Coffee With Cassie Lee, Senior Vice President & CFO, AT&T Technology and Operations

September 25, 2019




Cassie Lee:

When I went into corporate America and I was oftentimes the only woman or the only person of color, it was not a surprise to me, because it was my life. And so it's not until I start to look back and I reflect that I can remember times when I would introduce someone to my mother who is Black. My dad is white, but I would introduce people to my mother, and their jaw would drop, right? Because we were still in Mississippi. Or I would wear pants to work and the GM would say, "Women can't wear pants right now." But this was Mississippi, right? So there were challenges, but I had been taught all along just to keep going.


Jim Gorman:

How do you keep your skills from progressing from that brick of a phone, metaphorically speaking, to the smartphone? What have you done to stay relevant in such a fast changing industry?


Cassie Lee:

Yeah. So for me there's two things, I have to stay relevant in my financial responsibility, so I have to keep my skills honed in there, and I have to try to keep up with the engineers, which is nearly impossible. So from a finance point of view, I am always reading the latest pronouncements to make sure I understand it. I think we all have some continuing professional education responsibilities to ourselves and to the company and the customers that we serve. On the network side, I am never going to know everything that I need to know. What I try to do is make sure I understand enough about the next wave of technology or about what we're doing to ask the right questions to make sure we're making a sound financial decision.

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