Verizon Communications Inc. – 2012 50 Out Front #9


Verizon Communications Inc.

New York, NY
191,800 employees
CEO: Lowell C. McAdam
CDE: Magda N. Yrizarry

Diversity mission: At Verizon, Diversity means embracing differences and variety including age, ethnicity, education, sexual orientation, work style, race, gender and more. When diversity is a part of a company’s culture, as it is at Verizon, everyone benefits – customers, suppliers and employees. Diversity isn’t just a concept at Verizon. It’s an integral part of our business. Diversity drives everything from work force development and supplier relationships to economic development, marketing and philanthropy. And Verizon’s code of business conduct clearly spells out what we expect from employees when it comes to valuing and respecting the diversity of others. Our commitment to diversity begins at the top of our company, and we measure our progress like any other business objective. Executives are accountable for promoting diversity within their organizations. They are rewarded for successes through a performance incentive linked to their short-term compensation.

Lowell C. McAdam, Verizon chairman/CEO, notes, “At Verizon, we embrace diversity not only because it’s the right thing to do, but because it’s smart business. A culture of inclusion is critical to our mission of providing superior service and excellent communications experiences for our customers, while broadening our reach in the competitive marketplace.” By employing people with diverse backgrounds and experiences, Verizon feels it becomes more innovative and better equipped to meet the needs of its increasingly diverse customers. The executive team is held accountable for promoting diversity within the organization and for creating an inclusive, performance-driven culture where international employees have the opportunity to contribute and grow. “Verizon’s strength lies in the diversity of our employees, customers and communities. It’s through the confluence of all these different experiences and perspectives that the innovation that drives our business is borne”, says Chief Talent and Diversity Officer Magda Yrizarry. Verizon has employee resource groups such as Asian Pacific Employees for Excellence, Disabilities Issues Awareness Leaders, GLBT Employees of Verizon and their Allies, Hispanic Support Organization, National Jewish Cultural Resource Group, Native American People of Verizon, South-Asian Professionals Inspiring Corporate Excellence, a women’s Association and a veterans advisory board, all providing opportunities for personal and professional growth through mentoring, community service and conferences. Verizon believes veterans and active servicemen and women bring unique skills to their work, including focus, perseverance, and leadership. Over the past 10 years, approximately 1,650 Verizon employees were called to active duty and it continued to provide benefits and protect their employment while they served. To support and retain them, Verizon pays the difference between an employee’s military pay and their Verizon salary for up to three years, without interruption of health benefits for their dependents. In addition, Verizon assists employees with finding work at locations close to a spouse on active duty. Verizon has partnered with 10 other large companies in the 100,000 Jobs Mission program, which aims to collectively hire 100,000 military members leaving active-duty service and other veterans by the end of 2020. In addition, Verizon is one of 25 large U.S. companies on the Veterans Employment Advisory Council, which strives for an increase in employment opportunities for military spouses, reservists and disabled veterans. Verizon employs almost 12,000 veterans and hired 541 in 2011. The company also has attorneys that provide pro bono legal assistance for veterans injured in combat or other hazardous duty, to help them get the benefits they deserve. Additionally, Verizon is the major sponsor of the USO lounges at the Washington, D.C. and Baltimore airports, where military personnel can call anywhere in the world for free. Awards received by Verizon in 2012 include being selected by The Women’s Business Enterprise National Council as a top corporation in support of business with women entrepreneurs for the seventh consecutive year, and an eight-place ranking by on its list of Top 50 Companies for Multicultural Business Opportunities.