In early June, as thousands protested in the streets against deep and long-standing injustices in society – spurred by the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and countless other people of color – Booz Allen launched its annual LGBTQ+ Pride celebration in solidarity, fueled by a desperate desire for change.
by Amy Wilson, Dow General Counsel and Corporate Secretary, GLAD Executive Sponsor
This year, Dow is celebrating the 20th anniversary of our LGBTQ+ and ally employee resource group, GLAD. It’s an important milestone. It reminds us of the incredible progress we’ve made and the work we still have yet to do.
After ensuring Americans’ health, economic recovery will be next on the to-do list. Access to financing will play a huge role but so, too, will access to customers and vendors. Having customers who spend billions on goods and services such as the Fortune 1000 companies increases your chances for high growth.
Encouraging diversity isn’t just the right thing to do; it’s a competitive imperative in markets like San Diego, where some suggest a 3% unemployment rate is “virtually zero” for tech talent.
As tech companies compete within the same pool of job candidates, it’s imperative to expand the number of qualified individuals. And bringing more diverse people into the talent pool often requires going above and beyond.
GLOBE, which celebrates its anniversary this October, has been Booz Allen’s LGBTQ+ employee business resource group for 20 years. For Lead Data Scientist Steven Roush, Booz Allen’s commitment to diversity and inclusion was a big reason he selected the firm for the next step in his professional journey.
As Booz Allen Lead Associate Ashely Fagan manages three contracts with the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and oversees 75 employees, he wears a lanyard with his security badge—and a Pride pin.
On October 11, which is National Coming Out Day, and every day, “I always feel that I can bring my true self to work,” Fagan said.
GLOBE: A 20-year-old network with a lasting impact
“To really make an impact and be successful, cybersecurity requires diverse people, backgrounds, experiences, and skillsets. There is no one size fits all in this industry.”
Crystal Simmons lives these words through her work at Booz Allen. With GLOBE, the firm’s LGBTQ+ employee forum, she leads a “cyber squad” to recruit highly skilled LGBTQ+ talent and represents the firm in a similar role at Queercon, the largest social network of LGBT hackers from around the world.
“Algorithms help determine a lot of important aspects of our lives, such as job eligibility and access to loans and funding. Because of this, it’s important that people of all backgrounds have a role in making data-driven decisions.”
The LGBT+ community is intersectional, diverse, and ever-evolving, encompassing members with a wide range of other identities, from race and ethnicity to religion and age. For example, a disabled lesbian Muslim woman will belong to multiple cultural groups and may identify with a variety of traditions.