TheBridge profile: Margaret Taylor
Name: Margaret Taylor
Current city: San Francisco, CA
Current job: Director of Global Public Affairs at AT&T
Past job: Managing Director at DCI Group
Q. Favorite spot for a coffee meeting? Nespresso in Union Square
Q. Describe how a skill you learned in a previous job helped you in your current job. Expectation management. I work with a global team and each person's priorities truly are important. Learning how to clearly communicate what is the art of the possible, deadlines, and what defines success is not a luxury, but a must.
Q. Job advice in three words? Ask more questions.
Q. How are you (or your company, org, nonprofit) currently bridging the gap between politics and tech / innovation and regulation? AT&T has a rich history of innovation, and a long history of being regulated. We know that there is a place for government even in the technology space. We strive to create a culture of disruption internally while being compliant and responsive to both policies and policymakers.
Q. What can innovators learn from policymakers? The higher your profile, the more scrutiny that follows. It's tough being the popular kid on the block so companies can't wait until they have a problem to take government regulations and laws seriously.
Q. What can policymakers learn from innovators? Do your best to hire experts in the fields you operate. Policymakers don't have the capability to have massive staffs but having more technology experts in their offices would be great to see. I'm excited to see the increased interest in making this happen.
Q. Favorite book/podcast/long-form article you recommend? Like everyone in Northern California, I am obsessed with all the Theranos coverage - the book, podcast, and documentary. It's also a great fit for The Bridge community: tech and politics all in one!
Q. Looking back, what advice would you give yourself in the beginning of your career? I would tell myself that work/life balance can exist and learn how to have it early. Ignoring a 10pm email won't be the end of the world.
Q. Most underrated virtue in an employee? Curiosity is not valued nearly enough. An employee that wants to know more about every arm of your company, or wants to spend time with training and development is one that is going to keep you creative and cutting edge.
Q. Last time you were completely unplugged? Northern California is meant to live a life unplugged regularly. I camp about once a month (although I work for AT&T, I appreciate a lack of service in these areas). I also hop up to wine country once a month and leave the phone off for a bit. Feel free to reach out for recommendations of unplugging with a tent or a glass of Pinot!
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