DiversityInc Magazine Ranks Verizon No. 6 on Publication's List of Top 50 Companies for Diversity

NEW YORK - DiversityInc has named Verizon Communications to the No. 6 position on the magazine's 2007 Top 50 Companies for Diversity list.  Verizon has consistently been among the magazine's top ranked companies for diversity.

"Verizon Communications is much different from the average corporation; it is a true champion of diversity," said Luke Visconti, partner and cofounder of DiversityInc.

This is the first time Verizon Business was included in the application process, along with Verizon's wireline and wireless business groups. Verizon also ranked No. 3 for the recruitment and retention of women and minorities and No. 8 in recruitment and retention of African-American employees.

The 50 companies, selected from among 317 submissions, were announced during a live video webcast Wednesday (March 21). To see the webcast and the complete list of Top 50 winners, visit www.DiversityInc.com/top50.

For the fourth year in a row, the DiversityInc Top 50 companies, expressed as a stock index, beat the Standard & Poor's 500, the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the Nasdaq on a 10-, five- and one-year basis, documenting the connection between good diversity management, excellent corporate governance and return on equity for investors.

Now in its seventh year, The DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity list is the largest benchmark of its kind. The list is determined solely from a comprehensive survey of diversity management that measures CEO commitment, human capital, corporate communications and supplier diversity.

Verizon established its supplier diversity program more than 20 years ago to create mutually beneficial business relationships with a diverse body of suppliers, a process that strengthens communities and creates value for shareholders. Verizon's goal is to increase year-over-year spending with companies owned and managed by minorities, women, people with disabilities and Vietnam-era and service-disabled veterans (MWDVBE). Verizon spent $2.6 billion last year with such businesses.

In March, the Women's Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) again named Verizon one of the top American corporations for women's business enterprises.  The winners were selected on the basis of their world-class supplier diversity programs, which offer equal access for women's business enterprises in competing for, and winning, corporate contracts for goods and services.

The council also named Verizon one of the top American corporations for women's business enterprises in 2006. 

Also this year, Verizon earned a Top 10 ranking on Black MBA magazine's list of Top 50 Companies for African-American MBAs to Work. In 2006, Verizon was recognized as a leader in workplace practices in numerous benchmarks including BusinessWeek, Working Mother magazine, LatinaStyle and Black Enterprise.

Diversity is part of Verizon's culture and an integral part of its business strategy, which cuts across all business groups and functions -- from human resources and supplier relations, to marketing and philanthropy.  Through its philanthropic arm, the Verizon Foundation, Verizon contributed more than $31 million in 2006 to charitable causes and organizations that serve minority communities across the country.

Verizon depends on the unique talents, perspectives and experiences of all employees in an increasingly competitive marketplace to be a leader in the delivery of broadband and other communication innovations.

Minority employees account for nearly 34 percent of Verizon's work force and make up nearly 38 percent of Verizon's management team. The company's recruitment strategy depends on forming partnerships with colleges and universities as well as professional and community-based organizations. Employees can create their own road map for advancement through mentoring, training, education initiatives, and through development and leadership initiatives that target high-performing employees, with a special focus on identifying women and minorities for developmental opportunities.

Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ), headquartered in New York, is a leader in delivering broadband and other wireline and wireless communication innovations to mass market, business, government and wholesale customers.  Verizon Wireless operates America's most reliable wireless network, serving more than 59 million customers nationwide.  Verizon's Wireline operations include Verizon Business, which operates one of the most expansive wholly owned global IP networks, and Verizon Telecom, which is deploying the nation's most advanced fiber-optic network to deliver the benefits of converged communications, information and entertainment services to customers.  A Dow 30 company, Verizon has a diverse workforce of approximately 242,000 and last year generated consolidated operating revenues of more than $88 billion.  For more information, visit www.verizon.com.