Peraton Celebrates the Women Who Inspire Us

Often through adversity and marginalization, countless women have fought to define history and better society as a whole. This Women’s History Month, we asked Peraton employees to share the stories of those who have impacted their lives and inspired them to do the can’t be done.

What woman has inspired or influenced you, and how have they impacted your life or career?

Chief Contracts Officer, Szu Yang

The one individual that most influenced and inspired me is my mom. Although she did not have the circumstance/resources to receive a higher education and never had a “white-collar” job, she had the savviness of mind, intelligence, and courage to give her kids the chance to succeed. Through her job she networked with people who were successful in their jobs or parents of “successful” kids and then imparted the information to her kids. She also took us to extra-curriculars, such as language school, because she saw the world becoming more globalized and that being multi-lingual was an asset, and she scrimped and saved to give her kids the comfort that yes, we could go to college.

Vice President, Government and Public Relations, Scott

When I was in high school, I had a chance to attend a conference where Sandra Day O’Connor spoke, who at that time was still a relatively new member of the Supreme Court. She was asked about being the first woman on the court, and what it was like. I’ll never forget the grace in how she answered. She noted that she belonged there, and that it was overdue, and that no young woman in the audience should ever believe they don’t belong anywhere, whether it’s the board room or the Supreme Court. And with self-deprecating humor, she noted that while she can sometimes be “bossy,” she also commended to us that self-restraint and civility are one of the keys to being effective. Wise words indeed.

Strategic Communicator, Dana

One of the first women to pop into my mind was a former customer at the advanced research arm of a major U.S. Department. I led the communications team there as a consultant more than a decade ago and I always admired how deftly this woman managed an organization full of brilliant scientists and engineers while exhibiting humility, calmness, and a great sense of humor. 

Communications Specialist, Joe

My oldest daughter Anna’s resilience in both sports and academics has truly inspired me. Despite facing adversity on the field and in the classroom, she never loses her determination or drive. Her ability to persevere through challenges and keep pushing forward serves as a powerful reminder to me to never give up, no matter the obstacles in life or my career.

Art Director, Heather

The woman who inspires me most in both my personal and professional life is Carolyn Davidson, the graphic designer who created the Nike logo for just $35. She has taught me that no matter how small a project may seem, there is potential for it to become something larger than life itself. As a graphic designer, it is refreshing to hear success stories that could happen to anyone and how the reward may not be instant but could be significant down the road when the time is right. Patience is key.

Communications Specialist, Ethan

I draw daily inspiration and motivation from my mother, my wife, and my daughter. Each of them influence me to be my best self through hard work, kindness, and gratitude. Without them, there’s a 0% chance I’d have the fulfilling life or career I do today.

DE&I Lead Associate, Caroline

One woman who significantly impacted my professional growth and life is my first manager, Violetta. Despite it being my initial foray into the corporate world, she provided ample opportunities for my development, investing time and effort in my growth. Within a short span, I transitioned from a legal admin to a trusted project coordinator, handling mission-critical projects. Years later, I still remember flourishing under her leadership.

Graphic Design, Lead Associate, Sean

When someone asks me who the most influential person is in my life, my first thought is always my mother. Always quick to lend an ear, advise on the most trivial of matters, and comfort me when I inevitably make mistakes. I honestly wouldn’t be where I am in my career if it wasn’t for her encouraging me to pursue the path I was passionate in. To this day, I am eternally grateful to have someone like her in my life.

Director, Integrated Communications and Engagement, Melody

Hands down, my paternal Grandma! She met my Grandfather in Scotland during World War II and immigrated here to marry him shortly after the war ended, leaving her entire family and the world as she knew it behind to chase the American dream. She was confident, ambitious, and courageous. As a mother to three young children, she climbed the corporate ladder at Sears, Roebuck and Co – resulting in her becoming the first woman in leadership at her branch in New York City. To put into perspective how incredible this accomplishment was, in the 1980s, Sears was the largest retailer in the United States and very few leadership positions were held by women. As a grandmother, she was wickedly intelligent and always told us to prioritize education, stand-up for what we believed in, and invest in property! She could instantaneously light up any room and command it, with ease. I fondly remember her hilarious laughter and her boss-lady like attitude, always conducting herself with the utmost style and grace. I’d be remiss if I didn’t also mention her outstanding creativity, particularly in her later years – as many of her paintings hang in my home today. I am continually motivated (even more than a decade after her passing) to make her proud!

Senior Director, Brand and Marketing, Ben

One of my previous managers continues to be an inspiration and mentor to me every day. She taught and lived the values of delivering on outcomes, being direct, caring deeply about your team, and encouraging yourself and others to be absolute professionals.

If you’re a Peraton employee and would like to connect with other women, get involved with our mentorship program, or discover professional growth opportunities, join the Women’s Impact Network (WIN) employee resource group through The Lens.