Leveraging Community: Inside Intuit’s New Mentorship Program for Women in Tech
According to Korn Ferry's 2019 study of the largest 1,000 companies in the U.S., only 19% of Chief Technology Officers and Chief Information Officers are women.
Global financial platform company Intuit, a.k.a the makers of TurboTax, QuickBooks, and Mint, is doing its part to change that statistic.
Thanks in large part to Tech Women @ Intuit (TWI), a multidimensional program that empowers women of all ages and experience levels to share their expertise, advance their skills, and grow their networks, Intuit is building a culture of belonging where women can thrive.
TWI offers coaching, sponsorship, and mentorship opportunities to women technologists, with a formal, company-wide mentorship program as one of their latest offerings. To learn more about how it works, we sat down with Kimbra Brookstein, Senior Program Manager (TWI), and the creator of TWI's mentorship program.
When you consider that women are 24% less likely than men to get advice from senior leaders, and that people with mentors are more likely to get promotions, creating a mentorship program for women sounds like a no-brainer. But launching one that is so successful that mentors and mentees want to keep working together after it finishes isn't so easy.
Read on to learn how Kimbra scaled the program from a pilot to a company-wide launch, and to hear more about the other ways Intuit supports its employees (from a 125% 401K match to pay equality!).
Let's start off by talking about Tech Women @ Intuit (TWI). What is it? Why—and when—was it started?
Kimbra Brookstein: TWI was started in 2015 in an effort to support the attraction, retention, and advancement of women in technical roles at Intuit. We are a unique team, under our central technology office that builds community and creates and implements strategic programming to support our women in technical roles. Our ultimate goal is to make Intuit the #1 choice for female technologists where women are empowered and diversity is embraced.
TWI recently piloted a mentorship program that's being rolled out company-wide. How and why did it start?
KB: When I joined the team, we didn't have a formalized, structured mentorship program, so it was something I wanted to create.
I thought it was important for our women in technical roles to have champions, as well as guidance about how they could develop their careers at Intuit. So I ran two pilots in San Diego. The first was a three-month program and the second one was six months. When we saw that it was successful and that people really found value in it—afterwards, participants were very likely to say they'd recommend the program to others, that they felt like they were growing and learning, and that they thought they were on the right path to achieve their goals—we decided to scale it company-wide.
How will the mentorship program work moving forward?
KB: The program will be completely opt-in, for mentors and mentees. For mentees, we define tech roles per the industry standard, so the only requirements are that you 1) must identify as a woman and 2) work in a technical role (engineering, data science, product management or design technology).
We're partnering with a third party vendor to design a platform that will help us run and customize the entire program, such as creating goals, tracking progress, giving and receiving feedback, scheduling meetings, and matching participants. To match participants, we're creating an algorithm informed by the manual matching process we used during the pilot programs.
The next cohort will run for 6 months, and then pairs will be given the option to decide whether they want to continue on in the next program. Of course, they'll also have the option to self-manage their relationship outside the structure of the program.
Why 6 months?
KB: We chose a 6-month time frame because after assessing our pilots and researching other mentorship programs, we saw that a clear start and end date is preferred and is the most successful in terms of mentorship relationships.
It's enough time to build trust with your mentorship partner and get to know them, but you also don't feel like you're stepping on anyone's toes in terms of time commitment.
Will participants have the option to do the program again with a new mentor?
KB: Yes! There's a benefit to diversity of mentorship. Intuit's Chief Architect, Alex Balazs, always emphasizes the importance of creating your personal Board of Directors. Mentorship is one way to build that board, and you want it to be diversified. So part of what I want to do is encourage folks to switch pairs if they haven't, because that will help you create a sounding board with diverse perspectives.
Lots of research explains the importance of men mentoring women, given that men are in the majority of leadership roles. Unfortunately, many men are often reluctant to work with women mentees. What has your experience been, and how have you pitched the program to men at Intuit?
KB: At Intuit, women represent 39% of our global workforce, including 27% in technology positions and 31% in executive positions. That's a great start, but we are always striving for more representation, and our end goal is gender parity. With that, we have a large pool of potential mentors who can role model.
Mentorship is a natural part of our culture at Intuit. We haven't experienced any reluctance or the need to "pitch" the program. Both the mentees and mentors opt in to participate and we are very lucky to work in a culture that encourages and rewards it. Because of this, all employees have seen the benefits of sharing knowledge and helping others grow. We have had an extremely diverse pool of mentors coming from various business units, roles, and functions. As we expand globally, we hope that the diverse mentor set continues to grow.
Let's talk about TWI more generally. How is TWI creating a culture that empowers women to thrive?
KB: In addition to giving women the tools they need to succeed via strategic programs like our mentorship program, we also have a strong focus on community and culture, which is organization-wide. We're always asking, how do we make this the best place for women to work? We work really closely with company leadership to make those changes. We partner with our talent acquisition team, our Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer, Scott Beth, and product development leaders across the company to set goals and review our investments.
Given current trends, it's likely that within the next 10 years, the majority of our customers will be women who are small business owners. We always want our teams to represent the customers we're building our products for, So TWI helps drive that as well. One of our biggest goals is to ensure that every person who works here has a sense of belonging. Because if you feel like you belong and you're in an inclusive space, you'll be able to do the best work of your life, solve problems, and give back to our customers.
We're so customer-focused, and we know that if our employees aren't happy and don't feel like they belong, they won't be able to do their best work for our customers. In my role, my customers are actually our employees.
If you could give a woman 3 reasons to accept a job at Intuit, what would they be?
KB: It's so hard to limit myself to three things! But I would say...
1) The opportunity to solve problems that have a direct and positive impact on our customers' lives. I think most technologists want to do amazing work that impacts lives. They want to be able to solve hard problems. And they can definitely do that at Intuit. People use our products (TurboTax, QuickBooks, Mint...) every day and they help people save, budget, and live more financially empowered lives.
2) The strong support system that enables and supports tech women at Intuit. TWI is dedicated to building a supportive, positive engineering culture, so anyone who's looking for growth and development opportunities will find the resources they need at Intuit. This includes parents and anyone who took time off to act as a caregiver! Programs like Intuit Again really reflect our supportive culture.
3) Benefits and culture. We offer amazing benefits like 125% 401K matching, an employee stock purchase program, health insurance, four days of Volunteer Time Off, and so much more. It's clear from the benefits, and commitment to equal pay and Diversity & Inclusion, that Intuit invests in and cares about its employees.
💎 Partnerships in remote environments is one of the most important aspects to construct in a company. Watch the video to the end to get good tips on how to do it successfully.
📼Wondering how to create partnerships in remote environments? Play this video to get three top tips that will help you to achieve it. You'll hear from Olga Shvets, HR Business Partner, and Viktoriia Litvinchuk, People Team Operations at Unstoppable Domains, who will explain the essentials of this process.
📼How to build partnerships in remote environments? Tip #1: Communicate Effectively. Communication is the key to enabling your remote team to be successful. Choose the channel that works best. For this, chat with your employees and see what they use to communicate, that's how you find the best solution. Also, make sure your team is on board with your internal tools and they know what, how, and where they need to use them.
📼A requisite for building partnerships in remote environments is Tip #2: Show appreciation. Appreciation is shown through your actions. Let your employees know that you value everything they do for the company. Create a special gratitude channel where everyone can share their appreciation for their colleagues for some contribution. Celebrate some wins, promotions, and everything that is important for the company. If you appreciate the employees, employees do the same for the company.
Create Partnerships In Remote Environments Using Trust - Tip #3: Give Honest Feedback
Use engagement surveys! They are a quick and effective way to receive honest feedback from your team and you can see what's working well and what needs to be improved. Your main priority is to create spaces where managers and employees can share honest, relevant feedback.
📨 Are you interested in joining Unstoppable Domains? They have open positions! To learn more, click here.
Get to Know Olga Shvets
If you are interested in a career at Unstoppable Domains, you can connect with Olga on LinkedIn. Don’t forget to mention this video!
More About Unstoppable Domains
Unstoppable Domains is bringing user-controlled identity to 3 billion+ internet users by issuing domain names on the blockchain. These domains allow users to replace cryptocurrency addresses with human-readable names, host decentralized websites, and much more.
By selling these domains direct to consumers for a one-time fee, the company is making a product that will change cryptocurrency and shape the future of the decentralized web by providing users control over their identity and data.
We all have our favorite websites– the ones we frequent, bookmark, and recommend to others. You might even enjoy some website features so much that you’ve found yourself wondering why they aren’t more popular. Or maybe you’ve experienced times where you were frustrated with a website and wished you could add features or even design your own!
If you’ve ever found yourself intrigued at the prospect of designing and developing your own websites, then a career as a web developer might be just for you!
As a web developer you would be responsible for coding, designing, optimizing, and maintaining websites. Today, there are over 1.7 billion websites in the world and, in turn, the demand for web developers is on the rise. In order to figure out what kind of web development work best suits you let’s start with an introduction to the three main roles in web development that you can choose from.
The Three Types of Web Development Jobs
Front-End Web Development: The Creative Side
In addition to programming skills, front-end developers need to be detail oriented, creative, willing to keep up with the latest trends in web development, cyber security conscious, and geared toward user-friendly designs. The median salary for a front-end developer can reach well into the $90,000 to $100,000 range.
Back-End Web Development: The Logical Counterpart
While a house can be beautifully decorated, it’s incomplete without a solid foundation and efficient infrastructure. Similarly, a well-designed website depends on logical and functional code to power the features of that website. Back-end web development is code-heavy and focused on the specifics of how a website works. If you enjoy the analytical challenge of creating the behind-the-scenes code that powers a website, then back-end development is for you.
Full-Stack Web Development: A Little Bit of Everything
A full-stack developer is essentially the Jack (or Jill)-of-all-trades in web development. Full-stack developers need to be knowledgeable about both front-end and back-end roles. This does not necessarily imply that you would need to be an expert in both roles, but you should fully understand the different applications and synergies they each imply. In order to work in this position, you will need to know the programming languages used by front-end and back-end developers. In addition to these languages, full-stack developers also specialize in databases, storage, HTTP, REST, and web architecture.
Full-stack developers are often required to act as liaisons between front-end and back-end developers. Full-stack developers need to be both problem solvers and great communicators. The end goal for a full-stack developer is to ensure that the user’s experience is seamless, both on the front-end and on the back-end. In return, you can expect to earn a median salary of $100,000 – $115,000 a year for this role.
Taking the Next Step
Web development is both in-demand and lucrative! All three roles described above contribute to specific aspects of web development and the scope of each one can be customized to the industries and positions you feel best suit you. Regardless of which role you choose, all of them need a foundation in programming.
To gain the programming skills needed in each role, you can enroll in courses or learn independently. Coding bootcamps are a great way to boost your skillset quickly and efficiently.
Click here for some of our highly rated programming bootcamp options! Make sure to check out the discounts available to PowerToFly members.
💎Want to know what engineering teams are like at Workiva? Watch the video to the end to find out!
📼 Engineering teams at Workiva are constantly hiring. Marie Yue, Senior Engineering Manager at the company, tells you what they look for in a candidate and what the dynamics of teamwork are like.
📼 The typical path in the engineering teams at Workiva is that you grow into a senior, and then you move into a lead role. From there, there are a few different tracks that you can take depending on your interest. You can become a staff engineer, an architect, or even an engineering manager. What are you waiting for to apply?
📼In the engineering teams at Workiva every member should feel empowered to do their job effectively. For this, each has to understand how the work they do day to day solves customers’ problems. Managers will always seek to be aware of members’ career path aspirations so that they can look for opportunities and projects to help each person reach the next step in their career.
Engineering Teams At Workiva: A Safe Space
Marie Yue’s team is a safe space for people to make mistakes and ask for help, and each member feels a sense of belonging and inclusion. She wants to make sure that everyone is individually empowered to lead and make decisions. For this, the team has regular meetings where they do fun things like play virtual games or eat lunch together, and they also like to re-review and add to their team working agreement once a quarter.
🧑💼 Are you interested in joining Workiva? They have open positions! To learn more, click here.
Get to Know Marie Yue
If you are interested in a career at Workiva, you can connect with Marie Yue on LinkedIn. Don’t forget to mention this video!
More About Workiva
Workiva was founded to transform the way people manage and report business data with various collaborators, data sources, documents, and spreadsheets. Today, people all over the world use their platform to seamlessly orchestrate data among their systems and applications for transparent and trusted connected reporting and compliance. At Workiva, they are innovative in everything they do—from how they build their software, to how they serve their customers, to how they treat their employees.
After two years of remote programming, we’re excited to welcome the 2022 NIKE, Inc. Internship Program back to our U.S. offices this week!
This year’s class of 318 represent the top 1% of 34,000+ applicants from 113 universities – including 10 Hispanic Serving Institutions and five historically Black colleges and universities. And that’s not all! Many of this year’s interns are Division 1 student-athletes, representing Track and Field, Rowing, Soccer, and Volleyball, to name a few.
During the nine-week internship – built around the theme of Never Done Shining – interns will work across Nike, Jordan and Converse taking on meaningful projects for the business areas they’re supporting. We can’t wait to watch this talented, diverse group kick off their Nike journey and shine!
Want to learn more about the program? https://jobs.nike.com/internships