Verizon Honored as a Top American Corporation for Women's Business Enterprises

NEW YORK - The Women's Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) has 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.

Verizon and the 17 other winners will receive the Women's Business Enterprise Award this afternoon in Washington at a ceremony at the White House.

"These companies understand that diversity has to be a companywide commitment that is ingrained in the corporate culture," said Susan Phillips Bari, president of WBENC. "They have gone beyond human resources and marketing diversity, and they perceive the business case for contracting with quality women's businesses."

Established more than 20 years ago, the Verizon Supplier Diversity Program works 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).

In 2005, Verizon spent $2.17 billion with such businesses.

"Beyond a corporate policy, supplier diversity is an integral part of Verizon's business strategy," said Dan Mead, president, Verizon Services Operations. "Our Supplier Diversity Program has helped Verizon foster a competitive advantage that delivers positive results on the bottom line and in our communities, making this honor from the WBENC all the more gratifying."

The WBENC is the only organization that brings together women business enterprises and corporations to work to improve marketing opportunities for women-owned businesses as vendors and suppliers to the nation's top corporations. Verizon is a sponsor and supporter of the WBENC's advocacy for maximizing the competitive edge of self-employed, entrepreneurial women.

Verizon is also a charter member of the Billion Dollar Roundtable, a group organized to promote research, education and best practices in supply-chain diversity. The company's approach includes operating a Web site that allows MWDVBE suppliers to participate in an online registration process that matches prospective suppliers' competencies with business needs. Verizon's Second Tier/Prime Supplier Program enhances opportunities for women-owned businesses by continually increasing the number of prime suppliers participating in the program and encouraging the use of women and minority suppliers as subcontractors.

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.