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

The first-ever list identifies the Top 250 based on 30,000 employee perceptions of their employers.

MADISON, Wis. (Jan. 31, 2018) — 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 TDS Telecom's parent company, Telephone and Data Systems, 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 Telephone and Data Systems, the list represents the collective rankings from employees at all subsidiary companies, including U.S. Cellular, TDS Telecom, OneNeck IT Solutions, and Suttle-Straus.


“We're definitely thrilled to be recognized for our efforts,” said Patrick Yates, manager of Diversity and Inclusion at TDS Telecom. “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. ”

TDS Telecom, a wholly owned subsidiary of Telephone and Data Systems, Inc., 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 and also dedicates time educating employees about diversity. In fact, TDS has created Policy 104, which focuses solely on their commitment to diversity.

“We recognize that diversity and inclusion is much more than a simple policy,” says Kathy Cefalu, VP, Chief Human Resources Officer at TDS Telecom. “In fact, having a diverse workplace is critical to attracting and keeping the best employees. We strive to provide a place where employees appreciate and value each other’s differences.”

Recently, TDS Telecom took a bold step and designated a portion of Yates’ 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.

“I’m proud to have been a part of this bold initiative,” said Yates. “It really defines our company’s stance, when the highest levels of leadership are willing to take such an innovative approach to ignite conversation and generate a more diverse workplace and community.” 

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).

TDS proudly serves hundreds of communities across the nation. For more information, visit tdstelecom.com.

Media Contact: Cindy Tomlinson | Associate Manager - Public Relations | TDS | 608-664-4471 | cindy.tomlinson@tdstelecom.com

TDS Telecommunications LLC (TDS Telecom/TDS®) is the seventh largest local exchange telephone company in the U.S. with 1.2 million connections to high-speed internet, phone, and TV entertainment services in nearly 900 rural, suburban, and metropolitan communities. TDS, a growing force in the cable industry, operates BendBroadband, which is part of TDS Broadband Service LLC. For residential customers, TDS deploys up to 1Gig internet access, IPTV service (TDS TV), cable TV options, and traditional wireline services. For businesses, TDS offers advanced communications solutions, including: VoIP (managedIP Hosted voice), high-speed internet, fiber optics, data networking, and hosted-managed services. Visit tdstelecom.com or tdsbusiness.com.

TDS Telecom, headquartered in Madison, Wis., employs more than 2,800 people and is a wholly owned subsidiary of Telephone and Data Systems, Inc. In 2018, TDS was recognized in Forbes list of America's Best Employers for Diversity. The TDS family of companies, which includes TDS Telecom, is listed at 190 out of 250 top employers in the U.S.

Telephone and Data Systems, Inc. [NYSE: TDS], a Fortune 1000® company, provides wireless; cable and wireline broadband, TV and voice; and hosted and managed services to more than six million connections nationwide through its businesses U.S. Cellular, TDS Telecom, OneNeck IT Solutions LLC, and TDS Broadband Service. Founded in 1969 and headquartered in Chicago, Telephone and Data Systems, Inc. employs more than 9,900 people. Visit tdsinc.com.

Updated October 2018

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