EVP, AT&T Entertainment Group – Mobility & Customer Operations, Sales & Service Centers, AT&T
Barton’s been part of an evolution throughout her tenure at AT&T, and her involvement in several areas of the company make her an invaluable part of the team. She’s launched management development and peer coaching programs to boost employee performance, and has led system assimilation and technical training during the integration of the DirecTV, mobility and U-verse contact centers. “When I started 25 years ago we were a dominant phone company. A decade ago we added a video product. Today our unique product portfolio allows us to be a truly integrated provider,” she says.
Which sector of the cable industry best demonstrates gender equality? Which could use some enlightenment?
The cable industry can be intimidating to some, particularly women. But take it from me, it’s no more challenging than any other industry. Like any career, it just takes practice. When I first started my career at AT&T, I was a service representative. I built my technical expertise and knowledge through various roles on a network team that allowed me to practice what I learned. I learned first-hand that the longer you do something, the better you get at it. As the cable industry changes I encourage both women and men to work hard and not let anything stand in your way of achieving your goals.
What advice would you give your 13-year-old self?
Say yes to opportunities. I look back at my younger self and remember the times I questioned what I got myself into. Now I realize many of my greatest learning moments have come from those experiences. My advice is to take the risk and try something new — something that you may find intimidating at first. You can do it. Take a deep breath, study and practice. I found a way to say “yes,” and I practiced, practiced, practiced.
What’s been the biggest story in cable this year?
I feel incredibly fortunate to work at AT&T. When I started 25 years ago we were a dominant phone company. A decade ago we added a video product. Today our unique product portfolio allows us to be a truly integrated provider. We have the technology. We have the content. We mobilize entertainment. We have great service. We are going to deliver more TV and entertainment choices to more screens, with more flexibility and convenience through simple integrated packages that deliver a better value to our customers. I believe that this fundamental shift will influence the way future generations define entertainment.