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Meet Anastasiya and Oanh
Anastasiya Olds and Oanh Dang weren’t members of the Society of Women Engineers (SWE), but when a crowdsourcing challenge was launched at Booz Allen looking for speakers at the WE17 conference, both women submitted topics. “It’s a great opportunity to share ideas I’m passionate about and which can benefit others,” says Anastasiya, a self-taught Agile expert and hackathon contributor who has been at the firm for 4 years. “That willingness to engage employees and tap our collective ideas and expertise is one of the things I love most about Booz Allen.”
After several rounds of voting, both women were selected to present lightening talks at the October SWE event. Oanh, going on her 12th year at Booz Allen, is a quality and process improvement expert and will share her insights in a session titled, “How to Lead and Manage Quality in IT Projects.” She’s most excited when “you know that the processes you’ve laid out improves a client’s ability to fulfill their mission. I’m energized by that.”
Anastasiya will be talking about “Unwrapping Hackathons – the Power of Three” (which by the way, are participants, organizers, and sponsors). Booz Allen has been taking advantage of this model to allow employees a new avenue to showcase their skills while creating solutions for some weighty issues such as predicting terror attacks, improving marine safety and combatting PTSD. “Hackathons are an amazing tool, and Booz Allen has been on a great journey of exploring how we can maximize our impact for clients and community with hackathons. I’m excited to share that with others so they can be successful, too,” she says.
Anastasiya and Oanh credit Booz Allen’s resources, communities of practice, and openness to stretch goals with enhancing their opportunities here. Hard work and talent pay off too.
Oanh sees mentorship as a key to her success as well. “All of my mentors, male and female – have been advocates for me. You can work really hard and sure, you may grow, but with someone advocating for you—opportunities expand. I’ve been lucky in that regard, and now I’m helping others too.”
Both women see a lot of SWE engagement in their futures. Anastasiya sometimes observes a hesitancy for some women to showcase their expertise—something that may come easier to male colleagues. “Encouraging women to submit their ideas and attend conferences is a great way to bridge that gap,” she says. She wants to see more women engaged in conversation and advocating for each other.
“I’m happy my path took me to joining SWE. I get a feeling of belonging. I’m with other passionate women who care about IT and technology and we’re helping each other forward,” says Anastasiya.
Booz Allen’s people-focused culture is a cornerstone of our history and how we’re able to create an amazing workplace. Learn more by exploring our current openings.