Verizon has joined an ever growing list of Fortune 500 companies demanding advertising agencies increase diversity among employees.  In a recent statement Verizon describes their own commitment to women and people of color and ask that ad agencies match their resolve.  

The good old boys network of the Mad Men era is clearly ending.  Although even the most cynical of us can agree things have improved in the industry since the early 60’s, many can also admit that change is still necessary to provide opportunities for all qualified candidates.  Verizon is among these corporations, and the list will continue to expand.

Here is a quick look at the Verizon letter sent to 11 agencies

At Verizon, we have the assets to change the world. … our purpose-driven culture gives everyone at Verizon a seat at the table to ideate and work together to solve the world’s biggest challenges. That’s why I’m reaching out to you today to ask that your company make an important commitment to drastically improve the percentage of women and people of color in leadership roles and continue to support our diverse supplier community by awarding more subcontracting work to diverse businesses

At Verizon, we take great pride in having a workforce that’s 59% diverse (people of color and women). Worldwide women make up 35.7% of the workforce and in the U.S. people of color represent 40%. Verizon spent more than $25 billion dollars with diverse businesses and $4.25 billion in 2015 alone. Moreover, Verizon’s board of directors is one of the most diverse boards in the country comprised of 4 women and 5 people of color — from a total of 13 board members