AT&T Chief Diversity Officer discusses an inclusive workforce

AT&T Senior Vice President of Talent Development and Chief Diversity Officer Debbie Storey spoke at Webster University on Wednesday, January 30 to discuss diversity in the workforce. PHOTO BY VICTORIA DICKSON

AT&T Senior Vice President of Talent Development and Chief Diversity Officer, Debbie Storey, discussed diversity in the workforce and increasing need for technology. The discussion entitled, ‘The 21st century workforce: challenges and opportunities” was held in the East Academic building January 30th.

According to Storey, the demand for skilled workers is steadily increasing. And an inclusive workforce is critical for innovation and growth. Storey feels that if companies all look the same, individuals with “top talent” will go other places because they feel they are not welcomed. Storey says that diversity drives engagement, energized, emotional connection with the company. And employees are willing to go the extra mile to help the company succeed.

“Talent is in great demand these days and the only way a company can attract top talent, is if you create an environment that is inclusive, that is open, that is diverse,” Storey said.

One question raised by an audience member is if college and tech school curriculum is properly preparing students for the workforce. Storey agreed that it starts with education and that students may not be receiving the fundamentals that they need.

“I actually think we need to be re-thinking the curriculum of technical degrees as well,” Storey said. “We cannot find enough technically qualified workers to meet our needs, our hiring needs today and that’s going to get increasingly challenging in the future.”

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