employee experiences at every level of someone’s professional journey. While we have dedicated resources to increasing representation of underrepresented communities at all levels, we acknowledge we have more work to do. 

If you are interested in joining our team, check out our open positions here