Working Mother Magazine Again Names Verizon one of the Best Companies for Multicultural Women

NEW YORK - For the fourth consecutive year, Verizon has been named to Working Mother magazine's list of Best Companies for Multicultural Women. The list provides an in-depth look at companies that are increasingly benefitting from the talents of multicultural women in the workplace.

To be considered for the magazine's list of Best Companies for Multicultural Women, the applicants supplied Working Mother with key data points.  For the 2009 list, the most weight was given to representation, training, development and advancement of multicultural women.

Coverage of the Working Mother Best Companies for Multicultural Women is in the June/July 2009 issue of the magazine, which features Verizon Southeast Region President Michelle Robinson. Earlier this year, Rose Kirk, vice president for national enterprise sales and distribution for Verizon Wireless, was named by Working Mother magazine as a Working Mother of the Year

Women play a key role in designing and operating Verizon's advanced broadband and global IP networks, holding top executive positions such as senior vice president of global engineering and planning and senior vice president of network program management. Women hold 28 percent of the senior management positions at Verizon, and women and people of color account for nearly 60 percent of Verizon's workforce.

Verizon has several programs that benefit women and the families of employees. For example, more than 12,500 women employees received $51 million in 2008 from the company's Tuition Assistance Program, which prepays 100 percent of approved tuition and fees at accredited institutions, up to $8,000 per year, per employee.

"Creating an environment where all employees can thrive is essential to a company's success," said Carol Evans, president, Working Mother Media. "Each Best Company for Multicultural Women demonstrates commitment to diversity by putting its money where its mouth is - through key programs and practices. However, there's still a long way to go.  The Best Companies are leading the way, but others need to strengthen initiatives for women and protect programs they put in place prior to the recession."

In 2008, Verizon provided employees with 37,500 hours in emergency backup care for employees' children - time that employees would have otherwise had to use as vacation, personal or sick days.  The company also offers employees child care and adult care locater services as well as a Geriatric Care Management program.

For employees returning from childbirth or child adoption leaves, Verizon has a generous Gradual Return to Work Program, which enables employees to return to work on a reduced work schedule while maintaining full coverage for all Verizon benefits. Verizon's adoption assistance program provides up to $10,000 for expenses incurred during the adoption of a child.

"Verizon's commitment to diversity is as much about good business as it is about doing the right thing, and our family-friendly policies and focus on the advancement of women in the workplace are outgrowths of that commitment," said Magda Yrizarry, vice president workplace culture, diversity and compliance for Verizon. "We depend on a diverse workforce, with a variety of backgrounds, experiences and perspectives, to design and maintain the most advanced communications networks, and to deliver superior customer service and relevant products to an increasingly diverse marketplace."

Earlier this year, The National Association for Female Executives named Verizon to its list of 2009 NAFE Top 50 Companies for Executive Women, which spotlights corporations with practices and employment records that benefit women and encourage their advancement to top management positions. And for the fourth consecutive year, the Women's Business Enterprise National Council named Verizon to its annual list of America's Top Corporations for Women's Business Enterprise. Verizon has also consistently been named to DiversityInc magazine's list of Top 50 Companies for Diversity, earning the number one ranking in 2006 and 2008.

Verizon's commitment to training and investing in the education and professional development of its employees again placed the company on Training Magazine's Training Top 125 list of companies that have the best training programs for their employees.  Verizon is committed to creating personal and professional opportunities for its employees, and the company's employee development, education and training budget has totaled approximately $1 billion over the past few years.

For more information about Verizon's commitment to diversity, visit the company's press kit on diversity at http://newscenter2.verizon.com/kit/diversity/

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 www.verizon.com.