SBC a Haven for Executive Women

Telecom Company Makes Magazine's Top 25 List

image By Denise Howe Special to Network

Creating and actively maintaining a corporate culture and policies that encourage and support women's advancement in the workplace has generated honors for SBC Communications. Working Woman magazine has named it one of the year's Top 25 Companies for executive women.SBC, which comes in at17th, is the only telecommunications company making the list. Prudential and Xerox, two other Hacienda companies, are also featured on the list, ranking 21 and 25 respectively.

"SBC is proud of the prominent role women play in our business," said Edward E. Whitacre, Jr., chief executive officer of SBC Communications. "Women are increasingly well-represented in management and line positions, as well as throughout our entire work force."

SBC's working population is comprised of more than 53 percent women. Women make up 48 percent of managers and 23 percent of corporate senior officers. Women make up 24 percent of the company's board of directors.

To find the winners, the magazine first surveyed Fortune 1000 companies to identify those with at least two women on their boards of directors. Rankings were based on statistics of women in management and their earnings, and innovation and results in women's programs. Also studied were each company's efforts to advance women, as well as how each company's culture encourages and supports female employees.

It's not the first time that SBC has been recognized for supporting women in business. Just over one year ago, SBC was recognized by the Women's Business Enterprise National Council as one of the top 15 corporations in America for women's business enterprises. In the last five years, SBC has spent over $2.4 billion with women-owned businesses.

Working Woman also commended SBC for creating its own professional women's employee organization, a leadership development program, and a tuition aid policy that encourages professional development.

The company also sponsors a number of programs that aid women in maintaining the important balance of their business and personal lives, including LifeCare, a consultation, education and referral service; an adoption reimbursement program; and leaves of absence for quality-of-life needs such as child leave and family-care leave.

SBC's contributions to women's advancement and recognition reach outside the corporate walls. The Women's Museum: An Institute for the Future opens in Dallas this year with a $10 million SBC Foundation grant that helps fund the first major museum ever built to honor the accomplishments of women.

In addition, the foundation has directed about $6 million through more than 200 grants to other organizations that support women's issues.

SBC Communication companies include Southwest Bell, Pacific Bell, Ameritech, and Cellular One.

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