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Forty Under 40: Antoinette Stevens

Cybersecurity analyst, Principal Financial Group


What are your goals in your role at your company? 
My No. 1 goal in my current role is to soak up as much knowledge as possible by learning a new skill every few months. Most of the skills required for cybersecurity weren’t taught to me in college, and the learning curve can be steep. I’m currently on malware analysis. 

What are your goals for community involvement? 
My long-term goal is to get Reboot Iowa to a point where it can thrive and run without me. I believe the best measure of success will be my ability to step away without anything falling apart. Currently, my goal is to highlight Iowans who’ve made midcareer shifts to tech. 

What’s your biggest passion, and why? 
I’m most passionate about education, and that passion manifests itself in everything that I do, both at Principal and within the community. My favorite feeling in the world is the moment when everything finally clicks, the “aha” moment. It brings me joy knowing that I’ve helped others experience that feeling.

What is it that drives you to pursue success? 
I was raised with the bar set high. My parents pushed me to be my absolute best, and as a black woman, we’re taught that mediocrity is not a luxury afforded to someone who looks like me. So I succeed because I don’t know how to do anything else. Failure is not an option.

What are your future aspirations? 
No matter the different paths I imagine for my future, they all end with me teaching at a university. Whether I go back to school and get my Ph.D., climb the corporate ladder up to CIO, or become a consultant, I want to end up as an educator.

Reasons she’s a Forty:

1.) Antoinette founded Reboot Iowa Inc. in 2016 and serves as its board chair.
2.) In 2015, she founded Black Urban Professionals of Des Moines.
3.) She helped start Iowa’s first Girls Who Code Club at Central Academy in Des Moines.
4.) She chairs the Technology Association of Iowa’s diversity and inclusion committee.


See all 2018 honorees

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