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Achieving Work/Life Balance & Professional Growth

Tracy KingHow the Texas Conference for Women and AT&T Are Both Delivering
by Tracy King

As a mom to two boys, achieving work-life balance is a challenge but one I take on with tremendous pride and passion each day.  It’s no easy feat, but it’s certainly possible with an employer and workplace that fully embraces the personal and professional growth of its employees and, by extension, their families.

AT&T is a company that’s been my home away from home for the past 11 years, and over that time I’ve continued to be there for my boys, able to stay engaged with their school activities and missing only a few of their sporting events over the past decade. AT&T understands the challenges posed by today’s modern world, the family demands and how technology can empower and enable employees and customers alike to be more productive, efficient, and  focused on both our work and our families.

The company boasts a comprehensive Distributed Workplace program that includes telecommuting and flexible work options for employees for whom it makes the most sense. Additionally, AT&T offers many leave options to help employees maintain proper work-life balance.

Just as the Texas Conference for Women works to help women to network, seek professional growth and gain exposure to personal growth opportunities, employers like mine are leading by example, too. AT&T has a longstanding reputation as a company where women can reach their highest work potential. AT&T’s female employees are helping lead the communications revolution:

  • More than 90,000 of AT&T’s employees are women;
  • 134 women are senior leaders;
  • More than 1,000 women are named on patents;
  • AT&T women have filed more than 4,000 patents.

Having the best talent at the table – both men and women – is critical to being successful in the marketplace and growing business. AT&T is cultivating strong women leaders and role models across our company, including:

  • More than 2,500 AT&T women participate in formal mentoring programs;
  • Half of AT&T’s Leadership Development Program participants are women;
  • The AT&T Foundation and employee giving programs have contributed over $14.6 million in support of women over the past five years.

I’ve also witnessed AT&T’s unparalleled commitment to diversity. A number of organizations across the U.S. have recognized our long-running commitment in these areas, notably:

  • DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity (#13 in 2013);
  • DiversityInc Top 10 for Recruitment & Retention (#6 in 2012 and #3 in 2011);
  • NAFE (National Association for Female Executives), Top Companies for Executive Women (2013, 2012 and 2011);
  • LATINAStyle, 50 Best Companies for Latinas (#8 in 2012 and #7 in 2011).

As a mom, I know, how important education is and critical to cultivate homegrown talent in STEM fields for growing the technology industry and staying competitive as a state and nation.  One of the ways we’re doing that is through AT&T and the AT&T Foundation with its $90 million gifts supporting STEM initiatives since 1987.

For women, we can always do more to encourage younger female students to embrace STEM education, gain valuable experience and be prepared for the tech economy that’s fueling our nation and job creation. And, again, AT&T is stepping up in a big way to support this next generation of women leaders.

AT&T has proudly supported a number of notable and innovative programs, including:  the Girl Scouts’ “Imagine Your STEM Future” in 2011, giving 6,000 girls from low-income, underserved communities an opportunity to experience hands-on STEM learning through special activity kits. We’re also supporting initiatives like Girls Who Code and Girls Inc., STEM-focused education, career development and college prep programs for underserved girls.

Creating professional growth opportunities for women and ensuring AT&T maintains a strong focus on work-life balance concerns across the company – or any business – can only be achieved when companies listen, then act. And, that’s what AT&T’s Women’s Leadership Council does, drawing together 18 women leaders across the company to focus on substantive discussions of what AT&T can do to ensure it remains relevant and attractive to women professionals.

I’m excited about this year’s Texas Conference for Women. Year after year, it sets a high bar and exceeds expectations for bringing together tremendous opportunities, insight and experiences for working women – and moms – just like me.

Tracy King is a vice president with AT&T. AT&T is proud to be the exclusive telecommunications sponsor of the Texas Conference for Women for the past three years — 2011, 2012 and 2013.