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Our Commitment to Advancing Racial and Social Equity

Our Six-Pillar Agenda: Progress So Far

In June 2020, we launched a task force to review our systems and practices, processes, procedures, and the underlying characteristics of our culture to understand the challenges—and opportunities—to racial and social equity within our walls. Over the course of 9 months, this task force focused on six primary areas.

In 2021, we wove the core focuses of this agenda and the lessons we learned from implementing them, into a refreshed DEI Strategy and Action Plan. We learned a great deal from this task force, and share key insights below:

Pillar 1: Launch an independent review of how our business practices impact Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) — COMPLETE

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The Kaleidoscope Group conducted an extensive independent assessment of our formal and informal business practices. The assessment, concluded in November 2020, was one of the most exhaustive people assessments in firm history and holistically assessed Booz Allen in five major areas:

  1. 1. Culture
  2. 2. People & Processes
  3. 3. Workforce Analytics
  4. 4. Communications & Brand
  5. 5. Supply Chain

The assessment gathered insights from:

  • A firmwide survey assessing favorability on seven workplace inclusion factors
  • In-depth interviews with many leaders and employees
  • Review of 620 documents and 50 data sets containing more than 10 million individual data points

This assessment illuminated areas that fully support a diverse workforce, but also uncovered systems and processes that require more intentional focus to ensure full equity. 

Pillar 2: Increase personal time and space for reflection and mental health — COMPLETE

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Working to build a more equitable world takes mental and emotional energy. To sustain this work over the long term, we identified additional opportunities to enable employees to be heard and recharge when needed. In 2020, we made the following changes:

  • Converted the Columbus Day holiday into a floating well-being holiday that employees can use when they choose
  • Enhanced our Employee Assistance Program offerings, including increasing the number of counseling sessions available
  • Celebrated Juneteenth firmwide for the first time
  • Provided more robust well-being programming, including new offerings on mindfulness, yoga, sleep improvement, and stress reduction
  • Launched a listening series that engaged over 5,000 employees to enable them to share their stories and listen to one another in a safe space that deepened our collective understanding and empathy. These listening sessions are continuing quarterly, providing the opportunity and safe container to explore the impacts of sociopolitical flashpoints, such as the rising violence against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, and Jewish Americans. 

Pillar 3: Increase representation of Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) at all levels of the firm — IN PROGRESS

While we’re proud of the progress we’ve made toward increasing representation over the years, as CEO and President Horacio Rozanski said, “this work doesn’t end until each and every person feels reflected in their leadership.”

  • Using insights from the independent assessment, we identified the systems, processes, and talent practices that must be thoroughly re-imagined to mitigate any potential bias in order to attract and develop BIPOC talent and create the diverse pipeline of leaders we need in the future.
  • In 2020, we publicly released firmwide diversity metrics for the first time. This data shows our progress to date and where we will continue our work. 

Pillar 4: Accelerate learning opportunities on diversity, equity, and inclusion for all employees — COMPLETE

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To ensure that we’re all operating from the same baseline of understanding, we enhanced our extensive DEI learning library available to all employees and sourced best-in-class industry trainings to enable a deeper understanding of certain concepts. We launched a DEI compass tool that provides a customized learning journey for employees, and we are finalizing a mandatory DEI training for all employees.

Pillar 5: Use our voice and capabilities to advance racial and social equity, and amplify the voices of others — IN PROGRESS

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We will serve as a convenor—identifying the powerful cross-sections of thought leadership, innovation, and technologies – to bring together leading experts to partner in using our world class capabilities to make measurable impacts on driving equity.

We announced the expansion of our signature DEI program Unstoppable Together at last year’s summit, committing to use our voice and capabilities to tackle some of the most vexing social inequities of our time. Follow our Unstoppable Together announcements to learn more about the upcoming Unstoppable Together Incubator and teams of our fellow employees who will join together to do just this.

This work is now embedded in Goal 3 Inspire Belonging of the DEI Strategy and Action Plan.

Pillar 6: Make racial and social equity a major element of our corporate philanthropy — COMPLETE

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  • In the summer of 2020, when we launched a Racial and Social Equity giving campaign, we asked our employees about the organizations that they thought were doing the most impactful racial and social equity work.  Their responses guided our initial investments.
  • The Race and Social Equity Employee Giving Campaign exceeded historic participation rates among employees and, with the 2-to-1 corporate match component, raised over $565,000 to support four organizations: Equal Justice Initiative, Black Girls CODE Inc., Thurgood Marshall College Fund, and Year Up.
  • We launched the inaugural Race and Social Equity Grants. In 2020, we awarded $200K to support 16 employee-nominated nonprofits that are doing work in the equity space. The program will facilitate ongoing engagement between colleagues, nonprofit partners, and the communities where they live and work.
Read more about our volunteer and pro bono work with Black Girls CODE & Thurgood Marshall College Fund.
EXPAND COLLAPSE
  • Black Girls CODE skills-based volunteerism project: A team of Booz Allen skills-based volunteers developed onboarding processes and materials for new hires to increase Black Girls CODE growth and sustainability during a time of unprecedented growth. The project team delivered a framework, set of recommendations, and process improvements for implementation designed to improve the new hire onboarding process.
  • Thurgood Marshall College Fund skills-based volunteerism project: A team of Booz Allen skills-based volunteers was assigned to develop innovative account management strategies to keep TMCF’s influx of new donors engaged in their programming year over year. The results included an executable strategy for TMCF’s individual donor outreach aligned with key priorities that could be activated immediately.
  • Thurgood Marshall College Fund pro bono project: With a multiyear commitment to recommend process improvements and enhance standard operating procedures for TMCF’s core functions, a pro bono team from Booz Allen has made key recommendations spanning legal, government relations, human resources, and information technology.