Can you tell when someone brings their true, authentic self to work? Scottie O’ Donnell thinks so. For one thing, it plays a big role in his day-to-day duties as a Strategic Development Manager on our Retail team. Scottie works closely with managers to find out how stores in his division can achieve new goals, what motivates our Retail Sales Consultants, and what makes the culture tick. This role also requires Scottie to bring his own authentic self to work every day, something he’s been familiar with since his early days with us.

“When I walk into a store, my team knows I’ll be loud, fun, goal-oriented and that we have a job to do. That’s because AT&T culture is about bringing yourself. They want you, the person they are looking at, to show you’re part of a team.”

It’s this same culture that inspired Scottie to make a big life choice with Michael, his husband of six years. Our people always look to celebrate career growth, and Scottie has seen quite a bit of it since starting at our Customer Care Center in 2014. In his most recent 360 review Scottie’s coworkers and leaders had glowing things to say about his performance, with one caveat.

“Everyone said, ‘Scottie doesn’t know how to turn that work off.’ That’s when it hit me: I needed to take time for myself. My husband and I sat down and discussed how we could really hone-in on my work-life balance. We’re at that part in our relationship where we’re able to give back to a child in need.

“So, we talked about adoption.”

360 Support

The immense time and commitment required by the adoption process can be difficult to juggle with a full-time career. Scottie was thankful, then, to have support from leadership since day one.

“They were 100% behind me, and that support extended beyond just my area manager and immediate coworkers. Even during moments where adoption required me to take off without much warning, I knew I could rely on my teammates to cover things for me.

“It all goes back to leadership in AT&T and showing how the time spent at work is worthwhile. We’re doing our best for the company, so they do the best for us as well. When you have to take care of family matters like these at competing companies, you’re told to burn vacation hours. Here, the AT&T family is celebrating every milestone.”

Bringing your authentic self to work

Scottie’s team didn’t hold back in supporting him, that’s why he was able to accomplish everything required for adoption and welcome a new member to his family – Devin. It’s these experiences that encourage Scottie to bring his authentic self to work each day. He’s seen the impact one person can make throughout an organization that spans the globe and shares his insight to those interested in joining #LifeAtATT.

“My story for adoption goes beyond adoption. It goes with the culture, the team accepting me as a person – an individual in this world – who joined this company to be better than I already was.

“We have great leaders who always encourage you to voice your opinions, because they do matter. AT&T has always been a big advocate for our LGBTQ+ community for decades. Anyone who wants us to ‘play it down’ needs to stop, because AT&T has been there through thick and thin.”

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