At Verizon, diversity means cultivating an inclusive organization that reflects the marketplace and leverages the diversity of employees, customers, suppliers and community partners. Verizon believes this drives business success. “Having a diverse and inclusive business environment is a crucial part of serving a customer base, especially one as global as Verizon’s,” says Magda Yrizarry, chief diversity officer. Strategically, Verizon’s diversity framework encompasses elements in an integrated shared accountability model that includes a diverse workforce mirroring its markets; an inclusive workplace where diversity is respected and has a zero tolerance for discrimination; diverse community partnerships that support charitable grants to organizations; benchmarking with best in class providers, and serving diverse customers by offering services and products that match their needs and lifestyles. Cultivating a team with diverse minds, experiences and perspectives is an integral part of the Verizon culture.
Verizon embraces an ongoing commitment to the development, support and promotion of all employees to give them, and the company, a competitive advantage. Verizon believes that developing the right skills and providing the resources for its employees is essential to create a winning culture. It provides numerous training opportunities, including diversity leadership workshops and extensive online library, and encourages employees to connect with a mentor, join one of many support networks, and utilize its work/life tools. The company’s multilingual national centers, for instance, are responsible for sales and service to Verizon’s small business and consumer customers in their own language, including Russian, Spanish, Mandarin, Korean, Vietnamese, and Cantonese. Verizon also has two centers for customers with disabilities that provide services for those who are hearing, motion, or vision impaired. Regarding supplier diversity, Verizon spent more than $3.5 billion in 2008 with diverse suppliers for telecommunications products and professional services such as advertising and real estate.