Since assuming the role of Chief Diversity and Inclusion officer at Intuit a year ago, Scott Beth has interviewed 170 employees—which means taking an interview about every other day. Why? He wants to understand what it means, to these unique individuals, to feel they belong at Intuit.
We believe that gender equality in the workplace is defined by more than percentages in a gender equality report. It’s defined by our ability to ensure that employees of all genders and identities truly and authentically belong. Practically speaking, Intuit measures this type of inclusivity by regularly asking its employees through an anonymous survey, “do you feel that you belong at Intuit?” Our relatively high scores of 82 percent points is nearly equal between men and women. Women comprise one-third of Intuit’s Board of Directors, and the CEO staff is at parity.
Yet our team knows our work is far from done. While we have nearly reached parity in pay overall, and in non-technical positions, the company is working to move the needle on parity between genders in technical positions and getting the belonging score closer to 100 percent.
Taking a stand
Earlier this week, Beth stood up in front of international diplomats and business leaders at the United Nations headquarters to dive into what gender equality means at Intuit and across society, more broadly. Intuit’s Head of Innovation for Israel, Baat Enosh, also moderated a panel between Beth and executives at Webpals and Taboola to advance the discussion in a room of business leaders. These discussions are part of the biggest worldwide gender equality event which draws on leadership from the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW), the principal global intergovernmental body exclusively dedicated to the promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of women.
Beth’s opportunity to take the stage was provided through a unique partnership with Parliament 51 (P51), a network of leading companies that are committed to promoting an equal opportunity future. In 2018, Intuit’s Israel office signed P51’s declaration of standards reflecting commitment to diversity in the workforce, and Enosh is a Chairwoman of P51.
In 2019, Intuit will sign the global standards put forth by P51 to declare our commitment to gender equality across our offices worldwide.
Why Intuit cares
Historically, corporations have played a key role in driving social change (e.g. contributing to the end of Apartheid, and advancing LGBTQ rights in the workplace). The gender equality movement itself has been further inspired by Intuit, Google and others in and outside of Silicon Valley that regularly and transparency report on gender and racial diversity. It’s time the private sector take a stand–and take action–in gender equality. Companies—like Intuit—can and should drive this change by making investments that raise the inclusion of women in society. 40 percent of small businesses are owned by women, and women influence or manage 85 percent of all consumer purchases—so failing to market to women would be a huge miss for our company.
At the United Nations, Beth called for the private sector to take a stand—and take action—in gender equality. We believe Intuit is on the forefront of driving this change by making investments that raise the inclusion of women in society.
Three models for equality in the workplace
For Intuit, gender equality inspires curiosity, innovation, and customer empathy. Here are three models meant to drive gender equality that Beth shared with UN-Commission on the Status of Women participants.
1. Building the talent pipeline
Intuit invests in STEM programs at large, like Girls Who Code, Code2040, Lesbians Who Tech, Grace Hopper, NCWIT, Latina Vida, mentoring programs in middle/high schools, and many other programs. We are actively re-engaging—and training—mid-career women technologists returning to the workforce.
Some great female technologists taking time away from their career to raise a family, take care of aging parents, or start their own business, and when they decide to return to High Tech, we pay for these technologists to learn new technologies like artifical intelligence, machine learning, and mobile app development. Our program—Intuit Again—is in its fourth year and has a 100 percent placement into full time positions in the US. We will continue to invest in development programs specifically for women in tech, such as mentorship and peer support networks.
2. Start with safety
Our employees have a wide range of life experiences and beliefs and we believe in a culture of diversity, inclusion and belonging. We also realize that employee safety, which includes a psychologically and emotionally safe work environment, is the foundation for the change we need to drive. We meet this need by offering a transparent, actionable code of conduct, non-discrimination policies, and an environment where employees can bring their whole, best selves to work.
3. Inclusivity starts at the top
We can’t expect to build a culture of belonging if our leaders aren’t inclusive. Our leaders undergo extensive training on seven attributes of inclusivity, including inclusive facilitation, transparency and authenticity, caring and respect, courage to give feedback, curiosity, cultural competency, and risk taking. Some tangible actions that manifest from this training are monthly feedback meetings, standard criteria for promotions and leadership capability that allows our managers and leaders to promote equality in and outside of the workplace.
At the UN-Commission on the Status of Women event, in front of diplomats, NGOs, non-profits, governmental organizations, and leaders at private entities, Beth declared Intuit’s commitment to women around the world. We are fully committed to investing in gender equity through education, transparency, sharing of best practices, financial investments, and promoting a healthy workplace culture.
For more information about the Parliament 51 declaration, visit http://www.parliament51.com.