// TECH CHECK

WITH A NEW MULTIBILLIONDOLLAR CON­TRACT WITH FIRST­NET TO SHOUT ABOUT, AT&T’S AY APOOR CALLS FOR MORE WOMEN TO EN­TER STEM FIELDS.

Capitol File - - CONTENTS - BY CAMILLE CAUTI

With a new multi­bil­lion-dol­lar con­tract with First­net to shout about, AT&T’s Kay Kapoor calls for more women to en­ter STEM fields.

“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!”

“QUITE FRANKLY, THERE HAS NEVER BEEN A BET­TER TIME TO BE A WOMAN IN A STEM FIELD THAN RIGHT NOW.” —kay kapoor

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.

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