Women in the World: Designing the Future

Women in the World: Designing the Future

Friday, April 18, 2014 - 10:35am


By Laura Merling, Senior Vice President of Ecosystem Development & Platform Solutions

A little more than week ago, I took part in the Fifth Annual Women in the World Summit in New York. 

This amazing event celebrates the impact women are having on the world, while providing insights to global issues and opportunities for everyone to make a difference. 

I participated in an AT&T-sponsored panel about how women are designing the future of technology.  It is no secret that women are making significant contributions to the ever-changing technology industry. Women like Marian Croak of AT&T, who created the text-to-donate technology and has 156 patents, are not just changing technology, but are having an impact on millions of people’s lives.

Designing the future at AT&T means being part of the transformation of the telecommunications industry. My role in designing that future is about moving from proprietary hardware and software to an open, software-based network.  We are working on enabling secure network access to public clouds, to using network information to create a mobile identity, to creating services for the next generation of communication-enabled applications.  Designing the future is taking a once-closed ecosystem and long product lifecycles to jointly building new technology with our customers, partners and, yes, even our competitors.

My inspiration is to have an impact on the lives of others—whether that is inspiring women to join the tech field or influencing how people use technology based on my work. As I think about how women can continue to design the future in technology—or any other field, for that matter—here are a few points of advice from my own experiences.

  • CONFIDENCE IS A MUST: It is important that you first believe in yourself. If you don’t, it will be hard for others to believe in you. Embrace what makes you different and the perspective that you bring to solving problems differently.
  • STAY TRUE TO YOUR MISSION: Let your passion guide your work and your mission be your north star. But, remember that your passion and mission may change over time, and that is okay. 
  • PEOPLE FIRST: It is important that you build trusted partnerships, with both men and women, and take them with you on the journey. Learn from each other and support each other on the road to innovating the future.

It is exciting to be part of a “larger-than-life transformation” of an industry, and a part of the celebration of women influencing the world.  I hope to continue to use the work that I am doing every day to help inspire women to “design the future.”

View the original post on the AT&T Consumer Blog.