Diversity Leadership: Randall Stephenson, AT&T

Randall Stephenson
Chairman and CEO
AT&T


Growing up outside Oklahoma City, Randall Stephenson wasn’t really exposed to diversity until he went to college and was paired with a Black roommate. “I realized there was a whole breadth of experience and talent and capabilities that I had never been exposed to,” Stephenson told DiversityInc CEO Luke Visconti. “It was a very eye-opening experience.”

Realizing the value of his own education, Stephenson is passionate about giving kids the opportunities they need to reach college. In 2008, he launched AT&T Aspire, a $100 million education initiative to address the high school dropout rate. In 2012, the company expanded the program and committed $250 million over five years. “If you don’t have a good, solid pipeline of diverse talent,” says Stephenson, “you won’t bring leaders up through the businesses that reflect the markets you serve.”

Prior to becoming CEO, Stephenson served as AT&T’s Chief Operating Officer and as Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. He started his career in 1982 with Southwestern Bell Telephone in Oklahoma and went on to hold leadership positions at SBC International including a stint in Mexico City as the company’s director of finance.

Stephenson earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting from the University of Central Oklahoma and a master’s in accounting from the University of Oklahoma. He is a member of the executive committee of Business Roundtable and the executive board of Boy Scouts of America. He is also a member of the PGA Tour Policy Board. He chaired the corporate campaign of the NAACP in 20092010 and of the United Way of Metropolitan Dallas in 20112012.

Latest News

women in politics

Women Remain Vastly Underrepresented in Local Government, Despite Conventional Wisdom Suggesting Otherwise

Vice President Kamala Harris and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi sat behind President Biden during his first speech to a joint session of Congress on April 28 — representing the first time two women held such important and high-ranking political offices. Even after such a historic moment, the reality…

voter restriction

Florida Follows Georgia’s Lead, Approves Racist Anti-Voter Restrictions Aimed Primarily at Democrats and People of Color

Not content with letting Georgia be the only state in the South demonized for its bigoted and racist attacks on voter rights, Florida has jumped into the fray in issuing its own series of new and highly controversial “Jim Crow-esque” anti-voting restrictions aimed specifically at disenfranchising Democrats and voters of…

Kentucky Derby

Inspired by Protests Over Breonna Taylor’s Death, Humana and Kentucky Derby Festival Launch Diversity and Inclusion Initiative in Louisville

Ahead of the 147th Kentucky Derby on Saturday, May 1, Kentucky Derby officials and Humana (No. 25 on The DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity list in 2020) have announced a new equity initiative meant to make the race more accessible and welcoming to everyone, regardless of race, gender, age…

crimes against human ity

‘Crime Against Humanity’; Global Report Says the US Should Be Prosecuted in International Criminal Court for Ongoing Police Murders of Black Americans

In what has been described as a “devastating” report, human rights experts and lawyers have investigated and released a 188-page analysis of the ongoing police brutality and killing of Black Americans in the U.S. Their verdict: the country is guilty of “crimes against humanity” and should be prosecuted for its…

Tokyo, Olympics

Tokyo Olympics to Encourage Significant Increase in Gender Equality Among Event’s Corporate Sponsors

Besides simply being a showcase for some of the most talented and athletic men and women on the planet, the organizers of the Tokyo Olympics are hoping their event this summer can also help promote significant change in corporate culture, both in Japan and around the globe. Bloomberg’s Ayai Tomisawa…

AbbVie Joins Over 400 Leading US Employers in the Human Rights Campaign’s ‘Business Coalition for the Equality Act’

Originally published on LinkedIn. AbbVie ranked No. 19 on The DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity list in 2020.   AbbVie has joined a group of over 400 corporations and leading U.S. employers to support the Human Rights Campaign’s “Business Coalition for the Equality Act,” an initiative advocating for federal…

Accenture and Goodwill Develop Virtual Experience To Help People Impacted by the Criminal Justice System Enter the Workforce

Originally published at prnewswire.com. Accenture is ranked No. 5 on The DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity list in 2020.   Goodwill Industries International has teamed with Accenture to develop an innovative virtual experience called Project Overcome. The experience is designed for people impacted by the criminal justice system who want to…