In 1920, the Nineteenth Amendment was passed, giving women the right to vote in America.
In 1971, Congress named August 26 as Women’s Equality Day—the date to celebrate this monumental decision and to highlight women and their continued accomplishments. Here at PGI, every day is Women’s Equality Day. We believe that every person should be treated with equal respect, regardless of gender, race or any other defining characteristic. However, we also know that working as a female in a male dominated industry like government contracting isn’t always the easiest task. We’re lucky enough to have an amazing team working with us.
That’s why we want to take this week to highlight just a few of the talented female coworkers we have the pleasure of working with every day. Throughout the week, we’ll be sharing blurbs about each team member. The few ladies we’re able to highlight this week are by no means the only ones who deserve our recognition—each member of our team is vital to PGI, and we appreciate every single person we work with. Today, we would like to highlight Rachel Hillard.
Employee Spotlight: Rachel Hillard
Rachel’s entry into the government contracting world was an unconventional one. Through her work with service dogs, she made a connection that would eventually lead to her working with SOC. After she left the company she worked with an IT company in support of NIH, and realized she missed the fast-paced, interesting world of security-based GovCon. That’s how she ended up at PGI.
Rachel is a program manager with PGI and has been with our company since 2015. As a program manager, Rachel is responsible for the full lifecycle contract management of multiple US government sponsored programs, including global security management, intelligence services, various global technical services, construction management and more. While working on these projects, her strategy has included visiting the job sites she manages. For example, while managing a security team, she will often walk the ground with the guards. If they are outside in the snow and rain, she wants to be there too.
As for tips for women who are working in or would like to work in the government contracting space, she first recommends finding the “right” company and not settling for just any position. One of the aspects she most enjoys about PGI is that the mentality of respect is a top-down initiative. The leadership team practices respect toward all genders, leading the rest of the team in this type of behavior. Once you’re in the right company, she suggests finding the right balance of showing your strength, but not coming off as too aggressive. She mentions how important it is to go after what you want, but to also be willing to put the work in.
One of the most important lessons she’s learned while working with a veteran-dominated team is to not express that she “understands” what they’ve been through. She knows many of them have been through experiences a civilian simply cannot truly understand. Instead, she says it’s important to sit down and listen to those experiences to gain a better idea of how the team members feel and what they want.
In her free time, Rachel enjoys working with service dogs and spending time outdoors.