#ChooseToChallenge on International Women’s Day.

By: Rebecca Nicole Laming

Christy, Rima and Tami introduce Women’s CoLab and share how we will come together to create a future of work that works for all women.

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The below letter was co-authored by Rima Qureshi, Tami Erwin and Christy Pambianchi on behalf of the Verizon Sisterhood, a community of fierce and fearless female V Teamers.

5.4 million. That's how many jobs were lost in 2020 by women in the U.S. workforce.

Over the years, women have made tremendous strides towards greater equity. In that time, we have celebrated history-making firsts that prove women belong in every room, at every table, and deserve to be seen and heard as equals. However, the momentum we achieved as a society has all but come to a standstill in the wake of COVID-19.

At Verizon, we are proud to champion the careers of our women V Teamers so that all employees can thrive professionally, and we’re not done. We also realize what happens within our walls doesn't necessarily happen elsewhere in society. Millions of women worldwide are downshifting their careers at a rate not seen since the Great Recession, with the weight of the pandemic resting squarely on their shoulders.

As we honor International Women's Day, we must take a stand and declare that women's careers are not expendable in times of crisis. And it starts by creating a future of work that works for all women.

Introducing Women’s CoLab.

Today, we are announcing Women’s CoLab, a new initiative that will launch later this year to help women prepare and succeed in an increasingly digital world. Consider it a career engine that will bring together best-in-class resources and content to empower women to own their careers and realize their greatest ambitions.

In a recent survey commissioned by Verizon Business, 59% of women who plan to re-enter the workforce say they cannot afford the training required to remain competitive. Women’s CoLab will provide access to free content, guidance from industry leaders, and strategies to negotiate unapologetically, challenge the status quo and break down barriers.

Our vision is to develop a network powered by women for women and call on our partners to create a broader community of support that will ultimately shape a more equitable future.

How you can help: #ChooseToChallenge

On Monday, in recognition of International Women's Day, show your solidarity by sharing how you will challenge the barriers that can hold women back. Together, let's amplify how we can move the world forward for women and use the hashtags #ChooseToChallenge and #IAMVZ to show our collective strength.

There are women and girls out there with the power and potential to transform our future. If they step back, think about the discoveries never made, ideas never shared and innovations left to gather dust. This is not just a "she-cession," but a devastating loss of contributions.

While no one individual can solve the challenges women face today, we are Verizon — a connected network of 130,000+ V Teamers. When we come together, we can do anything. So let's #ChooseToChallenge because with challenge comes change, and with change comes progress.

To all our V Team women out there — we see you. You are valued. You are enough. You are incredible. And we will move #ForwardTogether.

Tami, Christy and Rima

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