Anne Chow, AT&T SVP and Newest Joint Center Board Member, Talks Diversity

Anne Chow, AT&T SVP and Newest Joint Center Board Member, Talks Diversity


Politic365 had the opportunity to sit down with Anne Chow, the Senior Vice President of ATT’s Premier Client Group (PCG), to discuss career, diversity and giving back.

In her current role Anne leads a national sales and support organization of over 2,000 professionals responsible for delivering a full range of communications solutions, including wireless and wired services, to enterprise customers; but when Anne isn’t busy bringing technology and innovative solutions to businesses she is actively involved in AT&Ts employee resource groups and the companies diversity efforts.

“We have been committed to diversity for decades,” Chow shares. “We have a range of initiatives and we’re very committed. It’s important that our employee base is reflective of the communities we serve.”

Setting the bar high for other Fortune 500 corporations, 39 percent of AT&T’s workforce is people of color. Thirty-nine percent of its employees are women as well.

“One of the areas I think AT&T is a role model in, is in our commitment to employee resource groups. I have yet to run into a company that does this with as much rigor, breadth and depth as AT&T. We have 11 of them.

There are groups for Asian Pacific Islanders, Employees with Disabilities, Veterans, LGBT, young professionals and the list goes on.

“The company is extremely supportive as it relates encouraging employees  – all the way up through executives – to be members of these organizations.”

Anne is active in several of the employee resource groups herself.

“In the early part of my career I got involved in the APCA – Asians for Professional and Community Advancement. I have been a mentor, done panel discussions, helped with strategy and am now on their advisory council.”

As she has advanced in her career Anne has joined other employee resource groups as well in an effort to gain exposure and serve a broader base of AT&T employees. She is currently a member of the Asian Indian employee resource group as well as the Filipino group, Women of AT&T and the Employees with Disabilities group.

Chow says AT&T’s commitment to diversity doesn’t end there, but that supplier diversity is a huge focus area for the company.

“AT&T has been a leader here. We’ve been repeatedly voted #1 and #2 when it comes to ensuring our suppliers are as diverse as the customers we serve,” Anne says. “In fact we set a goal for ourselves. At least 1/5 of our suppliers must be diverse. That’s 21.5% and last year we actually exceeded that with almost 24% supplier diversity.”

Anne shares that throughout her career she has seen the company’s stance on diversity reflected in the way it nurtures its employees and grows their careers as well.

“I have had eighteen different roles throughout my time here. Just as I have worked to diversify my experience at AT&T, they have embraced me as a diverse leader.”

Recently, Anne joined the Board of Directors at the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies.

“I’m looking forward to learning more about the issues. I’m particularly interested in building bridges and expanding the perspective. While their history and legacy has been in the African American community, many of the issues various minority populations have faced are the same. Immigration reform, education, healthcare, ensuring accurate counting of the census… these are all issues that transcend and affect us all.”

When asked what advice she gives to others, Chow shares the following:

“One of my biggest learnings that I share with my mentees is be authentic and true to yourself. And to have confidence. If you don’t believe in yourself then, how will others?”

She also encourages young professionals to define what success means to them as individual.

“Is it a certain position? A certain type of work? A certain type of financial profile? What does happiness mean to you. Success and happiness is an individual concept.”