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TDS named to Forbes' America's Best Employers for Diversity


CHICAGO, Jan. 30, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- A new Forbes list recognizes 250 leading U.S. - based employers for their diversity efforts and initiatives. Included in America's Best Employers for Diversity is Telephone and Data Systems, Inc. (NYSE: TDS), at number 190.

The list is based on survey responses from a sample of more than 30,000 employees working for companies employing at least 1,000 people within their U.S. base of operations. For TDS, the list represents the collective rankings from employees at all subsidiary companies, including U.S. Cellular, TDS Telecom, OneNeck IT Solutions, and Suttle-Straus.

TDS subsidiary and wireless carrier, U.S. Cellular, has implemented diversity efforts across multiple facets of the business.  U.S. Cellular has developed 22 national and local talent partnerships to support their diversity talent acquisition strategy, and led a series of diverse talent acquisition events aimed at attracting, engaging and coaching emerging diverse talent. The company also re-launched U.S. Cellular's Supplier diversity initiative aimed at growing their diverse supplier base and increasing diverse spend.

"Diversity is not only a part of the values our dynamic organization shares, but we strive to integrate inclusion practices into our day-to-day work," said Troy McIntosh, Senior Director of Diversity and Inclusion at U.S. Cellular. "By integrating diversity and inclusion into our talent, leadership and business processes we are building a culture that enables every associate at U.S. Cellular to engage our diverse customer base."

U.S. Cellular initiatives are supported by heavy involvement from leadership. Last year, U.S. Cellular's, President and CEO, Ken Meyers, and Chief Human Resources Officer (CHRO), Deirdre Drake launched a cross-functional team of U.S. Cellular executives, associate resource group leaders and talent leaders aimed at monitoring progress against the company's diversity and inclusion strategic goals.

TDS Telecom, a wholly owned subsidiary of TDS, is the seventh largest local exchange telephone company in the U.S. and a growing force in the cable industry. The company sponsors local diversity summits, dedicates time to educating employees about diversity, and created Policy 104, which focuses solely on their commitment to diversity.

Recently, TDS Telecom took a bold step and designated a portion of Patrick Yates', manager of Diversity and Inclusion at TDS Telecom, time to working for the Nehemiah Community Development Corporation, a local non-profit organization, and their Justified Anger initiative. In this "loaned executive" arrangement, Yates dedicated 60 percent of his time toward implementation of the group's "Our Madison Plan" — an effort focused on narrowing racial disparities in the city of Madison, Wis.

"We're definitely thrilled to be recognized for our efforts," said Yates. "We understand just how important it is to ensure we have a diverse workplace. In fact, we dedicate employee time and resources, continually looking for ways to grow a diverse environment that is respectful, welcoming, and accepting. We're committed to continue growing our efforts. "

One way TDS Telecom is expanding their diversity effort is by creating Employee Resource Groups. These employee-led, employee-driven groups offer individuals the opportunity to build connected-communities within the workforce based on their shared ideas, backgrounds, ideals, gender, ethnicity, cultures and common interests.

The Forbes 250 List was developed based on the following criteria:

  1. Direct employee recommendations. Employees were asked to rate their employer on a number of topics, including gender, ethnicity, LGBTQ+, age and disability.
  2. Public perception. Based on the external employers that were recommended among minority groups.
  3. Diversity KPIs. Companies were scored on diversity and inclusion at the executive-level. This included a look at the percentage of women who fill top executive positions and publicly available diversity KPIs (e.g., department/position responsible for diversity and proactive communication of diversity company culture).

About U.S. Cellular
U.S. Cellular is the fifth-largest full-service wireless carrier in the United States, providing national network coverage and industry-leading innovations designed to elevate the customer experience. The Chicago-based carrier offers coverage where the other carriers don't and a wide range of communication services that enhance consumers' lives, increase the competitiveness of local businesses and improve the efficiency of government operations. For the third time in a row, U.S. Cellular has the Highest Wireless Network Quality Performance, according to J.D. Power's twice-annual U.S. Wireless Network Quality Performance Study, and 99 percent of customers have access to 4G LTE speeds. To learn more about U.S. Cellular, visit one of its retail stores or To get the latest news, promos and videos, connect with U.S. Cellular on and

About TDS Telecom
TDS Telecommunications LLC (TDS Telecom/TDS®) is the seventh largest local exchange telephone company in the U.S. TDS is a growing force in the cable industry and operates BendBroadband, which is part of TDS Broadband Service LLC. For residential customers, TDS deploys up to 1Gig internet access, IPTV service, cable TV options, and traditional wireline services. The company offers businesses advanced communications solutions, including: VoIP (managedIP Hosted voice), high-speed internet, fiber optics, data networking, and hosted-managed services. Visit or

TDS Telecom, Headquartered in Madison, Wis., employs more than 3,300 people and is a wholly owned subsidiary of Telephone and Data Systems, Inc. TDS provides 1.2 million connections to high-speed internet, phone, and TV entertainment services in nearly 900 rural, suburban, and metropolitan communities across the US.

About TDS
Telephone and Data Systems, Inc. (TDS), a Fortune 1000® company, provides wireless; cable and wireline broadband, TV and voice; and hosted and managed services to approximately 6 million connections nationwide through its businesses, U.S. Cellular, TDS Telecom, OneNeck IT Solutions, and BendBroadband. Founded in 1969 and headquartered in Chicago, TDS employed 9,900 people as of September 30, 2017.


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SOURCE Telephone and Data Systems, Inc.

Alex Shesterkin, 1-312-592-5482,