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Verizon Again Named to Black Enterprise Magazine's List of 40 Best Companies for Diversity

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For the fourth time, Black Enterprise magazine has named Verizon to the publication's list of 40 Best Companies for Diversity.

The companies identified in Black Enterprise's special report demonstrated strength and outperformed their peers in one or more key categories including board of directors, employee base, senior management and supplier diversity, according to the publication.

The 40 Best Companies for Diversity list will be featured in the July issue of Black Enterprise.  The issue will also contain an article about career opportunities, featuring two Verizon employees: Anthony Lewis, vice president of open development initiatives for Verizon Wireless; and Limesha Laster, a member of the Verizon Wireless open development team, which was formed to stimulate the creation of new and nontraditional wireless devices and services for use on the company's 3G network. 

"Our long-standing commitment to diversity has helped build a rich and diverse base of talent at Verizon, which has been a competitive edge," said Magda Yrizarry, vice president of workplace culture, diversity and compliance for Verizon.  "It's what has helped us understand and anticipate the needs of customers in some of the most diverse markets in the country as well as customers across the globe.  We're honored to once again be recognized by Black Enterprise magazine."

To conduct the survey, Black Enterprise reached out to the CEOs and diversity executives of the top 1,000 publicly traded companies, and the diversity executives of the 50 leading global companies with strong U.S. operations. 

African-Americans make up 20 percent of Verizon's workforce including many leadership roles such as vice president of brand marketing, media sponsorships and consumer collaboration; vice president of programs and marketing for FiOS; and the company's chief security officer.   By comparison, African-Americans make up 11 percent of the U.S. labor force.

In 2008, the company's philanthropic arm, the Verizon Foundation, awarded more than $13.5 million in grants supporting programs and nonprofits that benefited African-American communities.  Also in 2008, Verizon spent more than $3.5 billion with diverse suppliers.

Earlier this year, Verizon's commitment to supplier diversity and its support of the minority-business community earned the company the 2009 Majority Corporation Award from the Black Business Association. The award is presented to the company that provides outstanding contributions to support the BBA and the minority-business community.

Other diversity honors earned by Verizon in 2009 include ranking on Diversity MBA magazine's list of Best Companies for Diverse Managers, and on Working Mother magazine 's list of Best Companies for Multicultural Women. 

Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ), headquartered in New York, is a global leader in delivering broadband and other wireless and wireline communications services to mass market, business, government and wholesale customers.  Verizon Wireless operates America's most reliable wireless network, serving more than 86 million customers nationwide.  Verizon's Wireline operations provide converged communications, information and entertainment services over the nation's most advanced fiber-optic network.  Wireline also includes Verizon Business, which delivers innovative and seamless business solutions to customers around the world.  A Dow 30 company, Verizon employs a diverse workforce of more than 237,000 and last year generated consolidated operating revenues of more than $97 billion.  For more information, visit