Happy International Women’s Day 2021. To celebrate, Intuit are spotlighting five fierce leaders over five days.
How would you describe your role at Intuit?
Customer Obsession is at the core of what we do at Intuit and it’s is everyone’s responsibility to lead with Intuit values. My title says Head of Customer Experience, so what does that mean if everyone is responsible for customer obsession and the customers experience?
My team provide support to all of our customers when they need help, where ever they are in the channel they choose to interact with us in. I am an advocate for my team and for customers seeking help. We are a technology company and we produce great tech but no tech is fail proof. I support my team to be the best version of themselves so they always show up for our customers when they need us.
What has been your career progression? Where did you get your start and how did you end up at Intuit?
I started my career in customer service helping people with their need to protect their possessions with insurance cover. I spent several years learning the ins and outs of call centre and retail branch operations
I switched paths into research and development within banking and finance. This gave me a greater appreciation for how products and services were developed and launched to market.
I spent a number of years shifting teams and companies to an Agile product development approach which brought the customer to the centre of the decision making and earlier into the development process. I felt at home in research and development so took a leap of faith and moved into High Tech.
This was a leap that was uncomfortable, as it was new, and I felt I didn’t have the industry experience to be an immediate expert. I had to rattle my own cage and back myself in this role as the gender diversity split sided much more with my male counterparts.
This was a tipping point in my career where I no longer was an expert and had to align around transferable skills. I took a career break for personal reasons and then spent some time in the not for profit sector to build out new transferable skills in an environment that had a direct impact on people’s lives who were in a vulnerable group of Australians.
This is how I landed at Intuit as I was then able to bring together the two most impactful moments of my career working in High Tech for a missions based company that is purposefully changing lives of Australians.
What are you most excited about working at Intuit?
What excited me most about working at Intuit is the intentional focus on diversity of thought to drive innovation and creativity for our employees and customers. Intuit is a mission based organisation supported by a culture that is brought to life everyday by, our greatest asset, our people.
Diversity and Inclusion is at the core of what we do and how we thing. It’s a key strategic driver and enabler of business success.
It’s easy to be the best version of myself at Intuit.
Is there a particular turning point in your professional experience that helped define your career path?
In a previous role in a company who will remain unnamed I was tagged as the younger female in a leadership team dominated by 50+ year old males. This was the hardest time in my career as I was always starting at the bottom of the hill.
This strengthened my ability to influence and forced me to find unique and alternate ways to get things done.
This experience was tough but contributed to who I am today. I became much stronger and more sensitive to ensuring everyone has the right to shine no matter what race, gender, ethnicity and sexuality.
What does ambition mean to you?
Ambition for me used to mean climbing the corporate ladder and the higher you got the more ambitious you are.
Ambition actually shows up in so many different ways. Just because you are not climbing the corporate leadership ladder doesn’t mean you are not ambitious.
Ambition for me now is driving to make an impact, to those around me, and what I choose to do. I see ambition intrinsically linked to purpose and this paves the way for a meaningful workplace.
Alliance, engagement and collaboration partnered with a meaning and purpose inspires employees to do their best work and deliver an impact.
Based on your experience, what is one thing managers or execs could do better to support and encourage women in the workplace?
Supporting women in the workplace starts with having a conversation. As leaders we need to talk about diversity and inclusion, our people need to hear it from their leaders. Taking action is the next step, we need to openly talk with our people to know where we need to, and should take action.
Our business scorecards need to include diversity and inclusion measures to ensure it gets the focus and attention it needs.
What is one thing a leader has done to help promote women in the workplace — either organisationally or for you personally?
Intuit CEO Sasan Goodarzi normalises diversity of though and the importance of inclusion, including gender diversity. The focus and ongoing conversation surrounding Diversity and Inclusion at the very top instils confidence that taking action is the right thing to do and it encourages us all at Intuit to role model this focus.
What’s a time you felt immense pride in yourself/your work?
I make personal strides to identify female talent within my network and provide these rising stars in their field with guidance and support around their personal and professional development. I feel immense pride seeing rising talent succeed in their own right, regardless of gender.