By Katie Pacholczyk
Jim Cicconi, AT&T’s senior executive vice president of External & Legislative Affairs, may have summed it up best when he closed out the company’s recent National Employee Resource Group (ERG) Conference.
“There’s no technology that will replace the warmth of one human reaching out to another,” he said.
That’s what AT&T’s ERGs and this annual event are all about.
Nearly 1,700 employees gathered at the company’s Dallas headquarters for two days in September to hear from leaders and participate in workshops like:
- Where We Are Headed Technologically
- Your 2020 Evolution
- Taking Customers to 2020
The theme for this sixth annual conference – which sold out in 38 minutes – was ERG: #champion2020.
“The event and theme recognized our very important journey to achieve the vision our chairman has set for 2020,” said Debbie Storey, chief diversity officer. “So, we wanted to ask our leaders – who lead the 79,000 ERG members – to truly champion that journey.”
Attendees got a glimpse into that future when they heard from several officers, including Chairman and CEO Randall Stephenson.
“We want to make sure that our people are prepared to go to 2020 with us,” Stephenson said. “We are going to work to make sure that we get our people’s skills upgraded, changed and modified to fit the new world.”
The conference recognized 12 “Champions of Diversity” for their exceptionally hard work and time spent on events, fundraisers and board memberships this past year. And it celebrated “ERG in Action” award winners – local and national ERGs that have held events which involve many employees, impact the business strategically and promote the company brand.
Employees spent the second day of the conference spreading out across Dallas to volunteer with groups like the American Red Cross, Boys & Girls Club and Meals on Wheels.
“Our ERG employees are so engaged and so enthused,” said Belinda Grant-Anderson, vice president of Diversity & Inclusion. “They make you feel really proud to be a part of AT&T.”
It’s that atmosphere of giving and dedication that keeps ERG members coming back year after year to the conference.
AT&T now has 12 ERGs – the oldest 42 years old, the youngest, one month.
Katie Pacholczyk is a member of the AT&T Employee Communications team and supports Diversity & Inclusion initiatives across the business.