Tata Communications Meet & Greet - Lisa Youngers

Lisa Youngers
Vice President & International General Council
Ashley Peterson
Senior Manager - Marketing & Communications

Video Transcription

All right. Well, let's get started. Hi, everyone and thank you so much for joining our first meet and greet session. Um I hope you all are enjoying the conference so far.Um, I know I'm trying to take in as many sessions as I can, um, in between my meetings, um, here at the office. Um I do love some of the sessions that I've been a part of. And so if, if you guys have some sessions that you absolutely have enjoyed, um, attending, feel free to drop them in the chat feature. I would love to, uh, take a look at those as well. Um But once again, thanks so much for joining us um, at the Women in Tech Global Conference. Um I would like to say that we, I probably am interviewing the probably the most interesting individuals that, um, that I'm working with, here at Tata Communications. Um, when I reached out to her and asked if, if she would be a part of this meet and greet and probably begged her to be a part of this meet and greet. She said, um, well, yeah, have you looked at my background and I was like, I mean, I looked at it. Yeah. And I, and I was like, well, maybe I'll stalk you a little bit to find out.

And boy, I was like, you did this and you did this and your background just absolutely amazed me. I mean, I think at one point I read something about a TV host or something. I was like, what now? So I think we're in for such a pleasurable conversation about learning you your career path in technology. And I think um for those of us who are joining will take away some interesting um uh experiences and learnings and and how they also can, you know, work on, on, on different things and how they can, you know, grow and learn from you. So um let me introduce you all to the International General Council for Tasha Communications, Miss Lisa Younger. So Lisa, thank you for joining us today.

Thank you so much for asking me and hello to everyone that has made their way in so good to be with you all. Yeah.

Um So let me at first we'll, we'll kick it off with. Um Let's start with a little bit about yourself. Um Can you tell us about your role at talk, talk, communications?

Sure. So um I've been here for about 2.5 years and I am International General Counsel and under my umbrella, um I have about 35 people around the globe. They are in Hong Kong, Singapore, India, the UK and across the Americas um including Canada and various locations in the United States. Um Great team thrilled to work with all of them. And then of course, I'm part of a larger legal department as as well. But the international General counsel had I wear an international legal team encompasses uh much many things I have um international commercial contracts, both of enterprise and vendor. Um I have international litigation and hr legal, I have international regulatory, I have intellectual property.

Um I have mergers and acquisitions and then also the TCTS arm of Tata Communications, trans or Transformation services. Um I am uh I have their legal as well and a few people that work uh there so a lot of things covered as International General Counsel. I roll up to a chief legal officer. Um and we really cover a big range of work and topics and issues so and around the globe and that's, that makes it very exciting. So a lot

of, a lot of hats, it's like which, which hat am I putting on like for this conversation? Yeah. Yeah. So, wow. So like I said earlier when we were doing the introduction, it's, you have quite an interesting career path. Um And one of those um or, or just, just some highlights I should say. Um You were an assistant attorney general, I believe at one point. Yes. And you've been a CEO twice. Um And you've spoken in front of the US Senate. Um, and I think also twice. Is that right? And I can find you in C SPAN, which I think is awesome. Awesome. Um, so what is the most, like, exciting part about your job, like today, I guess? Well, I guess we could also kind of dive. I mean, God, there's so many questions I could ask you, but so like so many. Um, but what's, I guess today, what is the most exciting thing about your job?

Yeah, I would say the most exciting thing is the breadth of issues we cover. Um we cover so many things and then that it, that it is international um working in, you know, all the different countries and jurisdictions and different laws and regulations, um litigation, different court rules.

Um That's pretty exciting. So we are constantly learning new things. It's never boring. We're always on our toes, always reacting to things. So I would say the breadth of what we cover and the scope being international nature. I would say that's the most interesting part of my job.

And then working with a great dynamic team. I'm blessed to have a really professional sharp team and I, I'm so fortunate um to work with them all and, you know, they help me grow and learn and problem solve and um they're very, they're very good and, and I think for any manager, anyone that manages people that I can rely on them like I do is, is invaluable and, and it's exciting working with them.

They're great collaborators and great um problem solvers. And I like the professionalism. So, yeah,

that's awesome. Um, so going back, I guess to your previous roles, how did you get started in technology? I mean, you have the, the, the, the, the law school? Well, I guess, which came first. Was it law school or was it technology or did you both just had, did you have a passion for both? And you, you married them together? But how did you get on that track to technology? Sure.

And being a telecom lawyer, telecom and tech lawyer is unusual. Um I started before law school, I would say it really has origin ahead of that. I started at a satellite news gathering organization as a news producer and a satellite coordinator and I really did love the satellite work. So it was um we uh we covered live events and video transmission of breaking news or news feeds or, and, and we had clients all over the US who were other TV stations and I really love the satellite coordinating part of it. I mean, I love the story part of it and being a producer as well, but having to coordinate for live events and coordinate satellite transmissions across the U si thought that was really great and I really love that technology. And so when I went to law school, I did, in fact, hope I could marry the art and the prior telecom and tech part and that, that did come together. I was very fortunate. My first job was advising the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission as an assistant attorney general. And that was energy, but also telecom and I stayed on that telecom and technology path through my career. But it really did have its beginnings to that first job, pre-law school, which was um, being a satellite coordinator. So, yeah, it really did start there.

So that's, it's, and it's so it's so great that you saw that you were like, I like this and because not a lot of people can um they, they find something they love and they're able to chase after it and, and, you know, and, and stick with it. So it's nice that you were like, I like this. I want to do this and, and fulfill that, you know, it's, it sometimes they have to give up one for the other, but it's nice that you were able to go. No, I like this. I'm gonna make this happen. So that's, that's awesome. Um The, the conference um a lot of, a lot of, some of the, the sessions have talked about the appreciation of having strong mentors and, and strong leaders, guiding women as they begin their career in the technology space and uh and really in any industry, you know, as they're starting out, um have there been uh mentors for you that you give credit to your success.

Sure. I mean, I think um I've definitely had great bosses, great mentors, um who, you know, believing in you and giving you opportunities that was really significant or being ok when you take a risk or you make a mistake and it's not that you made a mistake, it's how you react to it and you keep moving forward.

But I did want to highlight here. It's kind of interesting, I did a program on this um when I was running a trade association as a CEO, but there's another concept in addition to having mentors, um also having supporters um literally a, a term used sometimes a combination with mentor and a supporter can be outside of your organization or somebody that's your colleague or even someone who maybe reports to you, but they support your career.

And I would say equally important to me is having good mentors. I've had great supporters and colleagues all along the way. And I think really developing those um supporters and colleagues throughout your career is really important. I mean, they're the people that keep uh when you're, when you're unsure, they help instill confidence when you have questions, it can be a great sounding board. And ultimately, they just believe in you and believe in your care. And, and I think people identify not only mentors along the way or if you're fortunate enough mentees having people, you can mentor, but also equally important, just find supporters, those that support you and your career and inside and outside of your organization, past organizations, maybe a trade group, maybe.

Um I think those relationships have been very significant for me and have enabled me to keep going and keep um uh trying new things or taking new jobs or taking on risks or, you know, the supporters, I think they're really important. So I would say um I would really credit my colleagues and supporters who have really um helped me. And I would, it's male and female, by the way, I mean, I know this is the Technology Council meeting, but I am, I am blessed to have had strong male supporters all along my career. I have found um great respectful male colleagues who have also been supporters of mine and wanted to see me do well. So I would, I would look for the supporters everywhere and I would credit them. Absolutely my career.

Yeah, absolutely. And I think that leads to um the next question, which is what is the most powerful advice that you've ever been given? And with those supporters that you've had, has there been some strong advice that that you've taken? Yeah, I

mean, I if I know we have some time, so I wanted to spend a little bit of time on this question. This is advice I give. But I've definitely along the way from mentors or supporters or I've developed it sort of myself, my, just a few big things. Um I am, I have been encouraged to take risk and so I encourage others to take risk, either new projects or new jobs. And, and here's the thing, especially about women in taking those risks. A woman might look at a new job opportunity or a new project and say, I really only have experience in three of the five things you're looking for. Not even what, you know. Well, we'll say 3544 of the five things I have seen others say, oh, I only have experience in one but I can make this work. Do that. Take the risk. It is within you, right? You don't have to perfectly match all five bullet points of what the job or project is looking for. Take it and know and believe it's in, you take the test, take the opportunity. It's actually there, it's actually in you to rise to that risk or project. And, and that's one piece of advice um that I've been given, which I think is true. So take the risk, take the opportunity. Um I am pretty big. I've learned this from others and I, I share it now myself, toot your own horn.

People will not always say you did that really well, learn to, don't be afraid. Toot your own horn. I did that. I did that. Well, I was on that team that produced X result. I was on that, you know, deal team that came up with this uh great contract in the end or whatever the case may be, learn to be comfortable tooting your own horn, practice it with your friends and make it more public, make it more public on your linkedin or your resume or um or you know, amongst your boss or around your colleagues and toot your own horn.

Because if we wait for people to recognize us and to um toot our horns for us, sometimes things get missed and life is short. So learn and be comfortable tooting your own horn. And to that end, I always, I do tell people that work for me, which always comes out funny, but I don't mean it that way. We should always, you know, be ready whether it's, you're doing a year end list of accomplishments for your boss or you're just keeping your resume updated, which is just good advice. Everyone should have their resume updated all the time for speaking engagements or an award or if somebody is looking at you for a new project. So keeping your resume and linkedin updated. And so I think that's so important that I, you know, we forget when it's time to do the updating or it hasn't stayed fresh. So I remind people um when you do something cool or something great at work, write it on a post it and stick it on your computer and remind yourself I need to plug that into my resume or my linkedin.

But I do this to the people that work for me all the time. I know at one of my former jobs at a hill lobbyist reporting to me and we did a lot of cool projects and I would say, OK, write that down, stick that on a post, it on your computer. You gotta put that in your linkedin and your resume and he'd say, where am I going? I said you're going now, you're gonna forget that you did this really cool stuff and you need to toot your own horn. So you should always have some active list or post it somewhere of the cool stuff you're working on or your accomplishments because you need to be always plugging that in your linkedin and your resume and tooting your own horn. So do the post it trick, keep it on your computer with cool stuff you're doing or working on or that you've accomplished. You don't, you want that to be fresh? You don't want to forget when it's time to update um your resume or your linkedin. So I encourage people. I do it actively. I think I said it to someone today that was really cool. Go write that on a post it and stick it on your computer and make sure that makes its way into your material about you. Right.

So Toot your own horn and keep, keep that updated and keep the post its of your accomplishments. And then finally a college friend told me this and she is right, especially for my female colleagues. Please stop apologizing, stop apologizing and replace all apologies with. Thank you.

Always, I have only learned this in the last couple of years. I practice it heavily and I preach it and I learned it from a friend, a supporter. So instead of sorry, I'm late. Thank you for waiting. Hm Sorry, my email back to you is delayed. Um Thank you for your patience instead of oh, sorry for the interruption. Thank you for allowing me to comment on this. Thank you for allowing me to make my input. Replace all sis with. Thank yous, please. No more apologies. None. And it is a particular female trait and replace all yours with. Thank you. Thank you for waiting. Thank you for um inviting me to participate. Thank you for listening to my inputs. Thank you for letting me comment. Thank you for your patience. Um Replace all s with. Thank you. Do it today and the sorry trap because I've seen so many colleagues use sorry, do not apologize for being where you need to be for having opinions and inputs for being at the table for talking as part of a group for maybe an email that's delayed, but you were working on 100 other things and I know you were, you don't

have to. Yep.

Right. Thank. Thank you for waiting or thank you for your patience. Uh You know, thank you for, thank you for reminding me. Thank you for responding, replace all, sorry with, thank you. Um So those are I, those are things that I've been given as advice, things I share now as advice and I do credit, you know, credit, work experience and life experience, some reflection, but also great supporters who have reminded me those things are important. Those would be sort of my, my big things that I've learned from. Yeah,

and I, I powerful advice we've been given to the post it note. That's, but, and that's, that's a fantastic idea. And I think next time you come to the office, you'll probably see, like post it notes like all over. I wanna see. I'm like who? Uh um so OK, so that I think, well, it's a great segue to the next um next question. Um How would you um advise the next generation who's interested in pursuing technology? Um and, or law? Um What if they're interested in this, what, what steps or what advice would you give them to either how to get started or just to keep up with it? You know, is there any kind of advice that you would give them?

Sure well, to someone pursuing um technology or pursuing law? Um I would just say go for it. It was in you all along, he believe in yourself, right? And always ignore the detractors like someone will tell you not to go to law school or not to go into technology. Um Ignore the detractors. Clear out the noise. Always clear out the noise. Stay true to if you want to pursue a technology career or a legal career, stay true to that. Go back to go back to the beginning if you have to and remind yourself this is what I want to do and why don't be afraid and, and go ahead and pursue it and then always ignore the detractors. Detractors aren't helpful and it's just noise. Um And so kind of learning to ignore the, ignore that noise and keep, you know, on your path. I think, you know, that would be, you know, the best way to sort of uh you know, stay focused and if, if you wanna pursue legal or, or a technology career.

And I, I think you're also asking though, how do you stay up on those areas like um stay up on technology or this is where you're going, stay up on trends, stay up on technology. And you can, this is an issue in either the legal space or the um technology space. It is important. Um You know, I do remind my team to get in their trainings, get in their professional development, keep learning. I think those are sort of lifelong things no matter what you're in. I know for me, obviously, technology is dynamic and it's always changing and even the law changes and gets updated and its dynamic. So um for me, I read everything, read what you can, right? If you don't know, ask you're often surrounded by colleagues that know or go or go research it yourself. We've never had greater tools available to us and it's OK that you don't know. So raise your hand, ask the question and if you're kind of shy about doing that in a, in a big group, then follow up in a smaller one on one setting, group or group or research it yourself. So I do, you know, remind people, you know, take good care of your learnings and keeping up to date. But there are so many ways to do it that we didn't have. Certainly not my dad's generation, right? They didn't have a way to just look it up.

Um And then the surprising tool on the, how do you stay current on technology or law is linkedin is an amazing tool. People post so many articles on linkedin or they, you know, kind of to their company's um accomplishment or press release on a new customer win or a new product, read it. Um linkedin is full of constant information and presumably you follow topics you care about or companies you care about or people you care about. Linkedin is an invaluable tool and it, it sits there for us. Um You know, I think often we just look at promotions and, you know, things like that. But if you just read through what's being posted or in areas you care about, you can see trends or what certain companies are up to and you can learn so much from that. So linkedin is actually this amazing tool of what's really current, that's what people want to post about what's current, what's hot, what's new, read it, go ahead and read the linkedin.

And then I would say another way to keep up on the legal and technology developments is certainly trade organizations that you might belong to organizations like this programs like this that are offered, but also um learn from everyone you work with. So I'm in the legal department, but I work with you, Ashley on a certain region of the world where you're concerned about sales or um your sales, our sales colleagues, right? I can learn from all of them. We have, you know, um our corporate communications team and they're always putting things together. I can learn a great deal from them. And then we have um more technology based or engineering based teams we are presented with. If you just talk to the people you work with outside of, learn, learn from everyone around, you learn and, and don't be afraid to ask the question. So there's a lot of ways to really keep up on, you know, changing developments and updates across our fields or across things that impact our company. And there's so many ways to stay up on it, your own research your own. One on ones ask the questions. Get on linkedin. Become a part of a forum or a trade group or a association and then learn something from everyone around you that you work with or colleagues.

Yeah. Absolutely. No, I agree with that. I know. Especially with so many smart people that we're surrounded by. I learn something every day when I come to the office. Yeah.

Or even a simple question. Like, what are you working on or what keeps you up at night? Exactly. Those are great door openers. Yeah. Right. What's on your plate today? I mean, learn, learn, learn and then, you know, ask a couple questions about it and you've learned, you walk away learning something new.

Yeah. Um I did want to mention that if anyone in the audience would like to, to ask a question to Lisa, feel free to put it in the Q and A. Um we have some time set aside. We do have one more question that we had um uh queued up for her, but feel free to, to type away any questions if, if anyone has any questions. Um The, the last question that I had for you was how can the technology space be more inclusive? Um especially for women?

Yeah, I was saying that one. Yeah. Um You know, certainly there's inclusion in terms of, there's a lot of different elements to diversity. I'll just stay with women for purposes of all today. Although I think it applies more generally to all areas of diversity and inclusion.

Um Make sure this is what I would say to um anyone running an organization or a company or a board, I would say, make sure the table doesn't look like all the same people and voices. Um And especially giving women a seat at the table and promote more, promote more women. And if you're top your top layers of management, don't look diverse enough, make an effort for them to be more diverse. There's, um, beyond sort of the scope of this call, there's certainly research that suggests the more diverse your boardroom is or your top tier management is the more likely you are to get new, fresh voices, new fresh ideas. Um, and even, and that can, you know, contribute to attracting more talent, more, you know, different hires and there is, you know, evidence out there that this is just good all for all for organizations. So I would say organizations should just commit to it, but they want more voices, more perspectives and then decide how they accomplish that, that including make your table look diverse, remote and promote that way.

100% agree. Exactly.

It looks like we have a question from someone. No,

no, I just opened up the chat to see. I don't see any questions in there, but if anyone does have one, please type away unless you've got a direct chat to you. But I don't know.

Nothing coming. Yeah.

Um, let me just check one more time. No, I don't have anything.

Um. Right. I know we have a couple more minutes. So, yeah.

Well, I will leave it at that. Um, um, for those who, who are attending and who are listening, um, to the recording. Um, talk, talk, communications does have a virtual booth, so feel free to stop by there. Um, during the conference, we do have a couple of reps. There's um hr representatives, there's also some sales representatives myself and um a colleague PVA will be there. Um We're available for a video chat, so feel free to stop by and uh we'll be happy to talk to you. And Lisa, thank you so, so much for thinking of me, so busy this week and, and for you to carve out time. I really appreciate it and I love it. It is such an important topic and in conference and we were just so happy to be a part of it and thank you for being a part of it as well.

So, thank you. I'm excited to learn more about this organization too. So,

yes, we will definitely, definitely be doing more, I think with, with them. So thank you all for attending. Have

a great uh meeting everyone. Thank you so much, Ashley. Have a good rest of your meeting.

You too.