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TBT Series: Verizon and Getting More Women and Minorities into Telecom & Tech

TBT Series: Verizon and Getting More Women and Minorities into Telecom & Tech

I’m fortunate to meet inspiring women leaders in my work at Ellevate. I was blown away by the women in the room — and those on the panel — at the Ellevate Network & Verizon Leaders of Telecom & Tech event on February 6th at The Alley in Washington, DC.

This event kicked off an exciting five-part multi-faceted event series focused on fostering a powerful community of Women in Telecom and Tech that strengthens the pipeline for women at all career levels.

Telecom & Tech need women and minorities

Telecom and tech are interconnected and integral elements to the world we live in and the world we’re creating for future generations. Who are the people working behind the scenes to create this future? Why is it critical to have equitable pathways and diverse representation here? How can we reimagine the workplace for Women in Telecom & Tech industries? How can we support female and minority leaders to drive the change we need to see? Verizon Policy knows the value of bringing these women together, and it is inspiring to see companies like Verizon take the lead to cultivate professional communities and support.

The event kicked off with a remarks by Congresswoman Norma J. Torres who represents California's 35th congressional district. Her story was so powerful as she shared her pathway to office — from Mayor and Council Member in the City of Pomona to Assembly Member to State Senator and beyond. She first ran for office because she wanted to create change: to have a voice, to take action. During her tenure she has led efforts to increase access to care and improve the quality of care in underserved areas. Her law to diversify the Covered California Board so that it is better prepared to enroll the uninsured earned her statewide recognition and national attention.

I had a the great honor of moderating the panel at this event. I really enjoy moderating panels as I feel that it is critical to engage the audience, dig deep into important topics, and amplify the diverse perspectives and voices on the panel. I was joined on stage by:

  • Ingrid Duran, CEO & Founder of D&P Creative Strategies
  • Kathleen Grillo, SVP, Public Policy & Government Affairs, Verizon
  • Kim Keenan, EVP Marketing & Research, General Counsel, Odyssey Media
  • Jacqueline Welch, SVP Human Resources, Diversity and Inclusion and Chief Diversity Officer, Freddie Mac

The key takeaways from the panel addressed the most relevant topics in Telecom & Tech today, including:

  • Leveraging professional networks is so important to achieve diversity in Telecom & Tech.
  • It’s so critical for companies to incorporate Diversity & Inclusion Key Performance Indicators as key business metrics, and to incorporate them immediately.
  • Engaging allies in the quest for equality is vital, and it starts with the conversations we have at home.
  • More men should be taking advantage of paternity leave to reduce the stigma of parental leave overall.
  • All women should be talking about money with their networks and should feel comfortable asking for the raise!

Check back here next week for my next #TBT installment, and don’t forget to follow Ellevate Network on Linkedin, read more about Ellevate, and sign up for my Friends of Kristy newsletter to know where I’ll be next.


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