03.07.2019Inside Verizon

All of me, all of us.

By: Tami Erwin

A LinkedIn post by Tami Erwin for International Women's Day.

All of me. All of us.

As I get ready to step into my new role as leader of the Verizon Business Group, I’m excited about the opportunity to take this global organization to the next level in how we serve and support our business customers.

The theme for International Women’s Day is #BalanceforBetter. This reminds me of the incredible potential one person has to be an agent for change, and the exponential power to ignite change that comes when we work with others for a shared purpose.

I believe change occurs at the intersection of necessity and desire. It’s where uncertainty meets decisiveness, excitement takes on fear. It’s the tipping point where experience and expectations converge to create a “moment in time” to set off on a new course.

2018 was a year of enormous change for women around the globe. In politics, 131 diverse women were elected to office in the U.S., and Spain’s prime minister appointed a majority female cabinet. Women are leading many societal changes as well, making history, and using their voices and platforms to inspire others.

2018 was also a year of firsts: New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern became the first elected leader to take maternity leave. Sarah Thomas was the first female to referee a National Football League playoff game. And, Phillipa Birch begins training next month to become the first female in the Royal Marine Corps' 350-year history.

Women also continue to break barriers. In Saudi Arabia, women can now legally drive. Women in Iran can watch sports in a stadium alongside men. And the #MeToo movement continues the international conversation about harassment and sexual assault -- and holding accountable those who abuse their power.

These are inspiring and exciting times we’re living in. I’m enormously grateful to the many women and men who have paved the way for me and other female professionals to earn a seat at the table, demonstrate our strengths, and succeed. We owe them a debt of gratitude -- and we have an obligation to pay it forward.

At Verizon, diversity and inclusion are a competitive advantage and a catalyst for change. They bring together different ideas and points of view. We value those differences and believe they make us better able to serve and support our customers. We have employee development programs at Verizon, like Women’s Association of Verizon Employees (WAVE) and Women of Wireless (WOW), that provide unique opportunities for female professionals. These programs have proven enormously beneficial to the thousands of participants, thanks to the leaders from across our business who supported their development and participated in their success.

Authenticity is another integral part of change. It’s about matching words with actions and presenting a true self in every interaction. Whether you are a leader, a colleague, a mentor, or a sponsor, there’s the awesome responsibility to show up, to listen, and to provide genuine feedback and guidance. Anything less would be a disservice.

On this International Women’s Day, I will celebrate the changes that have taken place around the world and the women and men who made them possible. I also resolve to move forward in my new leadership role -- authentically and intentionally -- and look for ways that I can bring about impactful and lasting change for our company.

What will you do?

#WHM2019 #relentless #verizon

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About the author(s): 

Tami Erwin is president of Verizon Business Group.