AT&T: Securing a Seat at the Tech Table for Women

AT&T's Allison Roberts, president of the Women of Technology employee network, shares why it's important to attract and retain women in technology.

AT&T's Allison Roberts, president of the Women of Technology employee network, shares why it's important to attract and retain women in technology.


By Allison Roberts

I'm in technology. When I'm not acting as the director for software development life cycle, I focus on my other role at AT&T: President of our Women of Technology employee network. (AT&T is No. 4 on the DiversityInc Top 50 Companies list.)

We help members network, find career-advancing opportunities, and develop their skills by learning things like how to file patents with the company.

It's no secret there's still a lack of women in STEM fields. That's why our group motto is "Attract and retain women in technology."

My drive to bring more women into the tech fold comes from my own experience. I attended a middle and high school that focused on math and science, but they didn't offer computer science.

I took a computer science class in college. I was the only girl and had little support from my professors. I eventually learned technology skills working as a consultant.

Girls must become well-versed in technology and take charge of their opportunities.

If you're a young woman who loves computers, science or math, you have to be your own advocate. Join groups that will get you on the right path.

Don't miss opportunities to create new inventions, lead companies — even shape our future.

Our group regularly visits schools and talks to girls of all ages about STEM careers. We sponsor events like the Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas' Coding Camp.

This is a way for us to get in front of girls and share our own journey as technologists.

We also organize activities for our members with a tech focus. One example is our speaker series featuring experts inside and outside our company.

They include Frank Jules, president of AT&T Global Services, Sorabh Saxena, senior vice president of software development and engineering, and Robert Wilson, former Bell Labs scientist and Nobel Prize Winner for discovering proof of the Big Bang Theory.

We also offer:

  • Lecture series: We hold three events each year and invite experts like an executive coach, to guide our members on showcasing their talents and meeting professional goals.
  • Local chapters: We launched our first local chapters to get even more involved in our communities. The St. Louis chapter hosted the first AT&T Girls STEM Summit. Middle school girls visited AT&T to learn about virtual reality, connected cars, IT CAN WAIT and more.

We're working hard to even out the playing field in our industry.

I'm proud to be part of a company helping pave the way for the current and next generation of women in tech. To learn more about AT&T's support of STEM education and women in tech, visit www.att.com/aspire.

Allison Roberts is a director in technology development overseeing the software development life cycle.

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