As a woman of color, she had to fight for her successes
Stephanie Moore achieved her dream of a career in tech without the benefit of supportive role models or mentors. That’s why she values Booz Allen’s culture of empowerment, opportunity, and choice—and encourages others to pursue their dreams with passion.
I always knew that I wanted to work with technology and cutting-edge computer information systems, but growing up in a rural, working-class town in South Carolina, there were few—if any—professional role models to inspire me. Textiles was the main industry, and many members of the community, including my mother and grandmother, worked in the local mills. I watched the women of my family stay in unfulfilling, labor-intensive jobs that offered little psychological, financial, and emotional support. I wanted more for my life.
In high school, I was one of two girls in a coding class. A guidance counselor tried to convince me not to take another computer science class, suggesting it would prove too difficult. I took it anyway and succeeded. I wasn’t ready to abandon my interests purely because I didn’t fit the mold.
To further prove myself, I chose to study computer science at Norfolk State University. There were very few women in the program, and I found myself questioning my dream. I often wondered: Where are all the women in this field? Where are the women of color? I shifted my major to business with a focus in computer information systems. That path gave me the technical ability I longed for and helped me to realize my interest in entrepreneurship.
Fifteen years into my career at Booz Allen, I’m grateful for the choices that led me here and the support the firm provides. My leadership and colleagues have championed my work from the start and helped me grow into a career so many thought I shouldn’t have. I’ve joined our Women’s Business Resource Group, which has enabled me to engage with a network of women who have similar success stories and to share strategies for navigating career growth. I’m using what my past taught me to help other women create their own blueprints for success.
I don’t take my achievements lightly. My path was complex and freighted with detours. My advice for others? Give it everything you have today and don’t forget to pave the way for tomorrow’s women in STEM and women of color. My goal is to continue sharing my story with young women and girls. I want to remind them that their STEM dreams and aspirations are important and can be realized—just like mine were.
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