The significance of Biden's all-female White House communications team

The significance of Biden’s all-female White House communications team


US President-Elect Joe Biden has announced his incoming White House communications team will be filled entirely by women.

The decision ensures that for the first time in America’s history, women will have a profound and wide-reaching impact on the way the White House communicates with the media, and the world.

Former Obama State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki will become the White House press secretary, and Kate Bedingfield, who has previously worked as communications director for Biden when he was Vice-President, will be the White House communications director.

Symone Sanders, a senior advisor to the Biden-Harris campaign, will be Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris’ chief spokesperson and a senior advisor.

Karine Jean Pierre will take on the role of deputy White House press secretary. Elizabeth Alexander, who was Biden’s press secretary during the Obama administration, will be the first lady Jill Biden’s communications director.

Ashley Etienne will be communications director for the Vice-President, while Pili Tobar will become deputy White House communications director.

“I am proud to announce today the first senior White House communications team comprised entirely of women,” Biden said.

“These qualified, experienced communicators bring diverse perspectives to their work and a shared commitment to building this country back better.”

Four of the seven communications positions announced by the Biden-Harris team will be filled by women of colour, speaking to Biden’s stated ambition to build an administration that “looks like America”.

The appointments mean that every day, women and importantly, women of colour, will represent the Biden administration. Their commentary, direction and words will be important and carry influence, and they will become some of the most prominent voices of the US government.

While women and women of colour are often underrepresented in official government positions, these women will be regularly speaking on behalf of the President and Vice President.

Despite Trump’s White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany falsely stating otherwise, President-Elect Biden’s incoming press team will be a far cry from what we’ve seen from the Trump administration. While women have served in senior official positions during Trump’s time in office, they have continually been outnumbered by men.

Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris, the first woman and person of colour to be elected as vice-president, said the communications team was “barrier-shattering”.

“We need to communicate clearly honestly, and transparently with the American people, and this experienced, talented, and barrier-shattering team will help us do that,” she said.

“These communications professionals express our commitment to building a White House that reflects the very best of our nation.”

With a Biden-Harris administration, it doesn’t look like we’ll be seeing many more photos of all white men seated around a table, signing documents and making decisions on issues that affect the lives of all Americans.

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