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#WomenOwnWednesday Effort By Verizon Includes A 'Career Engine'

 As part of International Women’s Month, Verizon has just inaugurated #WomenOwnWednesday, a social media campaign that will spotlight women-owned businesses and female entrepreneurs weekly.

In another element of the company's overall campaign -- Verizon Women’s CoLab, which it calls a  “collaborative career engine” -- the Verizon Business unit pledged to launch mentorship networks to provide resources and training for women, and host a summit of top women business leaders later this year.

On launch day for #WomenOwnWednesday, Verizon encouraged followers to use the hashtag to give a shout-out to favorite businesses owned by women. On Twitter, Tami Erwin, CEO of Verizon Business, tweeted about New Jersey's Pretty Pink Boutique, owned by Alexandera Daras.

On Instagram, visitors to #WomenOwnWednesday gave support to a Los Angeles bakery, a florist with wild ideas in Colorado, a wedding planner, the founder of a health and wellness business and Porsha Thomas, an Atlanta woman who years ago started @ladypreneurleague, a social and self-help site for women in the business world (see image above).

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Three top female Verizon executives -- Erwin, Christy Pambianch, the chief human resource officer and Rima Qureshi, the company’s chief strategy office -- wrote a jointly signed letter to employees on Monday, International Women’s Day, to announce the CoLab and provide top-line results from research on how badly women are faring during the pandemic.

Some of the findings in the study, conducted by Morning Consult, track with other recent stories setting off alarm bells about women in the workplace in the pandemic era.

The survey found that 80% of women planning to re-enter the workforce when the nation’s economy stabilizes say they are concerned about limited opportunities, while 72% fear they won’t be able to find a job that matches their skill set.

The letter the executives sent mention another statistic: “ In a recent survey commissioned by Verizon Business, 59% of women who plan to re-enter the workforce say they cannot afford the training required to remain competitive,” the women wrote. They pledged that the  Women’s CoLab will provide strategies for women “to negotiate unapologetically, challenge the status quo and break down barriers.”

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