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  1. Blog
  2. Diversity

3 Reasons Women Employees Say Intuit Is Tech’s Best Kept Secret

‘We treat DEI as a business imperative’

Computer screen that says "women in tech Intuit"
Photo courtesy of Intuit

Earlier this year, when Intuit cruised into 11th place on Fortune’s list of 100 Best Places to Work, 95 percent of employees said the financial software company is a great place to be. That’s 36 percentage points higher than employees at a typical U.S.-based company, and it’s a stat that dovetails with our own women-focused and diversity data on InHerSight. 

Women reviewers say Intuit is, without a doubt, a top company for gender equity (the company is #8 on our list of 50 Best Places to Work and has a 4.3-star rating overall), and when we dig into demographics further, at 4.1 stars overall, Intuit scores exceptionally high for support of BIPOC employees as well. The company best known for popular software applications such as TurboTax, QuickBooks, Mint, and Credit Karma is, according to our numbers, widely lauded as a standup employer.

“I think Intuit is one of the best kept secrets so to speak,” says Erica Santoni, a principal on Intuit’s diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) team. “It’s not a small company for sure, but it’s not one of those flashier names that you always hear about. Honestly, I think Intuit really cares about its employees.”

But what does it mean to say a company truly cares? We interviewed Santoni, as well as three other women at the company, to find out how Intuit supports its employees. These three takeaways from those conversations illustrate the internal work the company is doing to keep employees happy and engaged, and to prioritize diversity in every aspect of the business.

1. Intuit’s culture is employee-first.

The word “supportive” was used repeatedly during interviews with women employees at Intuit, especially where the integration and intersection of work and life was concerned, and more so in culture than hard policy. Women shared with us anecdotes like these: 

Emily Rojas, an inbound digital sales consultant at Intuit, recently moved from Virginia to Arizona to be closer to her family in California. Like many people during the pandemic, Rojas was unable to safely make a cross-country visit in 2020. “I do have a strong relationship with my family,” she says. “Not being able to see them or even briefly see them for a couple of days was really tough on me. I didn’t know when the next time was that I’d be able to visit my family.”

Around the holidays, her manager noticed Rojas wasn’t her usual self. “She advised me to take time off,” she says. “I think just having someone in my court, looking out for me, has made me feel very supported at Intuit.” They eventually talked relocation—the same position, but based out of the Tucson office. “Since family is very important to me, that’s when I feel the most seen and appreciated,” Rojas says.

In Plano, Texas, Tia Bradley, a 16-year veteran at Intuit who just transitioned to a new role as a staff program manager on the Talent Acquisition Talent Programs team, knows exactly how long she’s been in her position, down to the day, because her June 1 start date was so memorable. “The first day I started my wife got into a car accident and broke her ankle,” Bradley says. “It was definitely a life-changing experience given that it was shocking and then also it delayed some of the things I wanted to get started on because I had to take on the role of caretaker.” Bradley says she reached out to her manager on the day of to apologize for the inconvenience. “I had to tell her, ‘I’m so sorry, I’m not going to be able to come in tomorrow. I’ll try to be here on Friday.’ And she was like, ‘Please take the rest of the week off or as much time as you need.’ There was no, ‘Well, when are you going to be back?’ That wasn’t even a question.”

Nia Porter, a software engineer, joined Intuit in August, then moved from Ohio to San Jose, California, to be a part of the company’s Mountain View office. She says her manager made the transition easy in more ways than one, but in terms of work-life integration, by understanding her need for basic accommodations. “When I first started, there was a three-hour time difference. I asked my manager, ‘Can I work on an Eastern schedule until I’m on West Coast time?’ She said, ‘Of course,’” Porter says, elaborating further on her team's flexible culture: “I think it’s stemming from work from home that they’re able to be this flexible, but even some of my teammates are traveling a lot to stay with family and it’s not a big deal. As long as you get your work done, it doesn’t matter when it gets done. As long as you meet your deadline, whatever time of day is comfortable for you is fine.”

Santoni, who we mentioned before, works in the San Francisco Bay Area as part of the DEI team at Intuit. When companies across the U.S. transitioned to remote work in 2020, both she and her partner received money from their employers to update their home workspaces. Unlike his stipend, her additional support wasn’t just a quick direct deposit. “Intuit did it based on my needs,” Santoni says. “They did an evaluation. I had to send pictures. I had a video call with an expert who checked my posture and said I didn’t have enough space.” There didn’t seem to be a limit. “I mean, I’m sure you cannot renovate your home,” she adds, laughing, “but I bought all that I needed.” 

Santoni says this decision is a testament to Intuit’s employee-first culture. “I think Intuit is a very employee-friendly company, full stop.”

2. Intuit embodies a ‘growth mindset’ that impacts diversity metrics as well as the employee experience.

A Fortune 500 company, Intuit has over 10,000 employees and 19 global hubs, with a headquarters in Mountain View, California, which is outside San Jose. On our platform, the employer’s top metrics are Maternity and Adoptive Leave, Paid Time Off, and Family Growth Support, all of which usually indicate a company is a stellar workplace for the people who need flexibility most, like working parents, and anonymous comments like these suggest a strong, widely felt culture overall:

“This place is truly one of a kind — especially in the male-driven Silicon Valley.”

“The best company I have worked for. I certainly don’t feel like I’m just a remote worker even if I’m a seasonal employee. There’s a great culture being fostered through all channels of communication.”

“Hands down, the best company I've ever worked for. I honestly don't know how people complain. Intuit's culture, competitive pay, work-life balance, perks, and mission to the world is fantastic. When I wake up, I look forward to coming to work. Everyday is Friday!”

Read more employee comments

On the flip side, Intuit’s lowest metrics—Sense of Belonging, Sponsorship or Mentorship Program, and Support for Diversity—fall about mid-range on our rating scale, meaning there’s likely room for improvement in those areas, a fact that is not unknown to the company. One might even say it is embraced. Remarkably, the emphasis on tactical and continuous improvement, whether related to DEI or to personal and professional growth, was apparent in all of the interviews with Intuit employees.

To achieve DEI and representation goals, Santoni says her team at Intuit has opened up feedback channels. “We really started with investigating end to end the employee experience through a number of tools and initiatives,” Santoni says. “A key one is we do a diversity, equity, and inclusion survey so we can understand the perception of belonging, inclusion, and equal opportunities for different employee groups. That’s a great baseline into how employees feel about different things. So understanding where we should double down on and where we’re going strong.”

They’ve also investigated the employee lifecycle (hiring funnel, promotions, etc.) and created work streams around recruiting and representation, learning and development (how managers and team members can create an inclusive environment), and equitable processes and practices, Santoni says.

Intuit’s two “True North” goals are centered on representation of women in tech and underrepresented minorities through recruitment and retention. The company measures success in those areas against three business pillars: employees, customers, and community. 

“It’s data-driven,” Santoni says. “It’s something that we do continue to monitor and track, and we do it in a very transparent way. We have a diversity, equity, and inclusion dashboard where the information is available to all employees. People can see representation from a gender perspective, from a race and ethnicity perspective, and so this is something that anyone can check at any time at Intuit, and we report it externally on our website, to our investors.”

A similar and aligned tactic has been taking place in talent acquisition, where the team Bradley recently joined has been working to overhaul Intuit’s hiring program, Assessing for Awesome, which has been in place for more than five years. “Right now we’re really in the discovery phase,” Bradley says. “I’m having empathy sessions with those that are involved within the experience. I’ve been on a number of hiring panels so I can understand the good techniques that are happening and the opportunities. It’s important that you invest the time to truly assess what the program is prior to implementing anything.”

She continues: “With Intuit, they’re looking to make systemic change within the organization. The role that I am in has not existed before. They had a team previously that oversaw the assessment process. My goal is to look through what we’re doing today and make it better. How do we eliminate any unintended bias that may be hindering the hiring process? How do we ensure that our employees are supported no matter who they are and that we have an equitable process all around?

“They’re really looking deep within in addition to the work they’re doing externally, which is a great shift that I’ve seen. Before, we had kind of like fluffy goals if you will, like, ‘Oh we would like our company to match the diversity of the U.S. or the world,’ but there was never really a strategy of how we were going to do it or why we hadn’t already achieved it. Setting goals has definitely happened in the last few years.”

On the employee side, Rojas calls this intentional and widespread approach to internal innovation a “growth mindset” and links to Intuit’s core value ‘Have Courage,’ which impresses the need for “a bias for learning and action.” 

“I work in sales, and here at the company and in the sales department, we talk a lot about a ‘growth mindset,’” Rojas says. “For us, we like to see it as getting 1 percent better. What am I doing each day to even get a little bit better?”

“Working in sales we often have hills and valleys, so ups and downs. When we have a great sales day, we are over the moon, over the top—we feel amazing. But I think of the lows, they can be extremely low. It can be very discouraging at times. I think during those days in particular it’s very imperative to have a growth mindset. It helps me see the light at the end of the tunnel that it’s not going to stay this way.

“I think something else that really helps me see that vision is that a lot of the senior leadership at Intuit is echoing the same message across the board. It doesn’t feel like I’m doing this by myself. It feels like we’re all aligned and on the same page.”

3. Intuit provides spaces where employees can be themselves, speak up, and find common ground.

In a survey of more than 2,500 respondents, InHerSight asked women whether they feel they can bring their whole selves to work. More than half said no.

That doesn’t appear to be an issue at Intuit, however; or at least, the company is actively creating opportunities for people to be their full selves and share how they feel. 

When Rojas interviewed with the company, she says she knew she’d be comfortable from the start. “They bring all of the interviewees to get a tour of the site itself, and when I was touring I was able to look at the different cubicles, and you could tell each cubicle had its own personality,” she says. “Nobody was restricted from having family pictures or even little bobbleheads. And you couldn’t really tell who leadership was because they were very approachable. If I wanted to crack a joke with someone, I wouldn’t have to stop and think, ‘Is this someone I can joke with?’”

Porter had a similarly welcoming introduction to the company’s culture, albeit at a slightly later stage. “The interview was pretty standard for a tech interview, and it wasn’t until I got to my manager, and they were trying to pair me to what team I was going to go to, and I was able to say, ‘I like this fit,’” she says.

First and foremost, her manager is a woman, which is a rarity in tech spaces, and was vocal about her excitement in having her first woman engineer on the team. Porter says from day one, it was apparent that her manager was passionate about her team and her role at the company and would provide Porter with the personal and professional support she’d been looking for in her job search.

“I was looking for flexibility, work-life balance, and support. Multiple things for support. I looked at medical stuff, like if I ever wanted to freeze my eggs, but then I also looked at mentorships and women-focused groups,” Porter says. “When I met my manager, she said she was a part of the groups, and when I actually joined, she added me to them. She’s definitely taken me under her wing.”

Since coming onboard, Porter has also tapped into some of the company-provided spaces that help people connect over topics not centered on work, like the Distinctful and Meaningful Conversations group, which, she says, covers multicultural and ethnic conversations that are happening in the country. “They like to have really in-depth conversations,” Porter says. “It makes it a comfortable space for you to say what your opinions are and where you stand on certain issues. There are points to help people engage and ask questions, but you can just listen if you want. Or you can actively speak up about your opinion.”

Santoni says Intuit has continued such vital conversations in DEI town hall meetings and fireside chats, and in both, they offer employees the opportunity to speak up. “I would say the company has put a lot of effort into listening,” she says, adding that Intuit has created a racial equity team aimed at understanding the experiences of minorities at work. 

While the town hall meetings were a new addition after the Black Lives Matter protests in 2020, other efforts to hold space for employees of all backgrounds have been in place for a while, and they are evolving. The company offers support via demographic-specific employee resource groups (ERGs), like the African Ancestry Network (AAN), which Porter discovered after onboarding and Bradley has been a major part of for years now. Bradley served as the leader of the AAN in Plano for three years and, in December, will become its global leader. 

She says in the last four years, she’s seen a shift in Intuit’s investment in ERGs, which tracks with the company’s culture of continuous improvement, or that aforementioned growth mindset. “In the past, I can say they were more of social networking groups,” she says, “but then we went from being a networking group to really a business resource group and now help with some of the goals we as a company have, whether they’re internal or external. We’ve partnered with our talent acquisition teams when it comes to our diversity and inclusion targets. It’s important that as we are recruiting folks, they are seeing people who look like them in these settings, and we’re able to have the conversation and share our experiences and really build that connection with potential candidates who are interested in the company.”

But even the move toward integrating ERGs into business initiatives hasn’t stifled the true purpose of such spaces. Bradley says she started a Slack channel for natural hair at work, and that has been a positive step in helping employees feel seen. “It’s more of a Black hair channel. It’s a space where people can feel comfortable and talk to people who have the same experiences as them,” she says. “We still have to pass laws for it to be okay for us to wear our hair the way we want to. People are concerned that if they go back to work, they’re going to experience someone wanting to touch their hair and make some type of comment that makes them uncomfortable. I appreciate Intuit allowing us that space and making it possible for us to have those conversations and feel safe. I feel very supported, not only with my leadership team, but with the network and community that we’ve built as a company.”

Rojas says feeling that sense of belonging, paired with the visual diversity she sees around her, contributes greatly to her overall happiness at work and at Intuit. “When I’m at work, I don’t feel like I’m pretending to be someone else. If I worked in an environment like that, I wouldn’t be mentally healthy or in great spirits. I know I wouldn’t be who I am if I weren’t able to present myself as who I am,” she says.

“I know I’m a little bit on the younger side, but everything that I’m doing has been seen and heard,” she adds. “I like that I don’t have to have some sort of tenure to actually bring something to the table.” 

Moving forward, Santoni says Intuit will continue to keep diversity as a priority because it makes the company stronger: “We have this phrase ‘Stronger Together’ that’s really around having diverse voices thrive and building on diversity as an advantage. It’s hard to draw the perimeter of what is DEI, and what is not DEI, because so many things impact people in different ways.” But in all aspects, she adds, “We treat DEI as a business imperative.”

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