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Learn more about Booz Allen's diverse culture and environment of inclusion that fosters respect and opportunity for all employees.
Our 22,600 engineers, scientists, software developers, technologists, and consultants live to solve problems that matter. We’re proud of the diversity throughout our organization, from our most junior ranks to our board of directors and leadership team.
Booz Allen takes pride in a culture that encourages and rewards the many dimensions of leadership—innovative thinking, active collaboration, and personal service. We’re particularly proud of the diversity of our Leadership Team and Board of Directors, among the most diverse in corporate America today.
In the age of #GirlBosses, meet our Chief Innovation Officer, Susan Penfield. Not only is she a self-made power player in the tech sector, but she is working to empower social entrepreneurs through our community partner, SEED SPOT, with whom she is Board Chair. She sat down with Brian Park, who runs Startup Grind DC, to discuss opportunities and growth in the entrepreneurial space—from seeking mentorship to encouraging women in technology.
Growing up in the small town of Williamsport, PA, Susan Penfield came from a blue-collar background. Today, she leads Booz Allen’s Strategic Innovation Group in driving change through next-generation technology within the DC Innovation Hub. Susan shared with us, “my passion for philanthropy and for doing good is really born out of the way I grew up.”
“My passion for philanthropy and for doing good is really born out of the way I grew up.”
Susan’s spirit of determination and unwavering sense of opportunity pushed her towards her current position. Out of college, she took a position as a copywriter a local radio station and later turned to retail.
She later moved on to a small, woman-owned startup government consulting group as the assistant to the president, where she did everything under the sun—from cleaning desks to typing memos. Seven years later, she left the company as a vice president to begin her inevitable climb at Booz Allen, making partner within 8 years of her start date.
Susan emphasized the importance of partnering with mentors and sponsors to help launch a career trajectory. Touching on some of the do’s and don’ts of pursuing mentorship, she discussed strategically charting a career path. From the opposite perspective, she also expanded on the can-do attitude she looks for in a mentee. Even further, Susan explained the importance of intentionally creating an inclusive pipeline to advance women and minorities in the tech field.
“You have to be strategic about your career. You can’t let it to chance. You’ve got to own it, you’ve got to drive it, and it’s at every level in every organization.”
When it comes to innovative ideas, Susan’s team is constantly on the lookout for emerging technology and startup partnerships to collaborate and co-create with. Booz Allen’s Innovation Hubs (iHubs) around the country make this happen through accelerated ideation and entrepreneurship.
As the executive sponsor of Booz Allen’s partnership with
SEED SPOT envisions a safe place for entrepreneurs to learn, network, and grow together with the support of the local business community.
“To learn more about how Susan’s empowering others to change the world, follow her on Twitter @SusanPenfield.”