Agent Jan Fedarcyk Discusses The 40-Year Anniversary Of Women In The FBI

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Jan Fedarcyk, the highest ranking woman in the FBI, is retiring this week. Hear what she has to say about her tenure with the bureau as well as the history of women in the field. 

Fedarcyk runs the FBI’s New York offices as Assistant Director. “She is the highest ranking woman in the field and the first woman to command the FBI’s biggest and busiest office. This week — her last on the job — she has run classified briefings on terrorism and espionage, visited her five regional FBI to talk with the nearly 3,000 on her team,” says CBS, who interviewed her.

Although she made great strides in her time, only three out of every ten FBI agents is a woman. “Fedarcyk began her career with the FBI in 1987,” writes CBS, “but it was in 1972 when the FBI hired its first two female agents — a former nun and a former Marine — Susan Roley Malone and Joanne Pierce.”

“Let’s not distinguish between a female special agent and a male agent,” said Fedarcyk. “Of all of the people who want to be where we are as special agents, all of the people who make applications to come into the FBI and serve as a special agent, less than 2% make it through the door.”

Though Malone remembers when she first walked through that door. “Having the first two women FBI agents was publicized in all the papers in America. I laughingly say I’m a footnote in history,” she said. “Everybody wanted to see who we were. Sometimes I felt like an exhibit in a museum.”

Fedarcyk may not like to distinguish between women and men in the FBI, she still hopes to see a female director in her lifetime and is quick to recognize her fellow trailblazers. “They were pioneer special agents,” she said of Malone and Pierce. “Those two women charted the course for the rest of us.”

(via CBS)

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Jill Pantozzi
Jill Pantozzi is a pop-culture journalist and host who writes about all things nerdy and beyond! She’s Editor in Chief of the geek girl culture site The Mary Sue (Abrams Media Network), and hosts her own blog “Has Boobs, Reads Comics” ( She co-hosts the Crazy Sexy Geeks podcast along with superhero historian Alan Kistler, contributed to a book of essays titled “Chicks Read Comics,” (Mad Norwegian Press) and had her first comic book story in the IDW anthology, “Womanthology.” In 2012, she was featured on National Geographic’s "Comic Store Heroes," a documentary on the lives of comic book fans and the following year she was one of many Batman fans profiled in the documentary, "Legends of the Knight."