Celebrating Women in Tech

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Know your worth, know your goals and know that you deserve it

It’s only February, but it’s been quite the year for TSheets by QuickBooks. In January, we officially became an Intuit company, having co-existed like vegemite and toast for eons. The union is significant because it’s more than just two businesses coming together for profit. Rather, it’s two entities with the same core values and vision coming together to power greatness for many more. And one of these values is having an inclusive and encouraging culture, specifically towards women in tech.

The Intuit’s Tech Women @Intuit (TWI) initiative is perhaps best summarised by Communications Manager, Karen Weiss, in the below video.

Warning: Mad rhymes and sick lines included.

So in conjunction with International Day for Women and Girls in Science, we spoke to our very own Jen Benz, Product Manager for Australia, and asked her to share her journey and advice with other women in tech.

 

How she knew TSheets was right for her

When Jen was hired, she was eight months pregnant with her second daughter. This meant she was only available to work for a few weeks before going on maternity leave. Some prospective employers could have (illegally) written her off completely, or hired her but assigned meaningless tasks just to keep her occupied. Not TSheets.

“I was assigned challenging short-term projects that could be handed off or picked back up upon my return. My upcoming maternity leave was just an input in a long plan for ways that I could grow and add value to TSheets. My supervisors and colleagues had the perfect balance of personal congratulations and professional nonchalant-ness. My pregnancy was something to celebrate and at the same time not a big deal.”

— Jen Benz, TSheets Product Manager for Australia

 

You deserve both work and family

We also asked Jen if gender has ever played a part or been a factor in her professional journey. She has found that as long as she communicates her goals clearly, there are always opportunities for growth and advancement.

This has proven especially true during and after both of Jen’s pregnancies, even at her previous job, when she also took the lead in setting the expectations for herself and her team. “Yes, I’m pregnant, but I am excited to travel cross-country to help close a big sales deal,” she said. “Conversely, I won’t feel guilty for not coming along when I’m too pregnant to travel.”

Jen commiserates with women who may feel guilty about having to choose between work and family. She’s learned to be confident in knowing that she deserves and can have both. While it may not be always possible to prioritise both at the same time, there should never be any guilt about shifting focus from one to the other, as needed.

 

Be disruptive and advocate for yourself

For many women leaders, likeability and success do not necessarily go hand-in-hand. To Jen, she is ultimately in charge of the change and opportunity she wants. Women are such great advocates for other people and causes but often not themselves.

“Don’t be afraid or embarrassed to apply for a particular job or ask for more money. You deserve it. If you want something, but lack the skills or experience, find a way to get it. There are so many free resources and people willing to help. Read, learn, network and make mistakes. Make lots of the mistakes!”

 

Aspire to inspire

When we started work on this post, it was easy to get overwhelmed with all the negativity involving gender parity and inequality. But that’s not what we’re about. We aspire to inspire change for the better, and in the wise words of Karen Weiss, Jen and all the women in tech at TSheets, now together with Intuit, definitely have the temerity to say with sincerity that they are powering prosperity around the world.