Innovators are thinking up new ways to make you, and the things around you, smarter.
The design thinking process behind tech development should be applied to diversity efforts, says one of Intuit’s top technologists.
The importance of diversity
Supporting women needs to be a top focus for organizations as well. Innovation thrives where there is diversity of thought. At technology companies, the people who invent technology should be as diverse as the people who use it. For any company that wants to compete and win, this is not up for debate.
Women make up a significant portion of both our workforce and our customers. Today, 42 percent of Intuit’s US employees are women. In an effort to help recruit, retain and advance women in technology roles at every level, several years ago we created an initiative called Tech Women at Intuit, which is committed to providing development and growth opportunities for women in technical roles. While we are still evolving our program, we’ve learned a few things since its start:
For example, one area for improvement we found was to encourage more executive sponsorship for women in our technology organization. In fact, the Harvard Business Review discovered that professionals undervalue a network of executive sponsors. Women are 54 percent less likely than men to have a sponsor. This can have a dramatic impact on a woman’s career.
Ideate with a big enough group so you can gather diverse potential solutions. We used this process to improve the retention of tech women, which can mean different things at different points in a career. For senior women, we partner with organizations like Athena Alliance, which can help them prepare for their first board membership opportunity.
Organizations like Watermark in the Bay Area also offer resources, networking events and workshops and panels to support more women in leadership positions.
Women have a variety of different resources, statistics, workshops and programs to help you build a community within your organization. Make sure women see themselves represented in leadership. Senior leaders at Intuit are actively involved in promoting tech women in the workplace, including serving on the Intuit TWI board. Support at the start. Recruiting efforts tap into those universities and others that have strong programs for women.
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