Congratulations to FBA’s Women in Fiber Group’s
September 2021 Woman in Fiber Spotlight, Kara Mullaley!
The Woman in Fiber Spotlight is a special initiative meant to highlight and recognize the different roles and careers for women in fiber, telecom, tech, and construction.
Nominated by Alyson Moore, Corning Incorporated, Kara Mullaley, Market Development Manager, Corning Optical Communications, received this praise from Jason Zelley, Market Development Manager: "Kara has been a force of nature in the FTTH industry for 23 years. A tireless advocate for our customers, she brings to bear a powerful combination of deep technical knowledge, vast commercial experience, and an ever-increasing network of industry leaders to solve the most challenging problems. As a Corning employee, Kara is like a 911 operator, taking calls for urgent help and dispatching the right resource or solution for problems within her core expertise and beyond. At Corning, we are fortunate to have many amazing and talented women, for whom Kara is a recognized and sought-after mentor. The Woman in Fiber Spotlight award is a fantastic recognition of her ability to live up to the high expectations she sets for us all."
This Spotlight shines on Kara Mullaley, Market Development Manager at Corning Optical Communications
In Her Own Words
How did you get to your current position? What was your path?
My formal degree in Industrial Engineering primed me for a career in manufacturing – so that is where I began with Corning (Siecor at the time) as a planner. Within a year, I realized the plant was not where I wanted to be and made the transition into Product Line Management shortly after. There I was fortunate to engage more with our customers and I was drawn to the more customer-facing side of our business. In 2005, I moved into Marketing and have held several positions in both Marketing and Market Development since that time.
What is an accomplishment you are proud of?
Around the same time I moved into Marketing, I was among a small group of women that initiated the Optical Communications’ chapter of the then Corning Professional Women’s Forum. Chartered to inspire and promote more balance in our organization, I served in a number of board roles and continue to counsel new leaders of the organization on occasion.
What is one thing industry related or not you learned in the last month?
My new husband and I are at the beginning stages of building a custom home and I’m learning every day the nuances of construction scheduling interdependencies on a level that I didn’t fully appreciate before. Considering the infrastructure building business we are all a part of, I think this new experience will give me better perspective when consulting our customers on their broadband builds.
How do you define success?
I used to think success was achieving a certain title or salary at any cost. After 23 years in our industry, I now look at it very differently. I suppose I would define it now as channeling your passion in a way that leaves others uplifted, you fulfilled, and not emotionally/physically depleted.
Who inspires you?
I’m a harsh critic at times, so I struggle to find a single individual that is on the whole “inspirational” in all facets. I do find inspiration from many different individuals. I aspire to have the compassion and thoughtfulness of my best friend, the patience of my husband, the wisdom of my step-father, the wit of my brother, the optimism of my peer, and the creativity of my mother.
What is one piece of advice you would give to a woman starting a career in fiber, tech, or construction?
Be technically curious. Ask questions. Really listen to the answers and ask others or ask for it to be explained differently if you can’t grasp the concepts right away. Our industry is complex and you can’t learn it all overnight. Be patient with yourself. Many of the people in our industry have been at this a very long time and have incredible stories and insights to share.