With a new multibillion-dollar contract with FirstNet to shout about, AT&T's Kay Kapoor calls for more women to enter STEM fields.
With a résumé including Accenture and Lockheed Martin, AT&T’s Kay Kapoor has over 25 years of IT consulting experience, including extensive work with the federal government.
“DC is a hotbed of talent, innovation, and some of the smartest people on the planet,” says Kay Kapoor. “That’s not just opinion—it’s fact.” Since moving to the area from her native India and attending the University of Maryland, Kapoor has spent most of her working life here. “DC is a highly progressive town—rich in diversity and a leading light among metropolitan areas in its pursuit to eradicate discrimination of all types,” she observes. “Nearly 40 percent of DC’s technology professionals are women. We lead the nation on that metric. We have a strong start-up ecosystem and are poised to help lead the next wave of the digital economy.”
As president of AT&T’s global public-sector business, Kapoor oversees the $15 billion division working with federal departments and agencies. Her most recent coup won the company a coveted multibillion-dollar contract with FirstNet to build a broadband network to connect emergency first responders nationwide.
She’s also a dedicated mentor to women in STEM fields—science, technology, engineering, and math. She advises students to find mentors during internships and says women should be clear about their goals at all stages of their career. “The protégé must be in the driver’s seat, actively managing the communication,” she says. While acknowledging that the biggest challenge is the dearth of women getting into these fields, she says, “Women have the opportunity to shape the next era of technology innovation. Let’s go do it!”