In an opinion piece for the Tennessean a few weeks ago, former Federal Communications Commissioner Debi Tate wrote about how important it is that leadership reflect what we look like as nations in which half the citizens are women. Writing on the eve of Tennessee’s 11th Annual Economic Summit for Women, at which current Federal Communications Commissioner Mignon Clyburn was a featured speaker, Tate underscored the need for female role models in politics, business, the arts and otherwise.

Now working as a Special Envoy for Child Online Protection to the United Nations’ International Telecommunication Union while also co-chairing, with Geena Davis, the Healthy Media Commission, Tate says that one way to cultivate future leadership by women is to educate them when they are still girls—and to expose them to heavy doses of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, otherwise known as STEM. With these skills young women will be equipped, she says, to perpetuate the cycle of leadership by strong, multifaceted and intelligent women both from behind the scenes and from inside the boardroom.

Debi has been a member of The Junior League of Nashville for 26 years. Read her Tennessean piece here.