In a compelling narrative of dedication and impact, Anshuman Kumar, Director of Global Brand, Tech & Corporate Communications at Intuit, shares insights into how the tech giant is transforming lives through its CSR initiatives. With a mission to power prosperity worldwide, Intuit’s commitment transcends its innovative products, deeply embedding societal improvement in its ethos.
The ‘Intuit Rise – Girl Child Education Program,’ launched in 2017, stands as a testament to this commitment, aimed at empowering young girls from underserved communities through comprehensive educational support. This initiative not only champions the cause of education but also underscores Intuit’s belief in the ripple effect of empowering women in society. Through strategic partnerships, employee engagement, and technological support, Intuit is shaping a brighter, more inclusive future, illustrating that corporate responsibility can indeed pave the way for profound societal change.
Question: Give more information about the Intuit initiatives that have improved society.
Intuit’s mission is to power prosperity around the world. We believe that everyone should have the opportunity to prosper. And our more than 17,000 employees never stop working to make that possible. The work of powering prosperity goes beyond our products – we extend this commitment to the communities around us as well.
In 2022, the National Family Health Survey indicated that a whopping 21 percent of girls dropped out of school as they were unable to manage education costs. Another statistic highlighted that only 29 percent of technical roles are held by women in India.
Our corporate responsibility work extends beyond these priority areas and is integrated into the fabric of the company and our strategy. As an extension of our global commitment to enabling more job ready individuals and supporting the larger need of providing access to education, we launched the ‘Intuit Rise – Girl Child Education Program’ in 2017 with the aim to empower the future of young girls from lower income backgrounds and underserved communities, who do not have access to education. We try to do this by providing holistic education support, including after school education, life skills training and career guidance.
We believe that educating girls not only empowers them, but also helps all of us build a stronger community, raising the standard of living for entire families, generating more employment options and bringing change in the society. Our employees are closely tied to the program and its success, spearheading this initiative. We identify the girl children through our employee referral program as well as through strategic partnerships with NGO’s who are working for the same cause.
We started the employee referral program in February 2021, to ensure every employee who refers a deserving student will be a torch bearer for the child, encouraging her to get an education and continue inspiring them to be an achiever. Till date we have received 2000+ applications for scholarships and currently have 1500 girls in the program.
Intuit also partnered with NGOs such as Buddy 4 Study which endeavours to bridge the gap between scholarship providers and scholarship seekers through its robust scholarship search engine.
Question: How have you made sure that these CSR programmes are long-lasting?
For the ‘Intuit Rise – Girl Child Education Program’, our goal has always been to create a larger and more durable impact. Our employees are such important stakeholders of the program and this is why the program has really scaled from when we first started in 2017. Under the CSR Indicatives we started the employee referral program, to encourage employees to refer deserving girl children. We’ve also expanded the programme by partnering with non-governmental organisations to give even more support to the program’s participants.
Apart from this, we also encouraged our employees to sign on as mentors, as the program is designed to ensure the student / scholar is equipped with necessary life skills for future success in the workplace. A complete online platform is created to connect our Volunteers / Employees with young and aspiring scholars along with a subject matter expert. Through this online platform we are also able to track the program success and how it is impacting the lives of students.
We have also extended our support by providing our beneficiaries with access to the right technology to continue their learning process. Intuit provided over 200 laptops to our beneficiaries from our Intuit Rise – The Girl Child Education Program over the last two years with the goald of continuing this contribution year over year. Having a laptop for a student means a lot more than easy access to lessons and assignments, also creating a better study space ensures overall development.
Question: What are some of the top CSR techniques that can be used to advance fundamental education and literacy, in your opinion, having worked extensively in these fields?
In my experience, the more you engage the community in creating a larger impact the stronger the program and bigger the outcome. That is how we have been running our Intuit Rise: Girl Child Education Program as well.
Some simple practices that we’ve found effective include:
- Identifying a purpose that is close to your organization’s mission and what it stands for and implement it with fidelity
- Give your employees the ownership to make sure that your efforts are a success. For us, our employees have been the major drivers every step of the way whether it is through referrals of potential beneficiaries or providing mentorship to these beneficiaries, to help them with their growth.
- Fostering a supportive ecosystem. Make sure that you have the right kind of support – whether technical or otherwise to make your programs a success. The right kind of infrastructure goes a long way in making the whole journey seamless.
- Use external and internal benchmarking to measure the success of your programs. Remember all stakeholders should understand the areas of opportunity, scope of improvement and what is already working well for you.
- Celebrate achievements and share the knowledge with employees and other stakeholders as a way to showcase your impact, inspire change, and also as a way to scale your efforts.
Question: What are the future plans for Intuit CSR?
Intuit is next planning to focus more on upskilling our beneficiaries to ensure they are job ready. For our scholarship program, we are growing the number of scholarships every year as we focus on sponsoring the education of a child for every employee at Intuit.
Question: The fight against poverty can be significantly helped by education. How can India uniformly raise the standard of education for all students?
Everything starts with education – Employment opportunities, better infrastructure, developments in science and arts, great economy etc. Ensuring that all students, regardless of their socio-economic background or geographical location, have access to quality education is fundamental. This involves improving infrastructure, including school buildings, classrooms, libraries, and technology, especially in rural and marginalized areas.
Investing in teacher training programs and professional development is essential for enhancing the quality of education. Providing teachers with the necessary skills and knowledge to deliver effective instruction and regularly updating and revising the curriculum to align with the changing needs of society and the job market.
Leveraging technology to improve educational outcomes can be transformative. It can provide students with access to digital resources, online learning platforms, and interactive educational tools, which can enhance their learning experience, particularly in remote areas.
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