Katherine (Katy) Blomeke
VP, Insights & Analytics, WellPoint
MY GREATEST STRENGTH
My ability to bring people together to get things done. My philosophy is that we all work for the same company, and we are all trying to move the organization forward. So to me, it doesn’t really matter if my name is first or last. As long as we worked as a team to get to the right answer, I’m satisfied.
My parents. They sacrificed a lot so that I would be able to do the things I wanted to do, like go to college. They always said, “We want your life to be better than ours.” I really take that to heart. It has motivated me to be the best person I can be.
HOW I MOTIVATE OTHERS
People are different. We learn differently, we communicate differently, we come from different backgrounds, and we all contribute differently. Recognizing what people are good at and encouraging them to excel at what they do best, I feel is the best motivation. I often think of it like a basketball team. Not everybody is a LeBron James or a Dwayne Wade or a Chris Bosh, but each member of the team has something valuable to offer. And when everybody works together, great things can be accomplished.
OUR GREATEST CHALLENGE
Education. According to the 2012 Department of Education statistics report, only 66% of African Americans graduate from high school, compared to 83% of white and 94% of Asian students. The unemployment rate for people who don’t finish high school is nearly 27%, as compared to an unemployment rate of 7.3% for college graduates. In order to continue the strides we’ve made toward creating a more diverse workforce, we need to figure out a way to keep our kids in school and encourage them to obtain an education.
My husband and I are active supporters of the United Negro College Fund (UNCF). I was fortunate to be able to go to college, and I want to lessen the financial burden for those who have a strong commitment to further their education. I truly believe that “a mind is a terrible thing to waste.”
Be flexible. It’s really that simple. Sometimes things don’t always pan out according to one’s grand plan, but to use the cliché, when one door closes another one opens. It may not look like the door you envisioned, but it’s a door nonetheless. It also helps to realize that there may be something better waiting for you.
I usually get to work by 7:15 or 7:30 a.m. So I am able to leave earlier and have dinner with my husband every night, which is very important to me. Family is my highest priority, but work is also very important to me. So ensuring that I am the most efficient during my day is essential.
Trusting my gut is very important. I have found when I don’t listen to that voice inside of me, I’m not as successful as I am when I listen to my gut and am true to myself.
Be open-minded and patient with yourself when you begin a new job or start a new career. You’re not expected to know everything the first day.