The Power of I Am: AT&T Women Leading the Way
Trailblazers. Innovators. Leaders. These are just a few words used to describe the women who have helped shape AT&T’s legacy today and continue to push us forward tomorrow. Women have been at the center of our business since 1878 when Emma Nutt joined as AT&T’s first female operator and ushered in new opportunities for women of her time. She may not have known it then, but Emma was paving the way for thousands of women leaders to come.
From glass-ceiling-breakers like Lori Lee, who made history as the first woman to become a CEO at AT&T, then Anne Chow, becoming the first woman of color CEO in AT&T’s history in 2019, to new leaders like Kellyn Smith Kenny, who recently joined AT&T as Chief Marketing & Growth Officer in November 2020, and many more across all levels and business units: women at AT&T are breaking barriers and using their positions to map out new paths to success for future generations.
As a company whose workforce is 34 percent women, AT&T knows firsthand the great things women achieve when given the space and support to be their full selves. We also understand how the ongoing pandemic has continued to disproportionately impact women across the country with all the jobs lost in December 2020 being held by women. Now more than ever, it is critical to Stand for Equality on behalf of women and continue to blaze the trail that Emma Nutt and others have laid out before us through opportunities designed to foster growth both professionally and personally.
Our Women of AT&T employee group was established in 1972 and started as one of the first ERGs for women in the nation. Today, it stands as the largest employee group at our company with more than 21,000 members and has served as the blueprint for the seven women-centered employee groups that followed.
We’ve also introduced several programs targeted to women who aspire for leadership roles throughout the company. AT&T’s Executive Women’s Leadership Experience works with 25 to 35 top female leaders to broadens and deepen their perspectives in the areas of strategic discussion, career insights, and peer interaction. Our annual Lift & Connect Program seeks to build a strong talent pipeline for high-performing female managers and increase exposure to leadership and career growth opportunities. In 2019 we launched the Women of Color program to advance an inclusive work environment where women of color are welcomed and valued for who they are and what they contribute. In 2020, several of these 200+ high-potential women participated as facilitators. We are now expanding that program through the launch of WOC CONNECT. WOC CONNECT is a continuous learning platform with additional resources, discussions guides to equip learners or connectors to lead connector conversations, and space to connect and collaborate with others. It is open to all 200K+ employees.
AT&T took our support of women and girls even further by committing to the UN Women’s Empowerment Principles.
These principles will continue to serve as a guiding light for AT&T as we look for additional ways to advance equity and stand for equality on behalf of women everywhere.
As we continue celebrating Women’s History Month, we encourage you to celebrate the women leaders in your life. Join us for more conversations with women, by women by watching our “Power of I Am…” video series. In this week’s video we chatted with women who are leading the way advocating for women at AT&T and around the globe.