Life at Deloitte

Military Spouse Initiative

A program to support and develop our everyday heroes

May 9, 2019

Quiana Downie is a manager in Information Technology Services for Deloitte & Touche LLP who joined Deloitte in 2015 and has since carved out a name for herself at Deloitte. She supports operations for Deloitte’s Technology and Infrastructure organization and works closely with Deloitte’s chief technology officer to execute organizational strategies, including the development of strategic communications, and management of financial analysis efforts. What many may not know about Quiana, is that along with juggling a thriving career at Deloitte and two young children, she is also a military spouse—which presents a whole new dynamic to life.

Life of a military spouse

Quiana’s husband is an active duty JAG officer in the US Army, and over the years, she and her family have had to relocate several times due to the requirements of the military. “There is no typical day as a military spouse,” shared Quiana. “We deal with deployments, temporary assignments, and frequent relocations. Having two children adds another layer of complexity to these situations as each move, we must consider schools, a new home, a new office, a new role, and new babysitters,” shared Quiana.

Along with the day-to-day challenges of relocations, the moves also impact the growth and professional development of military spouses. Many find it difficult to find new jobs, as their resumes often have gaps in employment, and some companies aren’t willing to hire someone who will have to relocate shortly. “Before Deloitte, I had various jobs on my resume because companies were often reluctant to offer flexible working arrangements to retain a military spouse, or even to hire someone who was guaranteed to relocate within two to three years,” noted Quiana. Recognizing this unique career challenge faced by herself and other military spouses spurred Quiana to co-create Deloitte’s Military Spouse Initiative (MSI), a nationwide network of military spouses, veterans, and supporters, who are committed to improving the ability of military spouses to pursue and sustain rewarding careers.

Providing support to military spouses

Through the MSI, military spouses can lean on each other and utilize Deloitte resources not just to have a job, but to have a career. The initiative, which launched in 2016, helps to create a work environment that supports, attracts, and retains high-talent military spouses through transition support and career development. Today, the MSI supports close to 150 military spouses, with over 300 supporters across Deloitte.

The success of the program has been very encouraging and rewarding because it provides a community for husbands and wives of service members to build a network they can leverage. In late 2018, the program was recognized and honored with the Lee Anderson Veterans and Military Spouse Employment Award for overall excellence in hiring and retaining veterans, transitioning service members, and military spouses—an accomplishment Quiana holds dear to her heart. “At Deloitte, we have built something that is truly different from most other programs out there because we are invested in keeping and growing our professionals,” said Quiana. “We want to help military spouses to build a true career. Something that they can own and truly be proud of.”

Although life as a military spouse presents its fair share of challenges, Quiana has found a way to adapt quickly to the changes and has learned to leverage the unique skills garnered as a military spouse, while helping others to do the same.
 

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