Diversity Woman Magazine

SPR 2018

Leadership and Executive Development for women of all races, cultures and backgrounds

Issue link: https://diversitywoman.epubxp.com/i/955125

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Page 36 of 51

Getting It Right networks (ENs) that advocate for equal pay and equal opportunity. Each year Catalyst hosts a conference for ERG lead- ers from major organizations. Successful ERGs provide their members professional growth routes such as special training, high-visibility opportunities, and net- working with senior leaders and potential sponsors to foster bonds, says Katherine Giscombe, PhD, Catalyst's vice president and women of color practitioner, Global Member Services. Hands-on leadership development programs must provide women "hot jobs"—high-visi- bility assignments that involve a large cross-functional team of employees and impact revenue, adds Gis- combe. Organizations also must ensure that certain women aren't overlooked based on unconscious racial bias. For example, women of color generally aren't given second chances when they make a mistake, com- pared to majority employees, and for them a mistake then becomes a setback versus a learning experience, she explains. Many companies have practices and policies in place geared toward the professional needs of their female employees. Diversity Woman culled a short list of the nation's biggest employers who are getting it right in advancing women. AT&T is telecommunications giant supports one of the largest female-focused groups by far. e Women of AT&T (WOA) ERG is over 24,000 strong, with 39 chap- ters across the country. WOA was instrumental in crafting a robust mentoring program to help develop talent and to facilitate exposure of high-potential women to upper management. More than 72,000 women work at AT&T, accounting for 32 percent of all employees and 35 percent of managers. WOA became laser-focused on its signature mentoring circles among other core areas. "We also recognized early how critically important it is to have men as allies within the organization and along the journey," says THERESA SPRALLING, emeritus CEO for Women of AT&T National. "I am proud to note that our membership extends across race, sexual orientation, cultures, and gender." "We have frontline employees working side by side with senior lead- ers, vice presidents, and officers," says Corey Anthony, senior vice presi- dent of human resources and chief diversity officer. ERGs have become a vehicle to identify top talent. "We engage the Women of AT&T to help us identity the most talented women in our business," Corey adds. "We look at the people who are taking leadership roles within ERGs, and they get to interact with [our CEO] and senior leaders." AT&T has 12 ERGs and 13 ENs, with a combined membership just shy of 130,000 active employees. A unique factor—all AT&T's ERGs are 501(c)(3) charitable organizations. While they are employee run and operate separately from AT&T, they receive corporate funding. ENs are employee-run groups that address the pro- fessional and personal interests of their members. e AT&T Women of Technology EN is focused on the unique needs and challenges of its female employees in STEM in four areas: mentoring, technical acumen, unconscious bias, and engagement of male advocacy. A preeminent event inside AT&T is its annual ERG summit, which Chairman and CEO Randall Stephenson and most of his direct reports attend and where thousands of employees gather to improve the abili- ties of ERGs to recruit and develop talent and to discuss the progress of key corporate initiatives. d i v e r s i t y w o m a n . c o m S p r i n g 2 0 1 8 D I V E R S I T Y W O M A N 35

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