The Women’s Media Center has started a petition asking President Barack Obama to appoint a woman as FCC Chair in the event that current chair Julius Genachowski elects to move on. The call has been echoed by Tessa Simonds of activist group Free Press.
Simond notes that there are two candidates sitting on the Commission right now – Mignon Clyburn and Jessica Rosenworcel, and both are member’s of Obama’s Democratic Party.
The call for a female chair is motivated in part by the desire to see more diversity in positions of authority within the federal government.
But more to the point, AMC and Free Press want a woman in charge while the effort is made to diversify ownership of America’s communications licenses. The percentage of minorities and women owning radio and television licenses in far smaller percentages than their presence in the total population.
Simonds also cited statistics from the last election, in which it was determined that about 70% of all election stories were written by men, and during which men were seven times more likely to comment on the election than women.
Simonds concluded, “The Consumer Electronics Show is taking place right now in Vegas. I want to see a woman give a keynote address at the next conference, as Chairman Genachowski has in years past. I want to see a woman lead the fight in Washington for policies that connect more Americans to high-speed broadband. And I want to see someone who departs from Genachowski’s missteps — especially when it comes to diversity issues.”