Posted by Holly Punches on November 04, 2014
For sixteen consecutive years, Booz Allen has been recognized on Working Mother’s 100 Best Companies list, last year achieving a coveted spot in the magazine’s Hall of Fame. As this year’s Working Mother of the Year, I’m proud to talk with colleagues and friends about a corporate culture that offers the flexibility and support working moms need to be successful at work and effective at home.
When I started at Booz Allen over six years ago, I commuted two hours each way to my office on client site at FEMA. I loved my job, but my commute became untenable after my son Jackson, now 4, was born. Also, the task lead position I was in required that I be on-site 100% of the time. When I returned to work after maternity leave I met with my leadership team and let them know that I believed it was in my best interest - and the firm’s– for me to identify an opportunity that allowed for more flexibility, and a shorter commute. My team was incredibly supportive, and worked closely with me over the next few months to identify new opportunities at Booz Allen. I made use of the Resource Management program, and I aggressively networked with my colleagues, reaching out to everyone I’d ever worked with at the firm.
Fast forward to today: I now have two young children, Jackson (4) and Reese (2), I work 90% from home in an integrated role as a Resource Manager/Recruiter for the Strategic Consulting Group within the Strategic Innovation Group (SIG), and I still love my job.
I value Booz Allen’s commitment to flexibility and a positive work/life balance even more since I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) three years ago. Stress and fatigue are contributing factors to MS relapses, and my flexible work environment means that my stress is significantly minimized. While I generally put in long days, I am able to do so comfortably in my home, eliminating the stress that comes from fighting the notorious Washington, D.C.-area traffic. The Booz Allen accommodations team has also played a role in the reduction of my stress, providing me with a special chair for my home office and specialized computer equipment– both of which help with fatigue.
Because my job is flexible, I am available to respond to those unforeseen and last-minute childcare emergencies all parents face, like doctor appointments and sick days and for my own medical needs related to my MS.
It is a pleasure to work for a company that offers so many opportunities for me to perform at a high level while remaining an engaged parent. But as important as the firm’s policies and programs supporting working moms, are its people. For the past two years my sister and I have co-captained the firm’s Walk MS Team. With the support of our terrific colleagues and friends, we’ve raised nearly $9,000 for the National MS Society, and made many more Booz Allen friendships. I am also a member of the Women’s Forum, the Parents Forum and the Diversability Forum.
To learn more about the National MS Society and Walk MS, visit: https://secure3.convio.net/nmss/site/SPageServer?pagename=%2FWLK_HOM_splash#.