Team Deltek’s Deniece Peterson Is Leading by Influence to Create an Inclusive Environment for All
Always willing to lend a hand, Deniece Peterson puts her all into everything she does ─ especially when it comes to advocating for others. In this month’s #TeamDeltek spotlight, we had the opportunity to learn about her role as a researcher, commitment to Diversity & Inclusion, and get a glimpse into who has influenced her career the most.
In 2010, Deniece joined Deltek as part of an acquisition and has been focused on providing market intelligence to the government contracting industry for more than 14 years. Today, as Director of Federal Market Analysis in Deltek’s Information Solutions business unit, Deniece leads a small team of GovWin research analysts focused on strategic analysis of federal budgets, contracting and IT market forecasting.
“I have a natural born curiosity and a drive to learn and analyze, so this job has been perfect for me,” shared Deniece. “I love the entire research process – hunting for information, distilling and presenting it in a way that’s understandable, and educating people on what it means. I take this work very seriously because our clients are using our information to inform their strategic business decisions."
But it’s not just about the research that Deniece is doing at Deltek that keeps her engaged and motivated. She enjoys the sense of professional ownership and work-life balance that Deltek cultivates. “There is an autonomy and trust – knowing that employees will just do what needs to be done.”
When she’s not focused on delivering market research, handling executive briefings or moderating speaker panels, you’ll find her reading, watching Netflix, interior decorating and tackling Do-It-Yourself projects. A self-proclaimed homebody, Deniece enjoys activities that offer some solitude. Explaining, “My days are jammed with research and spreadsheets, so I tend to gravitate towards books and movies that allow me to rest my brain, and home projects that allow me to be creative. The only silver lining of living through this pandemic is that quarantining didn’t require me to change my lifestyle very much.”
Deniece is passionate about the many causes she is involved with, but most of all she is passionate about her family. “My husband James and I have been married for 23 years, and have a special needs adult son Malcom and a teenage daughter Maya. The causes I care about are those that promote the equitable and supportive environment I would like for my children to experience – anti-racism, anti-sexism, special needs advocacy, and veteran support. I am also an ally to the LGBTQ+ community.”
The Importance of an Inclusive Workplace
Deltek takes pride in creating a values-driven environment where employees are accepted, included and empowered to share ideas, innovate and grow. It’s important that every employee is respected, appreciated and given opportunities to pursue their professional interests and grow their careers.
When asked about Deltek’s unique workplace culture, Deniece answered, “The place we work is very personal; it’s a place where we dedicate significant time and effort, where we share our personal and professional aspirations and form meaningful relationships. Deltek’s inclusivity makes people feel like it is not only a safe place to do that, but also one that values and facilitates it.”
Deltek strives to create an environment in which employees are inspired to achieve more, and one where we are committed to actively deconstructing the barriers that may make anyone feel like an outsider.
In response to why it’s important for Deltek to have an inclusive workplace she explained, “As a black woman in the U.S., I have to navigate so many spaces as a minority or an other. Deltek can be that place where these burdens are lifted for a period of time ─ and when they are, Deltek benefits from more motivated, innovative and engaged employees.”
An active member of several Employee Resource Groups (ERGs), including Women@Deltek, BlackVoices@Deltek, and LGBTQ+ and Allies, Deniece is also involved in Deltek’s Diversity Council and plays a vital part in helping influence and educate Deltek colleagues. Sharing, “I’m excited to work with everyone on the D&I council to make Deltek a more inclusive environment for everyone.”
Committed to Evolving Diversity & Inclusion
Diversity & Inclusion is an important focus for Deltek and its employees, remaining top of mind in everything that we do. This includes actively fostering a healthy team dialogue and supporting the advancement of leaders of all genders, sexual orientations and ethnicities.
“As a researcher, one of the most important things to me in evolving Deltek’s D&I program this year is providing opportunities for education to help understand each other better,” replied Deniece, on her goals for 2021. “So much of our disengagement regarding groups to which we don’t belong is a lack of awareness and perspective, from both an individual and societal perspective.” She went on to say, “Learning from the different experiences and challenges employees have can help inform inclusive business decision-making.”
There’s no doubt that 2020, was a tough year in every way. From witnessing social injustice and inequality to navigating the effects of a global pandemic. Deltek is and continues to be committed, not only to our values in the workplace, but also the role we play in helping our communities heal and come together.
When asked about Deltek’s response to these issues, Deniece expressed, “What is so inspiring to me is that, rather than offer temporary platitudes as many did after the George Floyd protests this summer, Deltek’s leadership not only acknowledged the work to be done, but remains committed to providing the platforms and resources to do better.”
As a way to help Deltek grow its diversity efforts, Deniece participates in ongoing D&I sessions and advocates on behalf of others in the company. Adding, “I want to contribute my passion and knowledge in whatever way will advance the goal of making Deltek a more diverse and inclusive organization, one that can serve as an example to other companies.”
An Inspiration to All
Every February, we celebrate the achievements and history of African Americans as part of Black History Month. Recognizing this history is rich and filled with trailblazers who overcame obstacles and helped shape our modern society.
Deniece acknowledged she wouldn’t be where she is today if it wasn’t for others who came before her. When asked who the most influential leader was (past or present) that had the biggest impact on her career, she couldn’t pick just one, rather she named three individuals who have helped shape her into the person she is today.
The first leader, Marsha Majors, is the only black female CEO of a $1 billion credit union in the U.S., who also happens to be her loving mother – gave her the gift of leadership. The second, Harriet Tubman, who led hundreds of slaves to freedom over the Underground Railroad – showed her what it means to have strength. And the third, James Armistead, a slave who acted as a double agent and infiltrated the British army in the Revolutionary War – exemplified fearlessness and was rumored to be in her family tree!
While these individuals have each influenced Deniece in their own unique way, what makes them an inspiration to all is what they were able to accomplish. In conclusion, we asked Deniece what is the best advice she has ever received? To which she proudly responded, “Lead more by influence than authority. If your authority is more of a motivator than trust in you, your intentions, or your vision, you will never get the best out of people.”
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