Black Enterprise Magazine Names Verizon Among 40 Best Companies for Diversity

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NEW YORK - Verizon has been named to Black Enterprise magazine's 40 Best Companies for Diversity, adding another significant honor to Verizon's list of awards for corporate and supplier diversity and workplace culture in 2006.

In selecting the companies, Black Enterprise evaluated diversity programs and consulted with diversity experts and corporate diversity officers. The publication also conducted an extensive survey of more than 1,000 of the country's largest publicly traded companies and more than 50 leading global companies with significant U.S. operations. The survey focused primarily on activities related to the participation of African-Americans and other ethnic minority groups as defined by the U.S. Census Bureau.

Butch Graves, president and CEO of Black Enterprise, at the
magazine's 40 Best Companies for Diversity Awards Gala in New York
presents an award to Magda Yrizarry, Verizon vice president for
Workplace Culture, Diversity and Compliance. Verizon was ranked among
the magazine's 40 Best Companies for Diversity.

The results of the survey will appear in Black Enterprise's July issue.

This is the magazine's second annual Best Companies list, and more companies made a concerted effort to be included, with the survey response increasing by nearly 42 percent over 2005, the magazine said. To be named to the list, a company had to demonstrate significant representation of African-Americans and other ethnic minorities in four key areas: corporate procurement, corporate board participation, senior management representation and total workforce.

"The Black Enterprise 40 Best Companies for Diversity truly understand how critically valuable a diverse workforce and inclusive business practices are to the success of their operations," said Black Enterprise President and CEO Butch Graves. "These companies are setting the standard for corporate America, and it is our sincere hope that other companies will follow their lead and build businesses that are more reflective of the society in which we live."

Magda Yrizarry, Verizon vice president for workplace culture, diversity and compliance, said, "Diversity helps Verizon compete in our increasingly diverse and competitive marketplace. We're focused on maintaining a culture of diversity and inclusion, one that benefits our shareholders and customers. It also allows us to tap into the creativity and vitality of our workforce and suppliers. Being named to the Black Enterprise list of top companies for diversity is a great honor for Verizon, because it is an accurate benchmark for current practices."

According to Black Enterprise, African-American spending power in the United States will reach an estimated $965 billion by 2010. More than 50 percent of African-Americans are under the age of 35 and currently outpacing the growth of the total United States population. By the year 2050, African-Americans will make up 14.6 percent of the total population, the magazine said.

Verizon has earned a number of honors this year for the company's efforts in corporate and supplier diversity and for its commitment to developing talent. It 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. Verizon was honored by the Women's Business Enterprise National Council, which named Verizon among the top American corporations for women's business enterprises. In 2005, companies that are minority, women and disabled-veteran-owned business enterprises did $2.17 billion worth of business with Verizon.

Also this year, Verizon was named Working Mother Magazine's list of Top Companies for Women of Color, and 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.

Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ), a Dow 30 company, 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 53 million customers nationwide. Verizon Business operates one of the most expansive wholly-owned global IP networks. Verizon Telecom is deploying the nation's most advanced fiber-optic network to deliver the benefits of converged communications, information and entertainment services to 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


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