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Engineering a More Diverse Workforce

At AT&T, Belinda Grant-Anderson oversees global effort to build a robust talent pipeline

Belinda Grant-Anderson
Vice President for Diversity & Inclusion, AT&T

Vanderbilt MBA 1990

Belinda Grant-Anderson may not have followed the career path for which her undergraduate degree in engineering (from Vanderbilt) prepared her, but she’s nonetheless engaged in developing systems for her organization. At AT&T, Belinda oversees the company’s efforts to build a diverse pipeline of talent — a strategy that, to AT&T, are as essential as its technology platforms.

“As a Fortune 500 telecommunications company, AT&T needs employees with technical skills or aptitude,” explains Belinda, who joined AT&T in 2010. “That can be a challenge when seeking people of diverse backgrounds. STEM jobs are in demand throughout the nation, but interest in technical careers is low among women, people of color and others who make up a diverse workforce.

“People come here and see a lot of employees like themselves. We want our leadership to reflect a variety of backgrounds, and we hold them accountable for diversity and inclusion initiatives in their areas.”

In addition to working with AT&T’s various business units, Belinda’s job involves partnering with groups such as the Society of Women Engineers, the National Center for Women and Informational Technology, INROADS and other organizations for minority students. During her tenure, AT&T has received numerous awards, including being named a Top Company for Diversity by DiversityInc and a top company for executive women by the National Association for Female Executives.

After earning her undergraduate degree in chemical engineering, Belinda, a native of Jacksonville, Florida, worked for Procter & Gamble’s research and development division for five years. She returned to Vanderbilt because she realized she needed an MBA to become a decision-maker who could influence a company’s future. She certainly has achieved that with one of the world’s largest telecom companies, leading a team that oversees a dozen employee resource groups comprised of 110,000 employees.

It was the “focus on team work,” she says, that led her back to Vanderbilt and prepared her for the future. “I wanted to be part of a team, Belinda recalls, learning from my peers in a corporate environment. At Vanderbilt, I had a great education in a supportive, win-win community.”

"We want our leadership to reflect a variety of backgrounds, and we hold them accountable."