SOURCE: Booz Allen HamiltonDESCRIPTION:
While the names and enormous accomplishments of Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan, and Mary Jackson were left out of history books, these brilliant African American women are now getting the recognition they deserve with the release of the blockbuster film “Hidden Figures” in 2016.
In honor of Black History Month in February, Booz Allen Hamilton held a series of “Hidden Figures” screenings in theatres across the country. The firm encouraged its employees not just to attend the film, but to start conversations around diversity and inclusion that bridge differences across its social channels.
The firm continued the conversation in March, Women’s History Month, by launching a series of profiles featuring Booz Allen’s own brilliant women engineers. The series explores why these women chose STEM-related careers and how their technical skills and contributions are making a difference to solve some of the biggest challenges of today.
And Velma Deleveaux, Ph.D., principal at Booz Allen Hamilton is one of those women (pictured right).
As a child, Velma emigrated to the U.S. from Crooked Island, Bahamas, population: 250. Now, in her 13th year at Booz Allen, she's a principal in the firm’s civil and commercial business. With a background in industrial systems, and manufacturing engineering, Velma examines every angle of a problem to design truly optimized systems, strategies, and solutions.
Velma finds inspiration in attacking big challenges and helping people see beyond their circumstances to understand their true potential. "I love the look on people's faces when the light turns on and they realize what they're capable of."
To ensure equality for women and minorities in the workplace, Velma says, “It’s essential to find and promote diverse talent for the sake of performance, not just diversity for its own sake. Studies show diverse teams derive better solutions because they bring diverse perspectives.”
“Some women are tiring of the fight, and starting to feel it’s not worth it, having to fight as hard as they do just to prove their worth, then put another 100 percent into raising a family. We must take heart in remembering how much our mothers and grandmothers sacrificed to bring us opportunities that they were denied. We must support each other and forge alliances. One day women and minorities in senior leadership will be the norm, not an anomaly. We are not there yet.”
Through its “Problem Solvers” campaign and STEM Girls 4 Social Good initiative, Booz Allen continues to build on its commitment to developing a strong and diverse STEM workforce. “Every day at Booz Allen we talk about how diversity—of background, experience, and thought—is essential to maintaining the excellence of the work we do,” said Booz Allen Director of Brand Michael Dumlao. “In order to foster a corporate culture that embraces and nurtures diversity, it’s important for us to be able to talk to one another about race and gender.”
At Booz Allen, your career is our passion. Visit BoozAllen.com/careers.
KEYWORDS: Diversity & Inclusion, Booz Allen Hamilton, STEM, diversity, “Hidden Figures”, STEM Girls for Social Good, inclusion