Honoring women wireline executives

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Samantha Bookman, FierceTelecomFor the third year in a row, we at FierceTelecom are recognizing and honoring women who hold senior management and executive positions in wireline service providers across the United States.

Covering the women who make key decisions on business and regulatory issues for the industry over the past three years has revealed some characteristics that, while not unique, are not true of other industry verticals when it comes to women in leadership roles. One key characteristic I've noticed in coverage is that many of the women we've recognized have careers in telecom spanning more than 20 years. In an industry where longevity is still appreciated and old Bell Labs veterans recognize each other on sight, seeing women building solid, long-term management and executive careers is heartening.

This year's honorees reflect that characteristic, as well as show that women executives are not just playing important roles in guiding companies to profitability but also making decisions that will have repercussions for the entire industry for at least a generation.

Take, for example, Mignon Clyburn, who took on her role at the FCC amid criticism that she would be a lightweight when it came to votes on key issues like net neutrality. Or Cheri Beranek, who worked for years to transform a struggling subsidiary into a rapidly growing independent service provider.

Our honorees cross a range of communications service providers, including competitors, independents, incumbent telcos and the U.S. branch of an international provider. We also honor women in regulatory roles who work to keep Americans connected at fair and competitive prices.

So, take a few minutes to check out this year's Women in Wireline 2012 honorees. As always, we welcome your comments and suggestions about who we may have left out, so please let us know.--Sam