Women of SDOT: Meet Lorelei Williams

March is Women’s History Month and we’re celebrating some of the many women at SDOT who inspire us. Read about Angee, Patricia, and Annya.

Lorelei Williams is the Deputy Director for Capital Project Delivery.

Six of our eight executive team members are women! They each head a key branch of SDOT and report directly to our director, Sam Zimbabwe.

Lorelei joined SDOT in 2004 as a project manager in our capital projects division. She worked her way up and now leads a team of more than 150 people.

Not all of her promotions came easy – in fact, there was one job she applied for three times.

The first time she didn’t even get an interview, the second they decided she wasn’t the best fit, and the third time she got it!

“I like to remind people, if you don’t get the promotion, it might not be the right time and place, but don’t give up.” – Lorelei Williams

Lorelei never gave up. She always pushed herself to take on new challenges and was lucky to be on some big projects that helped get her noticed. There were times where she sought promotions, and times when her supervisors recognized her work and encouraged her to take an opportunity.

When she was offered the deputy director position in 2018, she wasn’t sure she wanted to take it. She was nervous she couldn’t be a great deputy director and a great mom.

Turns out, Lorelei is doing both.

She works incredibly hard when she is at the office and has learned to set boundaries so her work doesn’t spill over to her home life. She sometimes has evening meetings and occasionally brings her son with her. Lorelei is grateful that her son’s dad is very involved and knows it would be much more challenging if she didn’t have an active co-parent.

Being a parent has helped Lorelei be a great boss.

She believes that if you support your team members and what matters in their life – be it children, parents, illness, and life changes – then they will be happier and more productive.

One of the hardest parts about becoming a deputy director who manages a team of 150+ was realizing that she wouldn’t know everyone on her team personally. She feels fortunate to have great division directors and managers who share many of her values and are working with her to support their team.

We’re grateful to have Lorelei on our leadership team!

Stay tuned for more Women at SDOT stories, and check out AngeeAnnya, and Patricia’s stories if you missed them.