Originally published at about.att.com. Mónica Aspe is the CEO of AT&T Mexico. ATT&T is a Hall of Fame company.
Almost one year ago on March 10, 2021, I was appointed CEO of AT&T Mexico. As the first woman to lead this organization, and the only woman to lead a telecommunications company in this country, it felt significant that this appointment fell during Women’s History Month and so close to International Women’s Day. I know the impact of what seeing a woman in this role can mean to an industry, a workplace and a team, and what it means for girls around the world to see themselves in these positions.
Over my career, I’ve admired a long list of women from all walks of life. In the past few years, however, it’s been the hard-working Mexican women whom I’ve found to be uniquely inspiring. The ability of female professionals to overcome all kinds of challenges in a still deeply prejudiced society is something I look up to and I’m proud to call all of them role models of mine. It is time, however, to take the steps necessary to alleviate the challenges women face.
My colleagues and I are working to move past “firsts” to make this type of representation the norm, not the exception. This International Women’s Day, we’re amplifying the stories of women who are Breaking Barriers across every level of our business and whose impact is felt worldwide. Breaking barriers takes courage and resiliency and forging new paths requires advocacy and real commitment from allies. I have the pleasure of overseeing many of these efforts for AT&T Mexico.
I’m convinced that technology can be instrumental to help close the gender gap that exists across different aspects of our society. This is why eNovadoras, a program that looks to provide training, support networks and seed capital for women-led entrepreneurship in the technological sector is so important, particularly as the 5G era begins in Mexico.
As a leader within AT&T, I’ve seen firsthand how far reaching and beneficial our initiatives are for women. From Mexico to the United States, and worldwide, we are working to set the standard inside and outside our walls. Internal programs like the Executive Women’s Leadership Experience provide tools and professional development skills to support the next generation of leaders, who have the potential to shatter glass ceilings worldwide. Additionally, our employees understand the value of collective support. Women of AT&T, which is celebrating 50 years of being one of the first women-based Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) in the nation, has a long-standing tradition of uplifting and supporting women employees at AT&T.
We are also advocating for women’s representation outside of AT&T. I have seen this work through our She’s Connected initiative, a collaborative approach to gender equality that helps ensure our contributions enable meaningful connections to elevate and increase the accurate portrayal of women and girls in marketing, advertising, media, sports and entertainment. I am excited to reveal the newest She’s Connected feature with former WNBA player and current WNBA Las Vegas Aces Head Coach, Becky Hammon. Watch the below video to learn more about her story, the importance of representation and the power of mentorship, especially in a male-dominated field.
Beyond traditional sports, we take the same commitment in advancing representation through our work with women in gaming and e-sports. Our goal is to create more opportunities for the talented and often underrepresented women in these industries. We do this through AT&T Unlocked Games, which aims to empower women in the gaming industry with visibility, access and resources.
On International Women’s Day, the six women finalists will participate in a live game showcase presenting their beta version game to industry experts for the chance to be crowned the winner and earn $100,000 toward the final development of their game, along with mentorship, marketing support and AT&T products and services. Watch the live stream here.
As a woman who is deemed a “first” I understand the duty and responsibility to prove that women are capable and that we need to create a more inclusive world. A world where there are more “first” opening the doors for the next generation of barrier breakers. Our collective goal should be for each of us to do our part in building a more equitable society and at AT&T, we stand for equality and will continue to support, uplift and empower women worldwide. I encourage others to do the same, not just on International Women’s Day but year-round. Let’s work collaboratively and live up to these values in our daily lives.