This Sisters with Superpowers story is sponsored by Chevy.
Shay Phillips is a nationally recognized marketing and technology executive who has extensive experience working in start-up environments within large corporations. Currently the head of the AT&T Mass Markets Program Management Office, she has held many positions from operations to marketing to strategy. In these roles, she drove operational efficiencies, increased revenue, and created best-in-class customer experiences by leveraging technology.
As a Black woman, what do you consider your superpowers to be?
I’m a people connector, innovator, collaborator, and technology whisperer.
Why should women of color work in leadership roles and decision-making capacities?
Women of color have unique experiences in the workplace and bring diverse perspectives to the leadership table. We can help identify unconscious bias, create exposure opportunities for talent, and influence company culture to drive a more inclusive environment. This will result in greater diversity throughout the organization, especially in the leadership ranks, and improve employee retention. Having the leaders and decision-makers that reflect the customers we serve leads to better results.
Why should more experienced Black women reach back and help younger women of color?
As a Black woman, I have unique experiences and challenges in the workplace and have managed to excel because of them. Those lessons and grit position me to help prepare younger women for the journey ahead. Studies show that building sponsor relationships can be challenging for women of color, so it’s also important that I expose them to my network. This has allowed me to identify great female talent for the organization.
What is some of the advice you share with young women entering a male-dominated profession?
I will share the “CAR” framework. Be confident. You’ve got this. Be your own biggest advocate versus your worst critic, and be a risk taker. Ask for what you want, and share your goals. Don’t assume people know or will just take care of you. Raise your hand, and volunteer to take on challenging roles. Instead of having a “fear of failure,” have a “fear of missing out.” Apply for that job even if you don’t check all the boxes.