Dr. Ralph W. Shrader
Chairman and CEO, Booz Allen Hamilton Inc.
Headquarters: McLean, Virginia
Education: BS Electrical Engineering, University of Pennsylvania; MS and PhD, University of Illinois
First Job: Ticket clerk for Greyhound Bus
Best Advice: Luck is when preparation meets opportunity.
It may be surprising, but what makes diversity important to Booz Allen is the one thing our employees all have in common—a singular and passionate commitment to help government and business leaders succeed in their most critical missions.
Our ability to meet these challenges depends on the strength of our 23,000+ people. We help clients succeed when we take the best people from diverse backgrounds and bring them together to drive innovative thinking and new solutions. We don’t want to lose the benefit of talent because an individual or group of individuals feels less welcome and supported at our firm.
Recruiting is key, which we do both through our regular hiring and with resources dedicated to diversity recruiting. In November 2013, for example, we co-sponsored a recruiting conference for women veterans, the fastest growing segment of the veteran population.
We embed diversity and inclusion practices throughout our employee life cycle and people programs through initiatives that help ensure that everyone is supported, included, and empowered to succeed by bringing their full self into our workplace. Diversity training is encouraged at all levels and is required of the firm’s executives and senior managers. All of our people are measured against our Core Values, which include promoting diversity.
Diversity Forums, such as our Latin American and African American Forums and Women’s Forum, enable employees to network, learn, and celebrate where they’re from, where they are, and where they’re going. The 14 forums provide a direct line to senior leadership. Cultural celebrations, learning and development series, panel discussions, and other events help staff grow professionally and personally.
We offer domestic partner benefits, courses on understanding different generations, health plans that cover in vitro fertilization and medically necessary transgender surgery, paternity leave, and same-sex adoption support.
These efforts are making an impact. Year after year, representation of women and minorities at Booz Allen has increased. Our diversity and inclusion programs earn accolades, such as recurring spots on the 100 Best Companies lists of Working Mother and GI Jobs, and a top rating from the Human Rights Commission’s Corporate Equality Index.
Progress in diversity sends a clear signal: Keep at it. As clients look to us for help with their most complex management and technology challenges, we must become even better at attracting and retaining all of the talented people who are up to this mission.