Bold Women Discover Their Mojo

Design for Delight: a TSIG workshop event and Intuit's new advocate role for women

By Jacqui Busick

Kimbra Brookstein mingled with technology professionals around tables of antipasti, mini cupcakes and sangria at the Technology Special Interest Group’s event “Bold Women Discover Their Mojo” last Wednesday, June 7th. These women had a chance to unite in a social setting inside of Intuit’s café before uniting to empower each other in their careers around workshop tables.

The event was the third in TSIG’s four-part series with EvoNexus and Intuit, "Bold Women do the Hustle." This time, Veena Nath, product manager at Intuit and a community innovation lead in the San Diego office, walked the attendees through the Design for Delight principles. Design for Delight (D4D) can be applied to problem-solving with product design, or for one's own career. 

Applied to career development, D4D’s principles are to know yourself, connect and brainstorm, discover and experiment to learn.

“Not only is this good for professional growth,” said Kimbra, “but when you come to an event like this you’re sitting at a table, you’re pushing your comfort zone, you’re meeting someone else, you’re sharing goals, you’re building that sense of community and support as a woman in technology, or just as a professional woman."

Kimbra Brookstein says this is part of her goal in her new role as Senior Program Manager for Tech Women at Intuit.

As a member company, Intuit already is supporting educational and developmental opportunities for women and generating visibility for support and commitment to developing women––like through hosting Athena's SIG events such as this. 

But Kimbra's role at Intuit is new itself, and she says there is already a strong vision for it. She and Intuit San Diego hope that her position will "create programming and create environments that attract, retain, promote women technologists.”

The goal is to use that strategy to “create a culture [and] build a community.” It’s a role that allows for more advocacy for women in a large technological company.

Women technologists at Intuit are welcome to attend events such as Wednesday’s for free. Intuit does Design for Delight and journey-mapping internally in professional development, as well.

This Athena TSIG event was unique in the realm of professional development at Intuit in that it was specifically for women––for connections between women.

Seated around tables with other women inside Intuit's café, the attendees first completed journey maps.  Each attendee reflected on their careers, plotting significant points on a timeline. They circled high points, forecasted into the future and thought about their goals.

In her career, Kimbra has always been involved with marketing and sales. Working with both larger corporations and start-ups, she was always talking with developers, and naturally fell into the tech scene.

Kimbra’s previous role was as Marketing Manager for Dev Bootcamp, an 18-week program for beginners and career changers to learn how to code. As a founding and launching member, she was introduced to Intuit through partnerships.

“I’m really involved with underrepresented groups in tech––it’s something I’m passionate about,” she said.

Outside of Dev Bootcamp and Intuit, Kimbra has been, or still is currently, in leadership roles with Django Girls San Diego, Girl Develop It San Diego and San Diego Startup Week.

Kimbra’s excited for this next plot-point in her career journey. This job may be new, but she is very familiar with the culture already. It’s a role that allows her to work within the exact culture she wants to be a part of and continue building.

In this role she hopes to “showcase Intuit as the place where females and women can do the best work of their lives.”

After the workshop attendees added goals to their journey maps, the table groups became career posses. In an exercise Veena called “concurrent brainstorming,” the women used a standing board and colored sticky notes to take steps toward their futures.

Each table member wrote one goal on a sticky note for their posse to add suggestions of practical steps they could take.

“This is a team effort,” shared Veena from the front of the room. “It’s all about learning and moving forward.”

For example, one woman would like to change her career. Two sticky note-ed ideas below this goal were: "find what you like to do" and "simply apply to other things." While this particular brainstorm may be simple, big steps are less scary when you visualize it on a board, next to others’ and on colorful sticky notes. Without this event, bold ideas like these may remain merely daunting thoughts.

Kimbra says that her next steps are to “continue building external relationships to establish [their] technologists as thought leaders and continuing getting them involved in the community.”

She says this is where the partnership with Athena comes in: for “development, not only of our technologists, but also of giving back and running workshops like this.”

At the end of this workshop, each professional left with career homework––a next step to check-off in the next four weeks––and someone to check in with about it.

The fourth of TSIG’s series with EvoNexus and Intuit will be a follow-up to this night’s brainstorming, focusing on taking an idea and doing something with it.

 

 

 

 

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