CAREERS & the disABLED Magazine, established in 1986, is the nation's first and only career-guidance and recruitment magazine for people with disabilities who are at undergraduate, graduate, or professional levels. Each issue features a special Braille section.
CAREERS & the disABLED has won many awards, including several media "Award of Excellence" acknowledgments from the President's Committee on Employment of People with Disabilities.
This magazine reaches people with disabilities nationwide at their home addresses, colleges and universities, and chapters of student and professional organizations through a paid subscription.
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Employers & Employees of the Year
Congratulating the Winners: 29th Annual Awards
This year marks the 29th anniversary of CAREERS & the disABLED's Annual Employee and Employer of the Year Awards. Find out on the following pages who the 2021 winners are, and join us in congratulating this year's talented and deserving winners - all stars in their own right - as we honor their roles as trailblazers and advocates.
For almost 30 years CAREERS & the disABLED has been acknowledging, honoring, and celebrating the personal and professional achievements of noteworthy individuals with disabilities via its Annual Employee of the Year Awards.
The awards committee assigned to choose this year's roster of 10 talented and remarkable role models profiled in this issue found each winner to have made prodigious contributions to the workforce in and outside of his and her respective workplace, and the community outside of work.
We reveal this year's winners on the following pages. Read on for a special look that honors the roles of each winning individual as a trailblazer and advocate while underscoring his or her unique expertise, career highlights, and advocacy for the Disability Community.
In addition, we unveil this year's Employer of the Year winners. CAREERS & the disABLED recognizes Booz Allen Hamilton with the Private-Sector Employer of the Year Award and National Security Agency (NSA) with the Public-Sector Employer of the Year Award.
The congratulatory section honoring this year's winners in this issue kicks off with their company profiles, underscoring their commitment to recruiting, hiring, retaining and promoting people with disabilities.
Booz Allen Hamilton, Private-Sector Employer of the Year
Booz Allen Hamilton: Building a Workplace Where Everyone Can Thrive
Booz Allen Hamilton is deeply honored to receive this prestigious award as the CAREERS & the disABLED's 2021 Private-Sector Employer of the Year. Decades ago, the McLean, VA-headquartered company made a decision to infuse diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) into its culture, and it's been committed to meaningful and lasting change ever since.
"At Booz Allen, our purpose is to empower people to change the world - that starts with providing an inclusive work environment for everyone," says Eli Hinson, co-chair of the firm's Global Disabilities Business Resource Group.
The company's initiatives and partnerships that support the recruiting, hiring, and promotion of people with disabilities include:
- Providing opportunities for leadership, development and volunteerism through employee groups such as our Global Disabilities Business Resource Group.
- Connecting employees with adaptive and accessible technologies and resources and offering on-going educational seminars on topics such as 508 design standards.
- Mentoring the next generation at its annual Disability Mentoring Day, where the company pairs high school students with disabilities with a Booz Allen mentor to empower them with fun team challenges and learning sessions that demystify the accommodations process.
- Engaging with and supporting veterans with service-connected disabilities through meaningful employment opportunities through its long-time partnership with the non-profit organization Hiring Our Heroes.
- Providing disability services for veterans and support for military families, seniors, and caregivers through its long-standing partnership with Easter Seals.
- Improving healthcare access for people with intellectual disabilities and raising money for the Special Olympics' Health Athletes program through more than a decade of sponsoring the Special Olympics of Virginia.
- Expanding opportunities for people with disabilities across industries through its partnership with the non-profit organization Disability:IN and its NextGen Leaders Initiatives.
- Helping craft the Accessible Document Specialist Certification for individual professionals in 2020 through its partnership with the International Association of Accessibility Professionals.
- Launching a new partnership in 2021 with Specialisterne to recruit, onboard and hire neurodiverse talent.
Booz Allen Hamilton is proud of its DEI commitments and progress, and it's rewarding when industry peers and others recognize its efforts. For the last six years in a row, the company's received a 100% score on Disability Equality Index, a nationwide benchmarking tool by Disability:IN and the American Association for People with Disabilities (AAPD).
The company's employees have been named Employee of the Year Awards by CAREERS & the disABLED magazine in 2015, 2016 and 2018. We were a Best Employer for Diversity by Forbes in 2020 and a Best Consulting Firm for Diversity by Vault in 2019. The company was also honored with the Inclusion Index Company Award from Diversity Best Practices in 2020.
"We remain focused, more than ever, on our ultimate goal: a safer and more accessible workplace where people with disabilities, visible or non-visible, can thrive," says Brian MacCarthy, executive sponsor of the firm's Global Disabilities Business Resource Group.
Learn more about Booz Allen's DEI initiatives, boozallen.com/about/diversity-equity-and-inclusion.html, and explore career paths at the firm, careers.boozallen.com. Connect on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram.
National Security Agency, Public-Sector Employer of the Year
National Security Agency (NSA): Leveraging Diverse Perspectives to Protect the Nation
Gen. Paul M. Nakasone, director of the National Security Agency (NSA), is committed to ensuring that NSA embraces principles of equal opportunity and inclusiveness so that every member of the agency can work in an environment of respect and fair treatment, and be fully engaged with their work.
To achieve this, he states, "We [at NSA] will pursue our vision of diversity, equality, and inclusion with the same intensity we apply to delivering exceptional intelligence and cybersecurity products to defend our nation."
CAREERS & the disABLED magazine has selected NSA as the 2021 Public-Sector Employer of the Year, a testament to the agency's continued commitment to providing equal employment opportunities and fostering a fair and equitable work environment.
"The National Security Agency is honored to be named the Public-Sector Employer of the Year by CAREERS & the disABLED magazine," says Gen. Nakasone.
"The agency's success in building and sustaining a talented workforce is firmly grounded in how effectively we build a culture of diversity, equality, and inclusion."
NSA established an initiative known as "the Big Six" to enhance the agency's progress building an exceptional workforce and culture. It's made up of six focus areas:
- Implementing Fair Personnel Practices across NSA.
- Senior Leader Accountability.
- Accessibility of Facilities and Usability of Services.
- Recruiting and Hiring a Diverse Workforce.
- Onboarding and Mentoring.
- Developing a Pipeline of Diverse Senior Candidates.
As a lead employer for people with disabilities, NSA is constantly developing new ways to improve its recruitment, hiring, retention, and advancement of individuals with disabilities. As part of ensuring that the agency is maximizing and strengthening its talent, it's continued to promote diverse perspectives, empower its workforce to contribute their full potential, and provide everyone the freedom to compete on a level playing field.
"Equal employment opportunity is a cornerstone of American democracy, and diversity is one of our nation's greatest strengths," says Gen. Nakasone.
"Providing reasonable accommodations when needed and ensuring transparency, equality, and fairness in our personnel practices helps everyone succeed."
NSA has also made access to technology an essential part of its mission by expanding programs to include comprehensive accessibility standards. To ensure all tools and systems are accessible, employees with disabilities are encouraged to engage with or join NSA's People with Disabilities Employee Resource Group, which provides opportunities to network with other employees with disabilities and to increase awareness of barriers within the workplace to members without disabilities.
NSA's greatest asset and competitive advantage for more than 69 years has been its people, and the agency takes pride in its ability to attract exceptional candidates that reflect the diversity of the nation. The agency continues to strive to expand its recruitment outreach to diverse professional organizations, and establish and maintain partnerships with minority, women, and disability organizations.
To learn more about NSA's commitment to diversity recruitment efforts and career internship opportunities, visit NSA.gov, or connect with NSA on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, or Instagram.
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