Elevating our game.

Celebrating the start of Black History Month, Super Bowl week and recent accomplishments.

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On today’s Up To Speed Live, host Andy Choi and HR leader Christy Pambianchi shared the following updates:

Super Bowl week is here

We are less than a week away from the big game between the Bucs and the Chiefs. Our own Jess Bonardi joined live from Tampa, FL, where she will be reporting all week on how we are once again elevating the Super Bowl in some big ways.

That includes investing more than $80 million in permanent 5G deployments, a virtual Verizon 5G Stadium in Fortnite Creative that’s got the gamers pumped, and paying it forward with an after-party concert benefiting one million small businesses. That's a $10 million commitment and a lot for all of us to be proud of.

A special month – and t-shirt – focused on equality

Today marks the start of Black History Month, so it's the perfect time to reflect on what we’ve achieved and where we’re going as a company and community. There's a lot more work to be done, but this year it's all about BOLD actions toward progress.

On today’s episode, Christy modeled Verizon’s new equality t-shirt, introduced in conjunction with Black History Month to reflect our commitment to equity and equality. It’s available for pre-order now and for purchase and distribution on February 15.

Similar to our checkmark t-shirt, we worked with a Black-owned/women-owned business as our supplier and $5 per shirt will be donated to the National Urban League. Order yours today here: https://verizon.ten10design.com/

Racial Justice Action Plan

Following the death of George Floyd last May, Christy and her team created a Race and Social Justice Action Plan that outlines how we will make a difference and holds us accountable to all of our key stakeholders that we’re leading with effective actions to achieve sustainable progress.

Our plan is built on three pillars: Continue the conversation, build a strong organization, and engage the community. Since June, we have made a number of strides and introduced new programs, practices and operations to reinforce a workplace where everyone has equal opportunity to thrive.

Our Race and Social Justice content on #Next20, Up To Speed and on the race toolkit has garnered a total of 5 million views. And we’re not stopping. The toolkit will get a refresh later this month and look for details on the season two premiere of #Next20 below.

Developing a strong pipeline of talent

To build a stronger organization, we are running parallel efforts to develop a pipeline of diverse talent while cultivating a diverse pool of leaders.

  • Recruiting diverse talent: We are partnering with more historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) than ever before — 11 schools — and strengthened our partnerships with HBCU Connect, INROADS and BreakThrough Tech to attract and support diverse talent.
  • Diverse leader pipeline: We also launched a number of programs and pilots with BOLD, Competitive Edge+ and we are working with McKinsey on a Black Management Accelerator, a six-month immersive development opportunity.

Community Engagement

Back in June, the Verizon Foundation committed $10 million to seven social justice organizations to drive change. Here are a few examples of how our support translated into immediate action and continued progress:

  • The NAACP ran one of the largest voter mobilization programs in the country that targeted Black voters and galvanized communities to Get Out the Vote. The NAACP's efforts reached a total of 12 million Black voters and potential voters.
  • The NAACP Legal Defense Fund addressed pressing issues including fair lending, effective policing and protecting the rights of Black Americans disproportionately impacted by the economic effects of COVID-19.
  • The Leadership Conference for Civil and Human Rights committed to increasing accountability and transparency for law enforcement at the federal, state and local levels. The organization also supported Get Out the Vote initiatives and fought against voter suppression.

Citizen Verizon initiatives

In addition to partnering with the groups we funded, our responsible business practices through Citizen Verizon ensure racial and social justice is a lens we bring to all of our initiatives, including:

  • Black Accelerators: In January, we launched pilot projects to support Black and Latinx tech innovators in Houston and Chicago by providing financial and technical support.
  • Clinton Global Initiative University: Through this program, Verizon will help college students develop tech-driven solutions that address social issues with students.
  • Young Men of Color: Verizon is also partnering with 23 HBCUs to reach young men of color in middle school with out-of-school STEM programming.
  • OneTen: We also recently became a founding member of OneTen, a new organization focused on creating a million new jobs for Black and African Americans by 2030.

VZPulse Survey

A key part of our journey to go from great to fantastic is employee feedback through our quarterly VZPulse surveys. These surveys allow V Teamers to contribute to our strategy and help us reinforce Verizon as a top place to work. Our first one of 2021 starts today.

We are at the 75th percentile for employee engagement, but our goal is to reach the 90th percentile — the top 10% — compared to the other companies in Gallup's database. To get there, we need every V Teamer to complete the survey. Every voice is important, and every piece of data will help us build and define our future. You have until February 12 to get it done. Please take a moment and let's keep growing together.

Awards and recognition for Verizon

We're excited to have earned the #3 spot on the 2021 Military Friendly Company ranking among an expanded pool of participating organizations. Our continual ranking in the top 10 for the past four years reflects our steadfast commitment to the military community.

Speaking of awards, we were named #1 in the telecommunications sector in Fortune’s 2021 World’s Most Admired Companies list.

COVID-19 Update

Even with the availability of COViD-19 vaccines, we must continue to adhere to all current protocols and remain vigilant when it comes to health and safety. Given that each state and country is handling the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines differently, employees should follow local guidelines to make sure they have the latest information.

We will continue to update our COVID-19 employee resource page with any new developments. Please follow the procedures in place to keep you safe: wear face coverings, maintain social distancing and, if you are unwell, please stay home and contact your medical provider.

#Next20: Sports activism

Season two of #Next20 kicks off tomorrow with a powerful conversation on activism in sports. Senior NBA Insider Chris Haynes from Yahoo! Sports' moderates a star-studded panel with basketball pros Ray Allen, Jrue Holiday and Renee Montgomery to discuss athletes' long history of speaking out for social change. You can watch it live on Verizon's Twitter channel Tuesday, February 2, at 2 PM ET/11 AM PT.

If you have any questions, email them to live@verizon.com.

Click here for a transcript of the webcast.

Get the latest information on our Coronavirus Resource Page (Inside Verizon, The Street).

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