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Women's History Month Staff Profile - Shirley Suggs

by Page Buchanan, New Media
March 30, 2010 - 12:00 PM

Shirley Suggs
Administrative Management Specialist, Media Bureau
President, Blacks in Government
Years at FCC: 37 years

Shirley Suggs was recruited to the FCC secretarial pool out of high school in 1973. She worked her way up in the agency, earning bachelor’s and master’s degrees, all while raising her family and breaking through barriers for women. She has become a leader at the agency, currently serving as the President of Blacks in Government.

I’ve been here a long time so I’ve seen how things changed for women. … I remember having this male supervisor who … intimidated women. It was at a point he just wanted to make sure we stayed at our desks, but of course the men didn’t. The men weren’t intimidated like that. It came to a point where I said, “Okay, this has got to stop.”

She is grateful for the contributions of women in the past and present for helping to change not only the way that women are seen, but the way that they see themselves.

I think that women have chosen to be who they are and not be afraid of the consequences of standing up for themselves, and that’s the only way that change is going to occur, for us to move into better positions.

Women’s History Month and the honor of being profiled for this project were a welcome opportunity for her to reflect on her own path, and the paths of so many other women in our history.

I thought about all the women through history… Sojourner Truth, the women through the suffrage, you know all these women – women that kind of pushed, and still are pushing… [I admire] Michelle Obama, for obvious and less obvious reasons. Of course she is the first lady of the United States and she is African-American. She is a mother, a wife, a daughter, a sister, and a role model.

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Women's History Month Profile: Eloise Gore

March 23, 2010 - 11:03 AM

Since we began this blog we have been highlighting FCC staff in a series of profiles. As March is Women’s History Month, we will be focusing on some of our female colleagues and talking to them about their experiences as professionals, and as women, working in public service at the FCC.

Eloise Gore, Associate Bureau Chief, Media Bureau
Years at FCC: 13

Eloise Gore considers herself lucky. Beginning her career with the federal government as an intern in 1978, she benefited from both the barrier-breaking women of the generation before her and the government’s early efforts at diversity. As an attorney, first for the Federal Trade Commission, then the Commerce Department, and here at the FCC for the past 13 years, she recalls sitting across the table from attorneys in the private sector that at times were all white men.

In those years, in the middle-late seventies, the government was one of the places that women could go, because the government was much more accepting of women, as attorneys, as other kinds of professionals, than the private sector was… so it would be frequently the case that those of us who were in the government would be in negotiations with outside law firms and they would be all these men in suits. And we were the only ones that had women.

She is proud of the way that women, and men, are given the opportunity to thrive here at the FCC, especially with regard to balancing their families with career.

Women who want to have families, who want to have children, are very supported particularly by the government. Again that was something that the government did first: to allow women a chance to go and be a mother and have day care so that they could come back and have their children near them.

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