Editorial: Women’s Role in Technology

Outgoing FCC commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel’s last public statement

It's been said before, but it’s true: The number of women in technology is simply too few.

During my time at the FCC, both in Washington and on the road, this basic fact was apparent over and over and over again. This is a problem.

Our new economy is built on communications technology. In fact, science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) are the fastest-growing fields in the new economy. There are three times as many job opportunities in STEM fields than in any other field. Yet the Bureau of Labor Statistics tells us that while women hold half the jobs in the country, they hold less than a quarter of jobs in STEM fields.

I’ve done the math. This doesn’t compute well for the future—and it needs to be fixed—as a matter of equity, as an economic imperative and simply because it’s the right thing to do. I’m proud of my work to help remedy this situation in a variety of fora—including efforts with L’Oreal for Women in Science, Women in Consumer Electronics and Girls Who Code. No matter where I go or what I do, it is something I will proudly continue. As the mother of a little girl—and little boy—I believe this is a future worth fighting for.

I am grateful to my colleagues at the FCC and to the staff of the agency, who are the real heroes of the FCC. But above all, I am grateful to the American people who entrusted me with this extraordinary opportunity to participate in history and lay the groundwork for a more connected future.

This is an excerpt from the outgoing FCC commissioner’s last public statement, barring her reconfirmation. For the full version, go to broadcastingcable.com/Jan9.