CLOSING THE GENDER GAP
DEVELOPING FEMALE TALENT IN STEM
Jenifer Robertson is responsible for developing end-to-end strategy for technology development, managing highly integrated strategic programs, and aligning the $6 billion technology investment portfolio for AT&T Technology & Operations.
She has lent her unique mix of STEM skills and leadership talent for AT&T’s evolution since joining the company back in 2000. Today, as senior vice president of technology strategy & portfolio implementation, she is helping orchestrate the workplace of the future and mentoring women in STEM along the way.
In her role, Robertson leads AT&T’s movement to pivot their employee base to match the increasingly competitive tech industry. AT&T is rapidly changing its business model, and that requires a major shift in how work is done. She leads process integration and skills transformation of more than 150,000 employees to meet the needs of rapidly-changing technology. She is passionate about mentorship and authenticity in developing female talent. Robertson is also a board member of the National Center for Women & Information Technology, a non-profit community dedicated to increasing the meaningful participation of all women in the influential field of computing.
In the words of Jenifer Robertson:
Where do you see women in STEM in five years?
“Women are creating a strong, supportive environment with the potential to foster success at a faster rate over the next five years. Our goal as women in STEM right now should be to plow the hard ground that enables future generations to follow in our footsteps and go deeper into STEM opportunities. Powerful women today will help to build the powerful women of the future, regardless of industry, background, or title.”
How is the world changing with respect to STEM?
“The world is changing because we have the technology and ecosystems of media and networking to create widespread support, thought leadership, and empowerment anywhere in the world. And we have a generation of powerful women willing to stand up on virtual (and physical) platforms to challenge social norms and make changes.”
How can the world increase diversity in STEM fields?
“A holistic approach is required to increase diversity in STEM, whether on a local or global scale. We must create a virtuous cycle by exposing diverse groups to STEM, providing them with opportunities to learn and engage with the field, and then celebrating their successes. Education can lead to an expanding pool of STEM recruits, which puts the responsibility on businesses to match increased demand with a supply of STEM job openings.”
What barriers are in the way to closing the gender gap in STEM?
“The single biggest requirement to closing the STEM gender gap is a strong, dual gender support system. Closing the gender gap does not happen if it’s led entirely by one gender.”