Rolling Out

AT&T’s assistant VP of compliance strategy Michelle Thomas uses her diverse strategic connections to empower others

Michelle Thomas is the assistant vice president of the Compliance Strategy at AT&T

This Sisters with Superpowers story is sponsored by Chevy.

AT&T's assistant VP of compliance strategy Michelle Thomas uses her diverse strategic connections to empower others
Photo courtesy of Michelle Thomas

Michelle Thomas is the assistant vice president of Compliance Strategy at AT&T and is responsible for setting the strategic agenda and developing programs to drive risk mitigation and ethical culture within the company. Thomas is a high-performing corporate and community leader with a history of outstanding achievement, strong analytical, risk management, and interpersonal skills. Over the life of her career, she has continuously demonstrated character of integrity and a passion for developing others.

What do you consider your superpower to be?

Being a connector is my superpower. I have an ability to identify, seek out and bring together people and resources, resulting in the mutual benefit of elevating and accelerating projects, and forging meaningful relationships. Even individual stars, when aligned and connected become more brilliant in a constellation. I create strategic connections by using a combination of my strong network, influence, and genuine desire to empower others.

What thoughtful or encouraging piece of advice would you give to your younger self?

“Just be you, you’ll really like her.” For most of my life, I have spent time imitating, comparing, and striving to be someone other than myself. As the youngest of five children and an immigrant in a foreign country, I tried everything to acclimate. I thought being mainstream would give me access to the right opportunities or propel me to the next level. Recently, I have done the hard-introspective work to find, celebrate and love myself.

Why should women of color work in leadership roles and decision-making capacities?

It has been proven time and time again that diverse teams are higher performing, more innovative, and deliver more significant outcomes. Women, and particularly women of color, bring a combined expertise and perspective of resilience, compassion, and empowerment that helps to achieve strategic success.

Why should more experienced Black women reach back and help younger women of color?

When you can see it, you can be it. Younger women of color need to see shining examples of themselves as catalysts for their own and future generational success. We need to be the light that helps guide them with courage and confidence to change the trajectory of prosperity for themselves and our community.

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