GTE Named One of the Top Corporations for Women Business Enterprise

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IRVING, Texas - GTE was named one of the top 15 corporations for women business enterprises by the Women's Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC), the nation's premier third-party certification entity for businesses owned and operated by women.

"Some of the most prestigious companies in America vie for a place on this Top 15 list, and so we are delighted that GTE's commitment to supplier diversity has been recognized," said Charles R. Lee, GTE chairman and CEO. "GTE's supplier diversity initiatives reflect a strong focus on women-owned businesses, one of the fastest growing segments of the business market. We are committed to establishing mutually beneficial relationships with women-owned businesses to meet the changing needs of our customers, employees, shareholders and communities. This means success for all of us long-term."

WBENC's Top 15 list is part of the organization's report, The Search for America's Top Corporations for Women Business Enterprises. To earn the award, GTE was compared to other corporations on five criteria: strategic planning; identification and development of women business enterprises; internal buyer education; program structure, resources and measurement; and internal and external communications.

    GTE's application highlighted a variety of initiatives designed to keep, grow and add women business enterprises to its procurement process. Highlights include:

  • GTE's supplier diversity organization is made up of 21 employees who maintain a pool of qualified, certified minorities, women and service-disabled veterans business enterprises; facilitate outreach activities; lead internal advocacy and educational programs; and track and report expenditures.
  • Ongoing participation in women business enterprise-related events and activities, including board memberships, sponsorships and mentoring opportunities.
  • Corporate-wide diversity training that promotes diversity awareness, communicates GTE's strategic efforts relative to supplier diversity and facilitates business opportunities.
  • Significant level of participation by women-owned businesses in critical business functions such as facilities management, telecommunications products distribution and construction.
  • External recognition for women-related business development initiatives.
  • About GTE

    With 1998 revenues of more than $25 billion, GTE is a leading telecommunications provider with one of the industry's broadest arrays of products and services. In the United States, GTE provides local service in 28 states and wireless service in 18 states, as well as nationwide long-distance, directory, and internetworking services ranging from dial-up Internet access for residential and small-business consumers to Web-based applications for Fortune 500 companies. Outside the United States, the company serves customers on five continents. More information about GTE can be found at

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