The Women's Media Center, co-founded by Jane Fonda, is urging President Obama to nominate a woman as the next chair of the FCC.
Fonda today tweeted a link to a petition, which states that "maybe there is no easy fix to getting women into the top jobs in the telecom and media industries, but the government watchdog can and should be headed by a woman." The petition also states that "the post atop the FCC is one of the most important opportunities available to raise the bar for representational diversity and decision-making in the media and telecom sectors, which are the infrastructure of this generation and of the future."
Speculation is that FCC chairman Julius Genachowski will depart this year, as many of his predecessors have left the post in a second presidential term. Among the names that have been floated as possible successors are two women currently on the commission, Mignon Clyburn and Jessica Rosenworcel.
No woman has ever led the agency.
The complete petition is below.
The President of the United States
Rep. Henry Waxman, CA-30
Tina Tchen, Executive Director of the White House Council on Women and Girls
Jay Rockefeller, Chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee Dear President Obama:
We're asking that you nominate a woman for Chair of the Federal Communications Commission. In the nearly 80 years since its creation, there has never been a female Chair of the FCC. The FCC is supposed to represent the American public. Half the public are women. It’s long past the time to close the gender gap in our nation’s leadership and in the media and telecom industries' leadership, where only 28.4% of TV news directors were women in 2011, according to the Women's Media Center's 2012 Status of Women in the U.S. Media Report. And the post atop the FCC is one of the most important opportunities available to raise the bar for representational diversity and decision-making in the media and telecom sectors, which are the infrastructure of this generation and of the future.
The media business is run by men – and some would argue, for men. Still. In 2013. There is no easy fix. The courts have struck down every attempt to increase female and minority ownership of commercial TV and radio stations. Almost every major telecom company is headed by a man. The glass ceiling is firmly in place in the media and telecom sectors.
The next FCC Chair should remember that she works for the people of this nation, not just for the telecom and media industries. The FCC Chair should promote diversity and work to increase competition in telecommunications and in media.
Women voters provided the margin of victory for you. I ask that you, as President, do what you can to break the glass ceiling at the FCC. Please nominate a woman to head the Federal Communications Commission.