Ruby Sherman Local STEM Innovator

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Perhaps you could say that gambling is in her blood. She was born and raised in Las Vegas by two professional gamblers, after all. But for STEM champion and innovator Ruby Sherman, a 10-year Intuit employee, luck hardly has anything to do with it.

Identifying as Chicana, Indigenous and Jewish, Ruby was raised by her mother, an immigrant from Mexico, and her adoptive father, a Jewish man from Brooklyn. “As a child attending a private school in an affluent area, I gained much access to education and technology,” she shared with GB MAagazine. “This is also where I learned to code-switch because the people I went to school with did not look or sound like the family I grew up around.”

Ruby also struggled with keeping parts of her identity hidden for fear of how it might impact her opportunities. Thankfully, she overcame these barriers in time and grew more confident in her diverse background and interests, one of which is technology. “I was always fascinated with technology. I also had a great interest in the mind and decided to pursue a Psychology degree in college,” she shares. In 2008, she took a job with Apple in retail to give herself access to the most exciting technology. She relocated to the “tech motherland,” San Francisco, where she also experienced the vibrancy of her Latinx culture.

After 10 years in the Bay, she relocated to San Diego to Intuit because they were bringing their internal IT support model back in-house, and she already had the skills from her work at Apple. Ruby started a support position and grew into a team manager. She loves her current role as IT Manager because she uses her psychology degree to support different types of people, helping them lean into their strengths.

In her desire to find community in San Diego after relocating, she applied to become the site leader for Intuit’s Latinx Employee Resource Group (ERG), and she is an active member of many other ERGs. It was through this group that she became connected with San Diego Squared, a nonprofit that seeks to empower diverse students in their journey into a STEM career. With that connection, Ruby had the opportunity to become a mentor for students in the program, which she loves.

Each of San Diego Squared’s 3 main programs features a yearlong, one-on-one mentorship component that matches diverse, young talent with industry professionals that look like them, allowing students to gain real-world perspective from other diverse voices in STEM.

Ruby’s advice to future STEM leaders? Be yourself. “Be authentic, be YOU! Break down the ‘fit-in’ mindset and instead STAND OUT! Your individual and unique experiences are what will have the most significant impact,” she shares.

Visit www.SD2.org to learn more about how San Diego Squared is empowering students to explore careers in STEM.

 

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Kamran Saeed
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