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NEW YORK - Verizon is one of the top companies for diversity, according to DiversityInc magazine's annual survey.
Verizon led all communications companies by placing fourth on the publication's list of "Top 50 Companies for Diversity" and third on its list of "Top 10 Companies for Supplier Diversity." The survey results will appear in the magazine's June/July issue.
DiversityInc said it used tough criteria and a rigorous methodology to select this year's diversity leaders. It examined companies' diversity practices including use of employee affinity groups; linking compensation to diversity goals; minority representation in the work force and on boards of directors; diversity among the highest-paid employees; and multicultural advertising, supplier diversity, philanthropy and top management support.
The scores were also based on evaluations from independent diversity experts and a poll of publication subscribers.
"This recognition confirms that Verizon's diversity strategy is on the right track," said Oscar C. Gomez, vice president - Office of Diversity and Business Compliance, who oversees the company's diversity, worklife, ethics and equal employment opportunity programs. "We jumped to fourth place after ranking 10th in last year's survey, and we remain one of the best companies for supplier diversity. Clearly, diversity is an integral part of the way we do business."
Verizon CEO Ivan Seidenberg and other senior executives establish values and continually emphasize to employees the importance of diversity.
Executives are held accountable for diversity through incentives linked to short-term compensation. Twenty-three diversity councils across the company develop and implement customized diversity plans targeting areas such as leadership, employment, mentoring and diversity training.
Minority employees represent nearly 30 percent of Verizon's work force and hold 16 percent of top management positions. The company prepares minorities and women for career advancement through leadership development programs like the Verizon Development and Leadership Initiative, which helps participants fine-tune professional goals and network with Verizon executives.
The company's 11 employee resource groups promote personal and professional growth for employees with common interests and assist the company with its strategic business goals such as employee development, diversity awareness and recruitment.
Verizon recruits and mentors diverse suppliers through strategic alliances, advocacy groups and programs that encourage primary suppliers to increase use of diverse businesses as subcontractors. In 2002 Verizon spent $1.8 billion with diverse suppliers. Through the Verizon Diversity Managers program, 20 minority-owned investment firms manage $830 million in committed Verizon pension assets.
Verizon Foundation, the company's philanthropic arm, provided grants of $36 million to nonprofit organizations serving diverse communities in 2002. The Foundation ranked fourth out of 1,000 in Fortune magazine's survey of the best corporate-giving programs for minorities in 2001.
Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) is one of the world's leading providers of communications services. Verizon companies are the largest providers of wireline and wireless communications in the United States, with 135.8 million access line equivalents and 32.5 million Verizon Wireless customers. Verizon is also the largest directory publisher in the world. With more than $67 billion in annual revenues and 229,500 employees, Verizon's global presence extends to more than 30 countries in the Americas, Europe, Asia and the Pacific. For more information on Verizon, visit www.verizon.com.