From the moment you meet them, you know that Ethel and Marlo McGuire are special individuals. Smart. Enthusiastic. Energetic. And they both have chosen unique careers as Special Agents with the Federal Bureau of Investigation. In fact, they are the first mother-daughter Special Agent duo in the history of the Bureau. The careers of both Ethel and Marlo are reflective of the larger overall picture at today's FBI. It is an organization that continues to heighten the caliber, the diversity, and the satisfaction of its workforce at all levels.

On being the FBI's first mother-daughter duo. In speaking with Ethel and Marlo, it is clear that they are humbled about making FBI history.

Says Special Agent Ethel McGuire:

"I offer Marlo the same advice and guidance that I do to all new agents, although with a lot more love. I must say that I receive plenty of positive reports about her accomplishments. I am very proud of her."

It's evident that Ethel admires her daughter for the professional and the person she has become. But that pride flows both ways.

"I've always admired my mom," says Marlo, "and thought anything she deemed worth doing, I should do as well. After a presentation in the 8th grade about careers, I realized how cool it must be to work for the FBI. So after my junior year in high school, I became an FBI summer intern. After working two summers for the Bureau, I became determined to become an FBI agent."

Marlo continues:

"The thing that surprises me the most is how many people know my mom and think she is as special as I do. My mom has been a great parent...but it is really nice to know she has the reputation of being a great Special Agent as well."
About the increasing role of women in the FBI.

Ethel and Marlo McGuire exemplify the growing impact and number of women in the FBI. There was a time when people thought the typical FBI Special Agent was non-minority and male. That perception is far from true today. The FBI actively hires female Special Agents from a wide range of professional areas and backgrounds. In fact, the Bureau offers many programs and options that encourage women to pursue a fulfilling career.

About being a female Special Agent, Ethel says:

"Sometimes it's actually an advantage being a female, in that not a lot of people expect us to be in law enforcement. Therefore, we sometimes have an advantage when it comes to investigating cases."

"The Bureau has made great improvements in hiring women. Before, when I came in 19 years ago, you might have an orientation class with one or two women. Now, you may have a class with 12, 15, 20 or so. So that's quite significant."
Daughter Marlo adds:

"Women have always played a large role at the FBI in non-agent positions. And the Bureau is really making progress in hiring more female Special Agents. Also, there are increasing opportunities for women to move up the ranks."

"I think it does take a strong woman to be in the FBI. But you are certainly treated fairly. You speak up, and people listen."
Increasing diversity defines today's FBI.

Both Ethel and daughter Marlo know first hand how a focus on seeking out diverse candidates defines the Bureau of today. Perhaps FBI Director Mueller expressed it best when he said, "We believe in creating a meaningful environment that values the unique culture that each individual brings to today's FBI."
"I know for certain that the FBI has made a great effort to reach out to all minorities," says Special Agent Ethel McGuire. "At one point, I was a recruiter, and one thing we focused on was going out to minority and ethnic communities."

"From my own experience, I also know the Bureau has promoted several black female Special Agents to the Senior Executive level - there are now three black female Special-Agents-In-Charge."

For those who wish to explore an FBI career.
To those who are aspiring to join the FBI, our mother-daughter duo offers this feedback.


"When I recruit potential candidates, I start by citing the growing diversity of the FBI's workforce, and the range of careers that the FBI offers."

"Any direction in which a candidate chooses to apply their skills as an FBI Special Agent would provide a fulfilling career. The turnover rate for Special Agents is less than 5%. That's truly remarkable, and really says something about the job and the Bureau."
Marlo offers these words:

"I talk to my friends about my job, and I've inspired several of them to apply. The variety of the work and the flexibility are the top two selling points. Everyone thinks agents work late and never have time for family...that couldn't be further from the truth."

"I think the Special Agent position allows everyone to find their niche. There are scientists, computer programmers, accountants, lawyers, engineers, as well as many other types of individuals who use their particular skills as agents. I couldn't have asked to join a better group of people. I would recommend an FBI career to anyone without hesitation."