Highlighting today's women telecom leaders

Samantha Bookman, FierceTelecomIn this day and age, where women make up a larger percentage of the workforce than ever before, some might find it odd to celebrate women in leadership positions. But the workforce statistics don't point out a still-glaring fact that in the telecommunications vertical--in any high-tech industry, really--women are still few and far between, particularly in leadership roles.

That statistic is changing, but perhaps not fast enough. And for young women still in school, the example set by women leaders can be a compelling and even critical component of their decision about which career field to pursue.

Those are two key reasons why FierceTelecom's second annual Women in Wireline special feature is important and relevant. Highlighting the achievements of these executives can help point the way forward for others looking to grow in a field that was historically male-dominated.

Many of our selectees are veterans of the telecommunications industry: Maura Mahoney held positions at Bell Atlantic and NYNEX (now Verizon (NYSE: VZ)) and other telecom-oriented companies before joining Sidera as Vice President of Marketing and Communications.

Jean McManus of Verizon and Erica Johnson of the University of New Hampshire's InterOperability Lab (UNH-IOL) lead technical teams in development of advanced communications technologies.

Executives like Karlyn Oberg of SureWest (Nasdaq: SURW) and Olivia Garfield of BT Openreach (NYSE: BT) are driving network-building initiatives with the goal of improving broadband access to millions of consumers.

I hope you'll take a few minutes today to check out our 2011 Women in Wireline feature and the leaders we profile within. As always, we welcome your comments and suggestions.--Sam

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