Forward with NACCE

Empowering Underrepresented Groups in Tech and DEI in Business, with Pam Bingham

March 15, 2023 National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship
Forward with NACCE
Empowering Underrepresented Groups in Tech and DEI in Business, with Pam Bingham
Show Notes Transcript

In this episode, Pam Bingham, senior program manager at Intuit, shares her passion for personal finance and how important it is for individuals to have basic personal finance skills. Intuit is making DEI a major strategy in everything they do, and Pam shares her work in DEI in tech, including leading an apprenticeship program for underrepresented groups in technology and driving the Girls with Code summer immersion program. Hear how customers look for Intuit to mirror them in some ways, and how they are working to ensure that they embody the belonging piece of DEI in everything they do, from pay equity to hiring.

Ready to move forward with NACCE? Learn more about the National Association of Community College Entrepreneurship.

Follow NACCE on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

Watch this episode on YouTube!

Pam: Sometimes you go to a firm and you don't have that opportunity to, to really get down and, and really share your vision as a business owner, how you're, you're trying to grow. For me that's like the biggest gift I can give. It's even more important to me than just, you know, what I earn in my, in my role as a small business owner.

Becky: Welcome to this episode of Forward With NACCE. I'm Rebecca Corbin and I'm really happy to be with you today. We're working, out of our studio with our Earfluence partner, and we have a special guest. We, recently celebrated our hundredth episode and the top-rated episode of the first two years was an interview with Dave Zada, who is the Vice President of Education for Intuit.

And I'm delighted today to have another leader at Intuit that we're going to dive into her personal story and find out about some of the really impactful things that she's doing in her role, and then also, in, in some of the time that she gives back to the community. So I'm really excited to welcome, Pam Bingham to the program.

And Pam, why don't you get us started a little bit, just tell us a little bit about your background and some of the things that brought you to doing the work that you're doing.

Pam: Oh, thank you so much for having me. I'm a senior program manager, in DEI in tech here at Intuit. And what that means is that Our role, the team that I work on, is, is in service to technologists. in particular, we're part of a team called Tech Women at Intuit that focuses on helping bridge that gap for women in technology.

And then we've also expanded that role that we have, that true north goal that we have, to include URGs, underrepresented groups in technology. So, with that in I drive, or co-drive our apprenticeship program, which is an alternative pathway to tech, where we reach out to those that are in underrepresented groups that don't have computer science degrees, but have had this burning desire and propensity towards tech. And so we, work with them and help them, get them in a program and, and hopefully at the end of the program with success, they become full-time employees. 

And I also drive our girls with code summer immersion program. So that's what I do at Intuit. My other part of my life, I, I'm, I'm an accountant by nature. I have a master's in accounting, and I also have a bookkeeping and tax practice that I've had for about 10 years. So I'm an entrepreneur. I have my own, I don't know, some people in your side gig, I don't know, used to be my full gig. But, yeah, so I, I, I do that.

Becky: I, I love what you, when we talked the other day, I just sort of took away from that of some of the, advice that, that I would give to people when I worked at the college, one of my areas that I had a chance to oversee for a while was career services. And when a lot of people, you know, get into the work world, they, or, or even beforehand when they're students, they don't know a lot about personal finance and they really don't know what they wanna do with their lives and.

What I've learned, from you and some of your other colleagues at Intuit is that really grasping, you know, basic personal finance skills can be very empowering and I think you, you've done a good job in, in really kind of blending what you're passionate about and what your academic pursuit is, into what your job is.

And so I'd like to Pam, talk a little bit about, just for people that NACCE not be aware on diversity, equity, and inclusion, and some people add a belonging as the sort of the, the ending part of that. Why is that so important? Why is it important to Intuit? Why is that important to you to advance, work in that area?

Pam: I mean, it's certainly a strategic goal of our organization and you know, we kinda wanna have diversity as a thought process in everything we do. So we know that our customers, look for us to mirror them in in some ways. So, We've, we've done a lot of work across the board focusing on diversity inclusion and, and definitely the belonging piece of it.

It is an actual major strategy within our organization, if you go to our website,, you'll see our DEI report, our annual report because that information is definitely included in our annual report. Our investors expect us to report on how we show up from a diversity, equity, and inclusion, perspective.

So, It's not just buzzwords for us. We really try to ensure that we are being equitable, making sure we are embodying the belonging piece of diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging in everything we do as far as pay equity, making sure that, that, even in, in terms of how we, hire. We wanna make sure that those that are coming to us and pursuing a career are feeling that they belonging that the process is, is from an equitable position. 

Therefore we make sure that we have, the, the appropriate people on the panel, that we have enough that we're not just showing one side of our, our coin that we have, someone from maybe a person of color or someone like that on our panel. So we really make sure that we, that everything we do at Intuit considers diversity, equity, inclusion, 

Becky: yeah. I think, and that to me makes your culture what it is. And we talk a lot about that here at Macy, the National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship. And, like you we're constantly revisiting that and trying to figure out ways to measure it. And one of the things that we did as an organization recently is we updated our, our mission, our philosophy, and our vision.

And when I was thinking about talking to you today, what I was excited about is really what we were trying to do is to be more clear. Our prior mission was so long. I've worked for the organization in my ninth year. I could not remember it verbatim, which is a problem, right? And so when. Thought differently about how do we describe ourselves? What kind of an experience do we want people to have? 

We redefined our mission, which is members engaging in entrepreneurial mindset and innovative action. So when I think about, and when I look at the website and the work that you do at, in Intuit, I can see right off the bat how we align as partners because it reflects the, the corporate culture of what you do. 

And I think, you know, being sort of authentic leaders and trying to always be lifelong learners, you know, sometimes we fall short of what our aspirations are. We make mistakes. We, you know, don't do all of the things, but I know you all have a commitment to always trying to get tools into the hands of people that are really wanting to make a difference.

And, and so you have a number of different products that we've used and, and kind of played around with, and they, they power what we do, whether it's QuickBooks or Design for Delight. But maybe tell us from your perspective, you know, you do a lot of work with your, African ancestry network, a lot of different things.

What kind of tools do you use a, as a leader working at Intuit, to try to help you advance, in the areas of d e I and B and other things?

Pam: Well, thank you for bringing up the African Ancestry Network because, we, at Intuit we have 14 ERGs, employee resource groups, I am a member of more than one, but, the African Ancestry Network, I serve as a co-chair for our Los Angeles site. We try to create and present and provide programming that is relevant to our members. 

But what's wonderful about our ERGs and, and, and the strategy that we have within the organization, within, with our ERGs is we work in, concert with the organization. And, and so our goals are really aligned all around. I mentioned 14, ERGs. I'm also a member of ISN, which is the Intuit Silver Network. I'm actually on, 

Becky: Hmm. 

Pam: I'm on the steering committee for that network and I'm sure I need means.

Becky: I think I know what that means.

Pam: We have a pride network which in March we're having our annual trans summit. I mean there's so many different organizations or ERGs that really support the DEI philosophy within, Intuit. For instance, as we mentioned, this is Black History Month, and, we've had a lot of great programming throughout the month. We've had fireside chats with leaders, experts in the fields.

I just, within the Los Angeles site, my co-chair and I, we just had a site social takeover for Black History Month where we partnered with, Black owned businesses for restaurants to bring in food and to entertain us and so, and, and share some of their products.

So it was really, that's, it's one of the ways that we, show up and we try to, you know, show up actually with, with some of our customers and support their products because we know many of our customers are, are people of color. So, you know, we'll, we'll, focus on that with them and we'll, we'll, we'll support them.

We had a, I think in our mountain view office, we had a black business marketplace a couple of weeks ago. So this is one of the ways that we show up in as diversity, equity inclusion, especially with our ERGs leading the pack.

Becky: Yeah, and I think, you know, and I, I think just for everybody, it's employee resource groups, right? So is that what that stands for? 

And you know, it, it does seem to me that, you know, you're striving for that belonging. And so people that can really, and many people fit into multiple dimensions of diversity.

I think I had heard, at one point there were like 36 different dimensions of diversity. So it might be one's ethnic race, it's their gender, it could be their religious beliefs. I mean, and when you start to think about it, you think, my goodness, what a beautiful mosaic of humanity that we have all of these different things.

I think really speaking, sort of to the, the whole person is one of the things that I know we, we all strive, to do. And so could you give us an example, Pam, like when you are, are doing your events in, Los Angeles, like you mentioned a fireside chat, like how do people, at Intuit and your customers plug into that?

Is it mostly like a, a virtual thing? You mentioned like an in-person thing, like just bring us into what the experience is like for people that participate in that.

Pam: Well, for the local sites, that's usually an in-person thing, and that's really an internal event, we have had a couple of events that have, featured some external, Folks like, I think at the beginning of Black History Month, on the first, we had a small business fireside chat with Issa Rae, who was a, Actress, producer, et cetera, et cetera. And Nate Burleson, who's a former in, former NFL, star, and he's also, I think he's a commentator on and they were wonderful. That was, that was actually open to the, the general public as well. 

So that was, that was a, an event that Yes, the African Ancestry Network, hosted. But it was, we hosted it in, in, in conjunction with our, our small business group at QuickBooks. and both of them are both QuickBooks owner, users. and it was a wonderful event, sharing what it's like to be a small business owner, what it's like to pivot when you, Maybe you've had a direction and then you needed to pivot because that's what happens when you're a small business owner,

So yeah, there are opportunities for us to have programming and events internally and ex and, and also externally bring, letting, bringing in our, outside audience to also enjoy and share with the information that we're providing.

Becky: Which is really important, that human connection. I had a meeting earlier today, with a woman by the name of Alicia Parr, so she, created her own human resources firm, called Perfor Mentor. And I happened to meet her just randomly at an event. And I was so grateful that I did because my organization's not really big enough to have a full-time HR rep.

But sometimes you want to have access to the best that you can have without hiring a full-time person to do it. And, she reminds me a little bit of you because she, really had a passion for human resources and kind of problem solving, and it just was something that she'd wake up and she would think about.

But we were talking about the challenges of, of being an entrepreneur and sometimes how it's very difficult if you are entrepreneurial. Like it's the genie out of the bottle, right? then you, you can't fit back in to, a culture and an environment that doesn't really embrace a lot of the values that I think Intuit embraces.

So, I'm just thankful for you and for all of your colleagues. I'm truly grateful for the partnership that we have and we've been thinking a lot about the future here at NACCE. We, we recently, made our vision for the future very crisp and clear, and I think you'll like it. It is called equity and prosperity for all.

It's bold. We'll, probably never in my lifetime reach it, but we figure, you know, if we shoot for the moon, we'll, we'll get closer to that. And so I'd like to end our conversation, Pam, Maybe you could talk with, with us about, Maybe some of you know, your vision or aspirations, whether it's, what the work that you're doing, through your employee resource groups or, at Intuit or Maybe your business of like, what, what is success? What does the future look like for you?

Pam: Success or the future look like. Wow. That. That's a pretty big statement, I'll, I'll, you know, I'll talk a little bit about, as a small business owner. My goal and the reason why I ever decided to start my business, other than, you know, I had someone in my background, you know, Saying, just do it. Just do it, I, it was because I wanted to help. 

I did this great work. I worked with CPA firms and I was doing, work, you know, as, as a staff accountant, as, as a firm administrator. So I, I'd had the experience of doing the work and managing those that did do the work, and, but I knew that I could serve a population that would be comfortable coming to a person like me as opposed to going to a huge firm. Because sometimes you go to a firm and you don't have that, that opportunity to, to really get down and, and really share your vision as a business owner, how you're, you're trying to grow. I think that's really great and I, what I love about what I do is that I get to also share with other small business owners.

Hey, Maybe you should think about this. This would be helpful for you in the future. You, you're thinking through your finances and how to grow, and they come to me for advice. For me that's like the biggest gift I can give. It's even more important to me than just, you know, what I earn in my, in my role as a small business owner.

As an employee of Intuit. We do so much great work, not just what, what I do for my team, but you know, you had one, one of the, one wonderful in our organization who runs our corporate responsibility unit and we do so much work. I mean, I've done some volunteer work with great organizations that help youngsters that are trying to learn tech, help youngsters who want, who wanna learn and get information about being financially, responsible. 

Yeah. So we do this work and we, we go and we learn and we share our knowledge and other people here and, and Intuit, we share our knowledge. Those of us who have accounting background, we share ways to learn about using our software, learn about being responsible and making responsible decisions as far as financial, literacy is concerned. So those, those are the areas that I loved, that I'm a part of, that I get to be a part of. so yeah, don't know if I answered your question, but I sure

Becky: No, you did. You did. And I think as I was listening to you talk, I was thinking about a fireside chat that I had recently with, Dr. Jim Murdoch, who's one of my board members. He's the president of Tallahassee Community College and just inspires me by his leadership and he spoke to me about the psychological paycheck, and it just stuck with me.

And I hope that, I think it resonates with you and I hope it resonates with our audience because, you know, there's the work that we all do to, you know, put food on the table and make sure that, you know, we can pay our bills, but then there's that that payoff that we get when we feel like we're really making a difference in the lives of another and lives of communities. And I know the work that you do with your colleagues, has opened up so many doors for so many people. 

So I wanna thank you so much, Pam, for your inspiration. I know I've learned a lot. You, you give me a different view of, of the accounting, profession. You know, most people think of accountants as, you know, Quiet, you know, sort of doing all the debits and credits and I see, it can be so much more and I think that's what you've opened up our eyes today is even the tech that lots and lots of people can fit into tech even though they might not think that they do. So I wish you a wonderful day and thank you. Thank you, thank you for you. 

Pam: Thank for having me. Thank you for having me. I appreciate it. Thank you.

Becky: Thank you.