Top 10 | 2018 50 Out Front




Rank No. 3: AT&T
Location of Headquarters: Dallas, TX
# Of Employees: 277,000

CEO: Randall Stephenson

CDE: Corey Anthony



AT&T’s diversity and inclusion efforts are built upon four pillars composed of our workforce, customers, communities and suppliers. We support these pillars best with an everyday culture of diversity that is embedded in all of our business practices.

We recognize and respect all differences. Our longstanding commitment to D&I helps us exceed the expectations of our shareowners, customers, partners and employees. By fully recognizing the unique value each employee brings to work, we deliver the best possible solutions across the board. At AT&T, every voice matters.


We continue to make progress in creating a diverse workforce at all levels of our company, recognize the diversity of our customers and communities, and provide opportunities for diverse suppliers.

  • Workforce: We continue to build an incredibly diverse and talented team. In 2017, our U.S. workforce was 31percent female and 43 percent people of color. Last year, more than 31 percent of our new hires were women and 56 percent were people of color. At our CEO and direct-report level, we have 10 percent female and 10 percent people of color. One step below we have 22 percent female and 20 percent people of color; two steps below is 32 percent and 18 percent; and four steps below, 34 percent and 36 percent. Our overall 2017 retention rate was 82 percent for women and 84 percent for people of color.
  • Customers: It is important to do business in our customers’ preferred language. Our 3,000 sales and service representatives continue to provide customer support in 160 languages other than English. We have 750 retail stores where employees help customers in Spanish. We have two websites where customers can get information in languages other than English: A fullservice Spanish-language website (, and Our World site (, which offers self-service options in Russian, Polish and five Asian languages. We also hold sponsorships throughout the year that matter to our diverse consumer community.
  • Community: Our employees make positive impacts on the communities in which they live and work through cash contributions and volunteer hours. In 2017, employees gave $139 million through our Employee Giving Campaign and they volunteered 1.8 million hours of time in community outreach. Through our AT&T Aspire program, we helped drive innovation in education by bringing diverse resources to bear through funding, technology, employee volunteerism and mentoring.
  • Suppliers: Our 2017 supplier diversity spend was $14.4 billion, which represented 25.2 percent of our procurement spend for the year. We began our supplier diversity program in 1968 – 50 years ago – and since then, we have spent about $158 billion with minority, women and disabled veteran-businesses. This has helped spur a legion of new businesses in communications and technology.

Our employee resource group (ERG) and employee network (EN) memberships now top 144,000. In 2017, our 12 ERGs awarded $882,000 in scholarships and donated 388,300 volunteer hours. Our 13 ENs – seven international and six U.S.- based – donated 24,000 volunteer hours.

Our annual ERG conference continues to capture the spirit and impact of our commitment to D&I. This year, we celebrated a milestone 10-year anniversary with an “AT&T is All of Us” theme. More than 2,000 employees convened, at their own expense in Dallas, our headquarters city, to recognize our D&I efforts, engage with one another and network with the more than 100 officers and senior leaders who attend the event. The conference is one of AT&T’s largest internal events and the most inspiring two days of the year for attendees and webcast viewers.

Most important, our employees say we walk the talk by giving the company’s D&I efforts the highest marks of all categories on our biannual employee engagement survey.


We keep a sharp focus on recruiting, retaining and developing a diverse talent pipeline. We have presence on more than 100 of the top college campuses in the U.S., including many with a high percentage of diverse students.

Every AT&T recruiter is aware of our commitment to the STEM challenge and the need to fill critical IT and programming positions. We train our recruiters on how to recognize candidate potential. That means recognizing subtle and unconscious bias. Our fast-track development programs average about 40 percent women and people of color.

We recruit at and partner with historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) and through organizations like Black Enterprise. Our approach to HBCU recruiting includes: Student engagement, faculty development, stakeholder relations and community outreach. We focus our efforts on 11 leading HBCUs. In one year, we increased the number of HBCU students in our summer intern program by nearly 500 percent. We subsequently made job offers to all of those students, and many of them will join AT&T as employees upon graduation.

We also recruit rigorously for female candidates through organizations like the Society of Women Engineers and the National Center for Women & Information Technology, and for Native American candidates in Oklahoma, Hispanic talent in South Texas and veterans near military bases. We take advantage of respected online job posting sites like DiversityInc’s career portal and hundreds of other diversity, disability and military sites.

Our AT&T student internship program gives participants the opportunity to experience the day-to-day inner workings of a Fortune 50 company. The program is designed for both undergraduates and MBA students. Year over year, our interns are more than 40 percent diverse. The program offers repeat summer experiences through graduation with rotations across the business to broaden participants’ perspectives on the organization and gain executive exposure. Once hired, our numerous development programs prepare candidates for leadership roles and help us maintain our diverse leadership pipeline.

Across AT&T, we continue to take our D&I efforts to new levels. Building off our chairman’s “Tolerance to Understanding” challenge in 2016, we began encouraging employees to expand beyond common echo chambers and binary thinking to see the world more openly and realistically. With echo chambers, people hear what they want to hear from like-minded people and resources, such as media outlets and groups of friends. With binary thinking, people see their solutions and views as “the only way” with no debate or compromise.


As the competition for diverse talent grows across industries, we’ll continually evaluate and trial new recruiting and development initiatives to increase the diversity of our workforce and our talent pipeline. We’re accelerating our transformation into a Telecom-Media-Technology company, with millions of telecom connections into homes and businesses. Putting this all together takes great people – and a diverse, inclusive culture. We will continue to build that winning combination.

Learn more about our approach to hiring a diverse workforce at