AT&T began back in 1885 as the American Telephone and Telegraph Company. Since then this telecommunications giant has grown to become the largest provider of traditional phones and the second-largest provider of mobile phones in the US, employing over 285,000 people across 57 countries. It also offers services beyond phones, such as Internet and broadband TV subscriptions.
AT&T has a long tradition of diversity, and especially supporting its female employees. As VP of Talent Management Julie Bugala told us, “Women are a majority of our customer base, so understanding their needs, their habits and preferences, is really critical to us. And it’s imperative that we have accomplished women at the top in decision-making positions throughout the company.”
For example, AT&T hosts an internal website for female workers called World of Women. Bugala described WOW as a “one-stop shop for tools, resources, and information that they can use throughout their careers to…spark the conversation about issues and opportunities that impact women inside and outside of work; challenge the status quo; and, ultimately, helping shape our practices in the future around women.”
Also often vital to career success is sponsorship, which encourages high-level executives to champion and recommend promising talent for key opportunities. A variation on this concept is AT&T’s Executive Women’s Leadership Experience, which Bugala told us is “specifically designed to further develop and retain our highest potential female senior managers (with) high visibility to key business leaders and the CEO. The 20 high-potential female leaders are hand-selected (for) three multi-day sessions throughout the year. They’re like workshops; and they are taught by senior executives from within the company, and also external thought leaders and instructors. The sessions are designed to expose high-potential women to in-depth business views; really help them understand all parts of the business; and demonstrate how they will help drive success in transforming the company to meet all of our key priorities over the next five years.”
Bugala estimates that 6 million people visit the AT&T career site each year seeking employment, and that 1.5 million of them end up sending in job applications. Every year AT&T hires around 30,000 of those applicants from outside the company, and also fills another 30,000 positions internally. The latter ensures that AT&T employees have many opportunities to try out different types of careers and grow professionally without ever having to leave the company.
For tips on how to impress AT&T recruiters, details on AT&T diversity programs, and much more, please listen to our podcast interview with Julie Bugala below.