Leading Leidos Women: Jaynie Davies, Olya Flores, and Patrice Waters
In recognition of Women’s History Month in the U.S. and International Women’s Day (IWD), Leidos and its Women’s Network Employee Resource Group will celebrate with a series of spotlights on influential women at the company. The spotlights will run through March, coinciding with the #BalanceforBetter campaign built around the IWD theme. This second installment features Director of Leidos Supply Ltd. Jaynie Davies (Civil), Cyber Transformation Director Olya Flores (CIO Services), and Program Director Patrice Waters (Health Group).
Read below, in their own words, what motivates them, what their biggest accomplishments are, and what #BalanceforBetter means to them.
Who or what has been your biggest influence in your career?
Jaynie: The biggest influence in my entire career came some 15 years ago, when I earned the opportunity to create and manage a large commercial/procurement team to deliver a government programme. This is where I was introduced to a wonderful, mature, very senior and successful gentleman, who on day one informed me that his objective was to furnish me with all his career experience and life skills, and then he could retire knowing his career was worthwhile. I began to trust him and ingest his experience, my capability and career progressed swiftly. Taking on his passion for the topic and my enthusiasm to develop others, we made an inspirational but dynamic team, who could take on most challenges. I learnt to be approachable, connect, inspire, remain energized, and hold a balanced mind. At some stage in the future, I hope to pass my experience and knowledge on to another lucky individual.
Olya: Early in my career, I was fortunate to see how incredibly complex systems – satellites, advanced aircraft, and interplanetary rovers – are created by teams of people focused on working together, motivated by their mission, and united by the futuristic vision of what they are determined to create. This experience has been the greatest influence to me, as it taught me both the value of great leadership and the value of every member of the team pushing to build what they know is possible.
Patrice: My mother, Felicia, has been my biggest influencer. She is a nurse and over the course of her career, she shared stories about the patients she cared for and the families she met along the way. It’s through her stories that I discovered my passion for helping others and took an interest in pursuing a career in healthcare.
How did you become interested in your field?
Jaynie: I began my career on a Youth Training Scheme, which I joined for summer school leave when I was 18. For six months, I had the opportunity to undertake a business rotation. During the period, I held a junior position within the Commercial Team on a small project providing hardware and software to the Royal Air Force (RAF). As I visited literally every RAF Base in the U.K., I realized why would I not want this as a career! In my mind, I was supporting the U.K. RAF and my contracts were the most important! As this was a tactical programme, I felt immensely proud to be representing my organization, with my customer the Ministry of Defence and U.K. RAF. I was hooked!
, Cyber Transformation Director
I was always scientifically and mathematically inclined, but had a difficult time picking a discipline. I found that computer science was a great middle ground, as it can be applied to so many areas. It allowed me to experience and learn multiple domains while still staying rooted in mathematics.
Patrice: A few months after graduating high school, I landed a job as a patient transporter at the community hospital near my home. In that role, I was responsible for transporting patients to various appointments throughout the hospital and was able to see, firsthand, the impact healthcare professionals have on people from all walks of life. It was then that I decided I would pursue a career in healthcare.
What motivates you to pursue professional excellence and achievements?
Jaynie: My culture is 'lead by example' and 'strive for the best.' This also includes understanding and recognizing your functional capability through continuous learning and development for myself and team members. Together we achieved various levels of procurement accreditations, which has given an incredible level of confidence to the entire function. I also believe recognition for achievements is paramount in the success of a team, but more importantly listening to the team needs and wants for development as everyone is different and have different development abilities.
Olya: I am perpetually curious and excited to see what’s next. I love the process of working on a difficult problem, overcoming a challenge, and creating something new. I also really enjoy introducing people to the field, and watching a team come together and accomplish great things.
, Program Director
My motivation is driven by my desire to make an impact on the lives of those I serve, support, and lead. Helping others is my way of paying it forward in honor of those who helped me along the way.
What is your biggest professional accomplishment to date?
Jaynie: Developing individuals who have gained senior appointments through their career and continue to be mentored by me, along with developing entry-level employees and planning their careers, equipping them with the most appropriate tools and techniques, whilst observing their growth - this is personally a huge accomplishment for me.
Olya: I’ve been fortunate to be on great teams, and I feel most proud of the teams that I was part of building and forming. Several of the teams I helped build are still together, and still doing amazing things! While technology and problem-solving are what bring the excitement to my daily work, I’m most proud of the teams I have had the privilege to lead.
Patrice: My biggest professional accomplishment was receiving a BEYA Modern Day Technology Leader award. Through the award I was able to be an example to other healthcare professionals that you can make an impact in the industry beyond the traditional roles many are used to seeing. Having representation and images of women in non-traditional roles is important to feed and foster the dreams of the next generation that they can be and do countless things in life.
What does #BalanceforBetter mean to you?
, Director of Leidos Supply Ltd.
Everyone is equal regardless of gender, race and religion, as we all live on one planet, so we should live together as equals.
Olya: #BalanceforBetter means supporting and celebrating our colleagues’ life, as well as their work. For both men and women, work becomes more meaningful when it integrates, rather than competes, with what they want to accomplish in their personal life. No one should have to choose between their professional career goals and their personal or family ones. Our flexible work options, remote opportunities, and ability to move around the company easily all enable and support these goals, and can improve productivity and effectiveness. Supporting and promoting a results-oriented work environment on my agile teams has been a large part of ensuring my colleagues have the better balance they seek.
Patrice: #BalanceforBetter means there is an increased focus on being the best you can be. By optimizing and balancing physical, mental, and emotional health, each of us can bring the best person we are to the workplace. This will enable us to better serve our customers, drive and develop cutting edge solutions, and create a culture which fosters growth both inside and outside the workplace.