DiversityInc Magazine Names Verizon No. 1 on Top 50 Companies for Diversity List

NEW YORK - DiversityInc has named Verizon Communications to the top spot on the magazine's 2006 Top 50 Companies for Diversity list. It is the first time the company has received the No. 1 ranking.

The 50 companies, selected from among 256 companies that participated in the magazine's annual survey, were announced today on www.DiversityInc.com. A more detailed analysis of the companies and the results will be featured in the magazine's June issue.

The companies were evaluated and measured on whether they showed consistent strength in four categories: CEO commitment to diversity, which was given the most weight; human capital; corporate communications; and suppler diversity.

"Verizon's commitment to diversity starts with its CEO and extends to all aspects of its business," said Luke Visconti, partner and cofounder of DiversityInc. "As a top 50 company, Verizon demonstrated strong unbiased recruitment and retention as well as excellence in communications and supplier diversity. The company has a high and consistent retention rate."

In addition to the list of top companies for diversity, DiversityInc also announced the companies named to several specialty lists, including top companies for recruitment and retention of minorities, for African-Americans and for Latinos.

Verizon and its business units, including Verizon Wireless, also ranked No. 1 for recruitment and retention, No. 8 for African-Americans and No. 9 for Latinos. The company has made it to the top 10 of DiversityInc's Top 50 list since 2003, the first year Verizon participated in the magazine's annual survey.

In 2006, Verizon was also honored by the Women's Business Enterprise National Council, which named Verizon among the top American corporations for women's business enterprises. Verizon's goal is to increase year-over-year spending with companies owned and managed by minorities, women, persons with disabilities and Vietnam-era and service-disabled veterans (MWDVBE), which did $2.17 billion worth of business with Verizon in 2005.

Also this year, Black MBA magazine named Verizon No. 1 on the magazine's list of Top 50 Companies for African-American MBAs to Work.

At Verizon, diversity is an integral part of a corporate culture that is built around the Verizon commitment and core values - put customers first, act with integrity, treat people with respect, be accountable, and pursue performance excellence every day. To be a leader in the delivery of broadband and other communication innovations to wireline and wireless customers, Verizon leverages the unique talents, perspectives and experiences of all employees in an increasingly competitive marketplace.

Minority employees account for nearly 30 percent of Verizon's work force and hold nearly 18 percent of top management positions. The company's recruitment strategy depends on forming partnerships with colleges and universities as well as professional and community-based organizations. Employees can follow a road map for advancement through mentoring and leadership development in programs like the Verizon Development and Leadership Initiative.

Diversity is part of Verizon's business strategy across all lines of business and functions -- from human resources and supplier relations, to marketing and philanthropy. Through its philanthropic arm, the Verizon Foundation, Verizon contributed more than $27 million in 2005 to charitable causes and organizations that serve minority communities across the country.

Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ), a Dow 30 company, is a leader in delivering broadband and other communication innovations to wireline and wireless customers. Verizon operates America's most reliable wireless network, serving 51.3 million customers nationwide; one of the most expansive wholly-owned global IP networks; and one of the nation's premier wireline networks, serving home, business and wholesale customers. Based in New York, Verizon has a diverse workforce of approximately 250,000 and generates annual consolidated operating revenues of approximately $90 billion. For more information, visit www.verizon.com.