Verizon Named to Working Mother Magazine's 2006 Best Companies for Women of Color

NEW YORK - Verizon Communications has been named to Working Mother Magazine's 2006 Best Companies for Women of Color, a list of 12 companies with cutting-edge policies and practices that support African-American, Asian-American, Latina and Native-American Women in the workplace. Verizon is the only telecommunications company on this year's list.

This year, Working Mother placed added emphasis on company culture by giving more weight to programs that help women of color and policies that hold managers accountable for advancing them. Among the criteria, Working Mother looked for companies with an active task- force committee specifically for women of color; mentoring opportunities; management and leadership training; support and networking groups; an annual conference to encourage the advancement of women of color; and formalized executive succession planning.

Verizon Communications and Verizon Wireless, the corporation's wireless arm, filed a joint entry. The survey reviewed the company's demographics, policies and procedures in place in 2005.

"We're honored to be on the Working Mother list, particularly because this year's survey placed a great emphasis on our corporate culture," said Magda Yrizarry, vice president of diversity, workplace culture, diversity and compliance, Verizon. "We strive to create and preserve a culture where an individual's differences and unique experiences and skills are not only respected but developed and leveraged to both the company's and the employee's benefit."

To ensure that women from a variety of cultures and backgrounds are prepared for career advancement, Verizon offers a leadership development program that provides a clear understanding of performance requirements and what it takes to become a leader at the company. In 2005 alone 36 women participated in executive succession programs.

In addition, Verizon Wireless last year implemented a series of innovative programs based on employee feedback provided in companywide surveys. The programs include an emergency backup dependent-care benefit for all employees, a diversity leadership development workshop, and a variety of new training and development initiatives.

"We give our employees many opportunities for their voices to be heard - town hall meetings, Web seminars, employee surveys and more - creating an atmosphere where employees are encouraged to bring forth ideas to better their work environment and help Verizon Wireless win in the marketplace," said Martha Delehanty, vice president of human resources at Verizon Wireless.

Working Mother Magazine Editor-in-Chief Susan Lapinski said, "We want to recognize the companies with programs that promote the interests of women of color because we know the numbers will follow. We salute our winning companies for their passion and persistence: They know it's a marathon, not a sprint."

To apply for the list, companies from across the country provided Working Mother with detailed information - including the number of women of color employed and hired in 2005 and the number who hold top positions.

In 2006, Verizon Communications was ranked No. 1 on DiversityInc Magazine's Top 50 Companies for Diversity list, a list on which Verizon has earned a Top10 ranking each of the last three years. Also this year, Verizon was 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 minority, women and disabled-veteran-owned business enterprises, 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, and experiences of all employees in an increasingly competitive marketplace.

Women and minorities account for nearly 44 percent of Verizon's top management positions. 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 Wireless is a recognized corporate leader for its commitment to preventing domestic violence and raising awareness of the issue. The company's HopeLine program collects wireless phones and accessories from any wireless service provider, and then refurbishes the phones or recycles them in an environmentally friendly way. Proceeds from the HopeLine program benefit victims of domestic violence and non-profit advocacy agencies providing essential communication tools of wireless phones and wireless services, and financial grants.

About Verizon Communications

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 53 million customers nationwide; one of the most expansive wholly-owned global IP networks; and one of the nation's premier wireline networks, serving mass market, business, government and wholesale customers. Based in New York, Verizon has a diverse workforce of more than 250,000 and generates annual consolidated operating revenues of approximately $90 billion. For more information, visit www.verizon.com.