WarnerMedia shines at the 2019 AT&T Employee Group Conference

26 Sep 2019 - By WarnerMedia Staff

Earlier this month, AT&T hosted its most anticipated employee event of the year, The 2019 Employee Group Conference. The annual event, held in Dallas, Texas, brings together members of Employee/Business Resource Groups from AT&T’s operating companies around the country for dynamic keynotes, high energy workshops and panel discussions. WarnerMedia played an integral part in this year’s event with panelists and participants from each of WarnerMedia’s business units. The conference featured the theme of “ALL IN” to reflect the multidimensional diversity and inclusion efforts across AT&T.

At the annual event, AT&T also presented the 2019 Spark Awards which recognize employees who demonstrate their commitment and extraordinary efforts to bridge diversity gaps and promote inclusion. Bleacher Report’s Gracie Leavitt won the “Leading by Example” Spark Award for her efforts to ensure that B/R content is inclusive and accessible for all audiences.

In addition, WarnerMedia’s Employee Resource Groups, TurnOUT, HBO Proud, OUT@Warner Bros., along with LEAGUE at AT&T and Xandr, collectively won the Excellence in Action Award for their work on the Stonewall 50 Pride March and microsite.

From workshops highlighting how our brands are helping millions of people see our diverse world more accurately, to an in-depth look at what it takes to become a famous YouTuber, to informative talks from AT&T’s and WarnerMedia’s leaders, including a keynote address from Randall Stephenson, Chairman & CEO, the 2019 Employee Group Conference was an inspiring and dynamic event.

We spoke to two WarnerMedia employees about their experiences at the conference, and what really inspired them the most over the weekend.

Tiffany Harrington - HBO

Where there any panels or workshops that particularly resonated with you at the conference?

I truly enjoyed the “Diversity in our Content: Representing Our World, Shaping Culture workshop.” Johnita Due, Kelly Edwards, Sandra Howard and Stacy Hoppe all shared their experiences with not only uplifting diverse voices, but also creating spaces where that talent can be cultivated. I was happy that Sandra Howard validated so many of the frustrations I have experienced as a woman of color in media. The data has always supported that diversity in content and leadership equals growth within our business. However, when it comes time to make those difficult decisions and put women in leadership positions or to create content, it’s often met with push back to “go with what works.” I was elated to hear that these women were pushing back against that model. 

What did the featured theme of “All In” mean to you after experiencing the diverse range of speakers and events at the conference?

“All In” meant to me that the company was inclusive of all perspectives. That my differences are not only tolerated but welcomed.

What is something you can take with you from the conference to use in your daily work?

I’m leaning into being my authentic self. I do have a unique perspective and sometimes I’m not as vocal as I could be when it counts. But I’m here, I’m present, and I’m ready to be heard.

Jeff Trammell – Cartoon Network

Tell us a bit about your panel and why you feel it’s an important topic to discuss.

I was lucky enough to be included in the “Art of Inclusivity through Comics and Animation” panel and felt very proud to participate in the discussion. I think it's important to discuss that even today, there still isn't enough representation on the screen or behind the scenes. But having that conversation and showing that there are women, people of color and LGBTQ+ people in those spaces doing the work, shows that it is attainable and can be reached, and that's an important discussion to have.

How did you feel after attending the conference?

It was great to see so many of the people that work in the company from so many different backgrounds coming together to make something great – it’s exactly what we need, now more than ever. It was a great experience that I feel lucky to have been a part of.

What is something you can take with you from the conference to use in your daily work?

To incorporate that same “All In” approach to everything I do, whether that's working on cartoons like “Craig of the Creek” or spreading the word that anyone who is motivated and hard-working can make it in this industry. 

The 2019 Employee Group Conference was an amazing two-day celebration of advancing diversity and inclusion across AT&T, and stay tuned because the 2020 conference will bring even more new and exciting ideas to the table across the company.