Time to read: 3 min
Did you know that women are nearly half of the U.S. workforce but only about 27% work in STEM positions? This is why we are honored to spotlight Alpana Kapoor, Vice President of Engineering at Fictiv, for Women’s History Month.
Alpana represents a rising future for women in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics field. Read more about her powerful perspective on women’s empowerment:
What is a women’s empowerment moment that impacted you?
Alpana: Achieving the highest ranks of today’s society is not a momentary struggle for women, but an everyday one. To constrain the different ways women push harder and harder for equality would be an injustice to the women’s empowerment movement as a whole. With that being said, the issue of gender equality is very dear to me. For me, the biggest part of the women’s empowerment movement is the empathetic environment of encouragement that we have developed over the last several decades. I am immensely appreciative of the mentorship from the pantheon of successful women who preceded me and I hope to pass on the tradition of mentorship and continue to instill confidence in the next generation of women leaders.
Who are some women you’ve looked up to?
Alpana: As a child, I always had high aspirations but only had few women leaders I could look up to validate my dreams of being a successful woman in power. However, one person I always looked up to was former Indian Prime Minister, Indira Gandhi. She was the first and (to date) only female Prime Minister of India who was a symbol of women empowerment and a beacon of hope for females across the country, demonstrating that it was indeed possible to be on top of the mountain as a woman. As a newly independent nation, India did not have the best economic and military resources available, but with her keen leadership skills and resourcefulness she was able to nationalize and strengthen the economic system and overcome multiple military attacks against the country. Through her strong diplomacy, she was able to establish India as a force in world politics and grew Indian hegemony in the region. I try to mirror her ability to think strategically, galvanize others about the causes I am passionate about, and be fearless about what I can do “despite” being a woman.
From her, I learned that as a woman you do not need to seek permission to lead; rather, it is both just and equitable to assert authority no matter one’s gender.
What does Women’s History Month mean to you?
Alpana: Each year, I am reminded that – despite the brilliant efforts of women every single day to overcome systemic injustices – there are still large gaps in gender equity and it is imperative we continue to work together to create parity of opportunity. This month brings up a significant issue that I believe draws attention to the different things we can do to support women’s empowerment. In the past, I have led initiatives to support educating women in technology not just in America, but in other underserved remote cities in countries like India and Africa and across the world. I hope to encourage these same direct initiatives at Fictiv, working with other companies to create a culture change that invigorates girls at every level to be interested and passionate about innovation and technology.
What advice would you give other women looking to build a career in your field?
Alpana: The best advice that someone gave me early on in my career: don’t settle. It is easy as a woman to feel as though what we have accomplished in the technology industry is enough. However, I look to guide other women to never be complacent, and to always continue to give 110% in following our passions because there truly is no substitute for hard work – especially if the system is working against you in so many different ways. If we work hard and don’t settle, we can achieve our dreams and more.
How has Fictiv played a supportive part in women’s empowerment?
Alpana: Talking with the leadership brass here at Fictiv has made me feel so welcome and comfortable joining the team. I can already tell what a supportive and inclusive environment Fictiv has created! I am excited to continue to support gender diversity and inclusion efforts while simultaneously working hand in hand with my amazing colleagues.