I can say without hesitation that the way I was raised has had the biggest impact on who I have become and how I lead. My mom, Pat Petrovic, raised three daughters on her own and always emphasized that we had to treat people the way we wanted to be treated. Early in my career, I realized that the word “I” meant nothing. I realized quickly that it is essential to remain focused on the people around you. Everything I do is focused on taking care of the people i work with.

If you surround yourself with good people who want to succeed, treat them with respect, and keep an eye out for meeting their individual needs, everything else falls in line. But it doesn’t just happen. You have to recognize each person as an individual and try to ensure that his or her needs are being met. That is not always easy to do. it takes effort to pay attention to both the organization’s needs as well as each person that makes up the team. but it is absolutely imperative if you are to succeed.

Additionally, it is very useful to share experiences and discuss preconceived notions to help people maximize their potential. I benefited from strong mentoring during many phases of my career and have tried to diligently pay that effort forward. Whether through the SAIC Women’s Network, MultiCultural Network or in one-on-one meetings with our people, I try to share my experiences and lessons learned and help others advance their careers.

One of the things that drew me to saiC was the opportunities not only for women, but also for a diverse work force in general. Our company believes that diversity is not simply something to achieve for numbers. We recognize the strength of developing a diverse work force with the varied skills, ideas, and solutions that diversity brings to an organization. SAIC is diligently pursuing that diversity.

Throughout my career, I also have had the strong support of my family. My husband, two sons, and I share time together by being active in the community and charitable functions. They have been a rock-steady foundation throughout, and I could not be prouder of how my boys have grown into very altruistic young men! I have had a truly blessed life.