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Women Commissioners Gather in D.C.

Here are pix; the Alliance for Women in Media and AT&T hosted

Some of Washington’s most powerful media regulators, past and present, took part in an event at the Katzen Arts Center at American University in Washington this month. All were female.

The Alliance for Women in Media, American University’s Women & Politics Institute and AT&T hosted the event, honoring “Women of the FCC: Past and Present.” It included a discussion with former and present commissioners.

Blogging after the event, Joan Marsh, AT&T’s VP of federal regulatory affairs, wrote that the commissioners “shared their insights and perspectives, commented on issues about which they are passionate and offered an opinion or two. And, by the way, they all looked marvelous.”

She continued: “The dialogue was free-flowing and covered questions about how being a woman shaped the panelists’ views on substantive issue. While most agreed that it did not have a direct impact on their deliberative processes, it often did aid in their understanding and empathy on issues. The commissioners also answered questions related to diversity in the media and challenges faced by female candidates for nominated or elected positions.”

Marsh noted that in Congress, 17% of the members are women. “But as Mimi Dawson noted, it was not that many years ago when she was chief of staff of the Senate Commerce Committee in a Congress that had no female members at all. Several of the panelists shared the experience of attending meetings with industry leadership to find that they were the only woman in the room. All the panelists expressed their commitment to challenging the status quo so women continue to have greater opportunities for full participation in both their political and professional endeavors.”

In the photo at upper left, former Commissioner Gloria Tristani holds the mic at right; she served on the FCC from 199 to 2001. Listening, from left, are current FCC Commissioner Meredith Attwell Baker; Mimi Dawson, who served 1981–1987; Susan Ness, 1994–2001; and Deborah Taylor-Tate, 2006–2009.

In the photo upper right, Meredith Atwell Baker makes a point while Mimi Dawson listens.

The group at lower left are national board members of the Alliance for Women in Media, from left: Sarah Foss; Christine McLaughlin; Bonnie Press; Michele Duke; Sylvia Strobel, the organization’s chair; Christina Anderson; and Erin Fuller, the group’s president.

Shown at lower right are Meredith Attwell Baker, Rep. Marsha Blackburn, Mimi Dawson and Deborah Taylor Tate

The Alliance for Women in Media is the former American Women in Radio & Television; the group is 60 years old.