Verizon Honored for Diversity Accomplishments

WASHINGTON -- Verizon Communications is the winner of Savoy magazine's first Excellence in Diversity Award for Executive Leadership. The award was presented today at the publication's annual Diversity in Technology Leadership Summit in Washington, D.C.

In presenting the award, Savoy cited Verizon's outstanding record of promoting women and multicultural executives to senior-level positions.

"Verizon is a forward-thinking technology company that has opened the doors of opportunity to all," said Keith Clinkscales, chairman and CEO of Vanguarde Media, Inc., Savoy's parent company. "While many companies employ a diverse work force, Verizon also strives for diversity in its executive ranks."

Multicultural employees now comprise nearly 30 percent of Verizon's workforce and hold 16 percent of the company's top management positions. Among them are the president of Verizon's Enterprise Solutions Group, which provides service to large-business customers, and the company's Retail Markets Group, which generated $25 billion in revenues in 2001.

Almost half of Verizon's employees are women including the company's chief financial officer and the executives who oversee Verizon's DSL (digital subscriber line) business, one of the country's largest DSL providers.

"Verizon strives for diversity at every level within the company, from the top down," said Oscar C. Gomez, vice president - Office of Diversity and Business Compliance for Verizon. "We're proud of our record, but we won't be satisfied until our employee base mirrors our customer base."

Last year the company established the Development and Leadership Initiative, a program focusing on career development, retention and advancement for eligible multicultural employees. The program includes professional mentoring, career tracking and educational seminars.

The company also requires that each line of business establish diversity councils charged with developing diversity plans. In addition, a professional mentoring program pairs senior leaders with diverse employees to provide career counseling, networking opportunities and increased visibility for employees.

The Savoy recognition is the latest in a growing number of honors Verizon has earned for its record on diversity. The company also has been named among Fortune magazine's 100 Best Companies for Minorities, Hispanic magazine's 100 Best Companies for Latinos and Diversityinc.com's lists of the 50 Best Companies for Diversity, Top 10 Companies for Supplier Diversity and Top 10 Companies for Diversity Recruitment and Retention.

Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) is one of the world's leading providers of communications services. Verizon companies are the largest providers of wireline and wireless communications in the United States, with 133.8 million access line equivalents and approximately 29.6 million wireless customers. Verizon is also the largest directory publisher in the world. With more than $67 billion in annual revenues and nearly 248,000 employees, Verizon's global presence extends to more than 40 countries in the Americas, Europe, Asia and the Pacific. For more information on Verizon, visit www.verizon.com.