It’s no secret that the technology industry has been traditionally male dominated, and the broadband space is no exception. In fact, 32% of women in technical and engineering roles are often the only woman in the room at work.
In our experience, female leaders are particularly adept at leveraging their strong technical background in combination with an empathetic approach to working with communities to collaborate effectively. Especially on the policy side of the broadband equation, female leaders are leading the charge to close America’s digital divide and break barriers to connectivity.
To help recruit, train, and retain women to enter and thrive in the broadband industry, several programs and organizations exist to support their career ambitions. These include the Fiber Broadband Association’s Women in Fiber Committee and the NTCA Women in Telecom program. For women looking to make a difference in their communities while also working on highly technical and engineering projects, the broadband industry might be for you!
One such project is the recent release of the new Federal Communications Commission (FCC) maps which depict the level of broadband coverage and connectivity across the country.
While some organizations are pleased with the maps, others such as Utopia Fiber and the American Association for Public Broadband (AAPB), are concerned with its accuracy. Challenging these maps will be a difficult process, but necessary to ensure all communities have reliable and affordable internet access. Working together with diverse stakeholders; from both the public and private sectors; and in rural and remote areas will be the only way for our industry to successfully create change and ensure all Americans are connected with a closed digital divide.