Cristina Lambert Vice President and General Manager - Wireline Services
Puerto Rico Telephone Company
Our company of the year is Verizon, which offers a complete roster of the opportunities and benefits most important to Latinas.
This telecommunications giant employs close to 176,000 people, about 5,100 of whom are Hispanic women. A solid percentage of those women are in managerial or professional positions, including Cristina Lambert, vice president and general manager - Wireline Services for the Puerto Rico Telephone Company. She is responsible for managing the Sales/Marketing and Network Operations functions, leading a team of 2,600.
Verizon has a formal mentoring program, a succession development program that identifies high-potential employees, training programs that are geared toward helping women and minorities advance into upper management, education programs, and much more. The Development and Leadership Initiative, in particular, supports Verizon’s goal to recruit,retain,and advance talented Hispanic candidates for leadership roles.
Verizon is committed to maintaining a “family-friendly work environment.” Among its many efforts are domestic partner benefits, childcare leave, and flexible work and vacation/holiday arrangements.
All in all,Verizon is an excellent place for Latinas to work. We only hope that by next year, the company will have increased the percentage of Latinas among the top 20 percent of wage earners and joined the handful of companies with Latinas serving on the Board of Directors. In all other areas, Verizon sets the bar for the rest of the companies on the LATINA Style 50. Congratulations, Verizon!
This year, the competition was stiffer than ever. We received an unprecedented number of applications. Also, we were able to measure long-term trends thanks to five years of previously-compiled data. For these reasons, several companies from last year’s list have been edged out by newcomers.
Longtime readers will notice that this year’s results are presented in a different format. We’ve published this guide as a chart, and in the subsequent pages you will find detailed profiles of the top twelve companies on the list. This way, you can see exactly why we’ve selected these companies – and you can also see the areas in which they need to improve. We hope that the companies will look closely at these results and be encouraged to meet every single criterion for next year.
The top company for 2003 is Verizon Communications. As you will see, Verizon has gone farthest in making itself a stellar workplace for Latinas. In spite of economic challenges and downsizing, the percentage of women and minority employees at this telecommunications company has increased.
Yet even at our number one company, there is still room for improvement. This is indicative of the state of corporate America with regard to diversity and women’s issues – many companies have come a long way, but all have yet to reach the finish line. In particular, we hope to see more Latinas on corporate boards, more Latina senior executives, more mentoring programs headed by senior executives, and a greater number of Latinas in the top 20 percent of wage earners.
Two companies, USAA and Washington Mutual, had the highest percentage of Latinas in the top 20 percent of wage earners. Once we see all of the criteria on our chart met by all of the companies on our list, we’ll know that a real, lasting change has taken place in the corporate world.
Finally, we congratulate Wells Fargo & Co. and U.S. Bancorp, two companies that earned Honorable Mentions. Although they did not make the LATINA Style 50 this year, they are the closest runners-up. Next year, we hope to see them on the list as well.