What does diversity and inclusion mean to you?

October 04, 2017
By John Slamecka

What does diversity and inclusion mean to you? This question is on my mind – particularly at our recent annual AT&T ERG event in Dallas, where I joined a panel that discussed just this. The ERG conference is where our employee resource groups gather once a year to network, swap ideas and promote diversity.

I’ve thought a lot about my own family and how it has guided my beliefs. My father was a Czechoslovakian immigrant who fled his homeland after World War II. He met my mother, a Puerto Rican immigrant, in the U.S. Together, they made a life for themselves in a country that accepted and welcomed them for their differences. That’s why I’m a champion of diversity and inclusion.

I’m lucky enough to work for a company that shares those values. Blending different backgrounds, cultures and skills delivers better outcomes. We believe success begins with people. Our diverse and inclusive workforce benefits our business, employees, customers, investors and communities. 

The tone is set from the very top levels of the company. If leaders talk the talk – and walk the walk – then we all follow that lead. I am proud we promote a workforce that’s open and tolerant, and embraces cultures from around the world. 

Our employee networks and ERGs share these values. They focus on personal and professional development and support the business. They motivate a world-class, future-ready workforce through the advancement of education, coaching and mentoring.   

We have fantastic employee networks in EMEA, like the AT&T EMEA Women’s Network (AEWN). It’s an inclusive network open to all, organizing STEM activities and offering educational and mentoring programs.

So there are many reasons to pursue a diverse workforce. We need to build talent for the digital age, driving innovation, companywide. It’s only by including talent from all walks of life that we’ll be able to get there.

John Slamecka - Region President, Global Business-Global Account Solutions-EMEA, AT&T

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