Episode 18: Expanding Diversity and Inclusion Through Partnerships

Hello listeners, and welcome back to Tech Forward! This week, I spoke with Damion Wright, Head of Talent Acceleration at Intuit, Inc. In this position, Damion works with his team to build out the strategy and delivery for Intuit’s internship, new college graduate, and diversity programs for US Inside Sales. Damion first came to Intuit in a sales role, having 15 years of sales leadership experience, and moved organically into his current role, where he is highly involved in the growth and professional development of recent college graduates.

Known primarily for their financial software such as Quickbooks, Turbotax, and Mint, Intuit has been on the list of best companies to work for in the US for the past 16 years. Intuit also has a reputation for diversity and inclusion, having secured a spot on Fortune’s “Best Workplaces for Diversity” in 2017. Damion and I discussed the strategies Intuit uses to attract and retain a diverse workforce, and how they’ve become leaders in inclusivity among the major tech companies.

Part of what sets Intuit apart is a conscious commitment to their core values, fostering an inclusive and collaborative culture. “We’re a company of 8 thousand people who function like a family. Everyone accepts one another for who they are, there’s no judgement. You can bring your whole self to work.” In forming partnerships with organizations such as Girls Who Code and Code2040 (among others), Intuit targets those that have the best fit culturally. “We’re  always working to ensure that this is a relationship — not just a partnership.”

The diversity in Intuit’s workforce stems in part from the fact that their employee base mirrors their customer base, creating an unmatched synergy between company and customer. They also deliberately showcase diverse talent from within the company at diversity events. Not only does this highlight Intuit’s commitment to diversity, it also creates a space for better dialogue. “We’re able to relate, and to answer the tough questions that people might not ask of people who don’t look like them. People want to be around people they can relate to.”

Affinity groups are another factor in Intuit’s success with retaining diverse talent. These employee networks — including the Mosaic group for those of African ancestry and the Pride network, among others — are open to anyone within the company. “It doesn’t matter what part of the company you’re in, you can connect with people all over the company through the affinity groups. [...] Every group is represented at each Intuit site. They put a lot of time and money in to ensure that these networks are supported.”

Damion, thank you so much for coming on the show and sharing these insights in to what makes Intuit a diversity leader in the tech sector. Thank you also to my listeners for tuning in this week. If you’d like to get a hold of Damion and learn more about Intuit’s diversity programs, you can get in touch with him via LinkedIn. See you next week!

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