There’s an adage about staying true to yourself that Jenny Choo loves. She laughs, aware that everyone says it, but insists it bears repeating because the advice rings so true. “Who you are,” she says, “it’s not just about working for a company, it’s making sure that a company is the right fit for you.”
Intuit, where Choo is Senior Program Manager of Diversity and Inclusion Strategic Partnerships, is home to five of our Fellows this summer. No stranger to the diversity conversation, Intuit has made diversity a priority, but it’s not just about doing what’s right. Diversity makes good business sense too.
Leaders are seeking people with different backgrounds, different experiences and different opinions. By bringing together teams with diverse opinions and ways of looking at the world, companies are breaking free of groupthink and creating dialogue that can inspire new and innovative thinking. In fact, employees that are part of more diverse teams with inclusive environments are more likely to take risks.
With that in mind, Intuit has implemented programs to foster a community of diverse professionals, develop employees within a diverse organizational framework and address the needs of consumers and partners.
Intuit has developed Intuit Circles and BOLD (Bay Area Organization of Ladies in Big Data) forums as well as partnering with like-minded organizations to share and learn together.
Choo played an important role in welcoming CODE2040 into the Intuit family this year. After hearing about CODE2040 from more than one source, including CODE2040 mentors and alumni, she and her team decided to partner. “CODE2040 has thought of everything,” she said, “They make it very easy for the partners. It was the right choice for us.”
For Choo, her work in increasing diversity is both personal and tangible. The personal connection she continues to feel about efforts to diversify all spaces comes along with her passion to get things done. “People with diverse backgrounds offer a different thought formation,” said Choo, referencing the tangible effects of diversifying the technical workforce, “I think that we’re able to look at our projects and tackle projects differently by having a diverse team involved.”
As with any new teammate, Choo and her team made sure that Fellows matched Intuit’s culture and values. “It’s not just about how well you can code, per se, it’s not just about how good you are technically,” she said, “Really, I want to see that you have the potential to be a leader. That you have the soft skills necessary to work on a team.”
In recalling the Fellows’ initial visit to Intuit, Choo extolled, “Every fellow had such a different, lively personality. It was amazing to watch.”
At CODE2040, we’re so grateful when companies like Intuit and people like Jenny Choo welcome us into their families. We’re excited to see what we can do together.