According to the Miami Herald, 1450 Brickell continues to dominate the Miami office market as tenants flock to the state-of-the-art office tower. "Good tenants attract good tenants," says Tere Blanca of Blanca Commercial Real Estate. "We've had a very active year and we see no sign of that slowing down. We have more activity than we have space in the building.
Submitted by Anonymous on Wed, 10/20/2010 - 3:08am
It's a Saturday, and the auditorium in Office Depot's Boca Raton headquarters is filled with women who have traded errands and family time for business advice offered at a Women's Leadership Institute program. The words of inspiration bring an ``oh yes'' from audience member Marilyn Walker.
Walker has high hopes for her gift basket business in Homestead. The camaraderie and the pep talk have her fired up. Even in this sour economy, she's thinking about starting a second business, maybe something involving kids and education.
``I really feel like there's opportunity,'' Walker says.
For the past decade, women like Walker have seized on opportunity in every niche of business in South Florida, placing this region at the leading edge of the nation in the number of women-owned start-ups. Today women business owners pump millions of dollars into the South Florida economy, employing thousands of workers and diversifying its business base.
Women here lead banks and universities. They are attorneys and surgeons and engineers; chief financial officers and executive vice presidents.
Their decisions help shape our community -- though not necessarily in traditional ways.
Among local employers of 500 or more, women hold less than a handful of chief executive spots. Indeed, women here actually have lost some ground in their representation on corporate boards and in executive suites as mergers, consolidations and bankruptcies changed the landscape.
As top women leaders from around the world meet in Miami at the International Women's Forum this week to discuss global strategies for the coming decade, South Florida women are pondering some of the same issues locally.
Amid the area's economic woes, women's advancement in corporate leadership is at a critical stage. Will more companies embrace gender diversity and allow women to participate significantly in steering the local economy toward recovery? Or will South Florida women continue to make their mark on their own?
``Attitudes have changed,'' says Marsha Elser, a Miami attorney and co-chair of the International Women's Forum, a global exchange bringing women leaders from 50 nations to Miami to share insights and solutions. ``Women have emerged in more professions across board. More women are going to school and getting degrees. More are competing in business. But remember, men have been at this a lot longer than women.''
In South Florida's business circles, Tere Blanca stands out for her success in the volatile real estate industry and her role as former chair of the Greater Miami Chamber Commerce and chair of The Beacon Council. From her vantage point, Blanca sees precisely where women are stymied -- the corporate sector.
``The structure in place is not flexible to accommodate the new world with women engaged in business, family, children and the community,'' Blanca says. Locally, she says, ``there are some organizations that got it and developed internal infrastructure to offer flexibility to accommodate women. Most still have a way to go.''
The numbers are telling: Nationally, only 15 percent of CEOs of Fortune 500 companies are women. In Florida, only 2 percent of the CEOs of the 150 top public companies are women -- a number that significantly has declined in the past year.
Open the doors to the executive suites, and the numbers are just as dismal. A Miami Herald look at proxies and filings of Florida companies shows of nearly 300 top executives at the state's 70 largest public companies, only 20 are women.
And there has been little progress on closing the gender wage gap. Research shows it actually widened in the past year, with women earning 77.1 cents for every dollar earned by a man, compared with 77.8 cents in 2007.
Submitted by Anonymous on Mon, 10/05/2009 - 4:12am