AT&T executive Robin Jenkins reflects on being 1st Black woman on her team

The executive opened up about her unique professional perspective

AT&T executive Robin Jenkins is proud of the fact she has been able to open doors for others. A client solutions executive for the communications company, Jenkins was the lone person of color on her team but has since brought on two more Black women.

At the 2023 Black Enterprise Women in Power Summit in Las Vegas, Jenkins spoke to rolling out about being able to provide opportunities to others.

What was it like being at the Black Enterprise Women in Power Summit?

I [was] so grateful to be [t]here. That was my first power summit. I didn’t know what to expect, but being in a room with so many positive, successful Black women re-filled my spirit, and allowed me to bring home more information than I thought I would be able to receive … so I’m very full.

What does a woman of power look like to you?

Initially, when I heard “women of power,” I wasn’t quite sure what it meant because I believe all women are powerful. I don’t think you have to be at an executive level to meet that goal. I think, especially Black women, we’re extremely powerful. We wear a lot of hats anyway.

For me, I think “women of power” means you’re focused, driven, doing big things or wanting to do big things. That’s what it means to be someone who’s successful or was choosing to be successful.

Why do more Black women need to be in executive and leadership roles?

Diversity is extremely important. I work for a company at AT&T, and I am the only person of color on my team.

I feel like for me, I have to be 100 percent the most successful, just so that they will allow others to enter the room. When I walk into the room, I’m already seen being the only person – the only female – who is Black. I think it’s important for a representation of our future generations. So, I feel like I always have to be 100 percent there so that they will allow others to follow behind me.

I think we’re doing some amazing things right now [at the summit]. Something in the aura of that room, or even outside of that space. I think we are showing up in a way they’re going to have to say, “Yes, absolutely.”

How are you supporting other Black women?

I’m actually doing that every day by making sure my team looks like me.

Even though … I was the first, I hired two other Black women on my team, and they are phenomenal. I always lead by example. Whenever I show up, I’m always 100 percent on my game. I speak in a way people will always know I’m professional, intentional and intelligent. I think just leading by example is the key.

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