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South Florida CEOs work to narrow management gender gap

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This week’s question to South Florida CEOs who are on the Miami Herald CEO Roundtable: What is your company doing to address the gender gap in top management nationally?


At Community Care Plan, gender isn’t really a factor as our leadership team is nearly evenly distributed. Our company is culturally diverse as well.

John Benz, president, CEO, Community Care Plan


All Florida Paper has always focused on hiring the best candidate for every position. As it has turned out, we have many women in management. I believe that any organization which focuses exclusively on hiring the best talent, every demographic group will be represented well.

Armando Caceres, CEO, founder, All Florida Paper


This is a serious issue in the legal profession. Each year, my firm selects a group of talented women lawyers to participate in our Rising Stars program, which helps elevate their profiles, teaches them business development, and prepares them for leadership opportunities.

Kelly-Ann Cartwright, executive partner, Holland & Knight Miami chair of the firm’s Directors Committee


Women make up three-quarters of our Board of Directors. All employees at Imperial Freight Brokers have the same access to job opportunities and are trained and exposed to the most complicated projects and important clients. This allows for an even playing field during promotions. Embedding this philosophy into our corporate culture has begun to address the gender gap within our organization; our hope is that our local actions positively affect national values.

Ralph De La Rosa, president, CEO, Imperial Freight


It’s no secret that the engineering industry has been primarily dominated by men. At Al-Farooq Corporation, our CEO is a woman. As a whole, nearly 50 percent of our staff are women, which includes senior staff.

Jalal Farooq, principal, Al-Farooq Corporation


Diversity is a priority within our organization. We have a balanced ratio of women and men in our leadership team and we also are balanced ethnically.

Michael A. “Mike” Finney, president, CEO, Miami-Dade Beacon Council


The University of Miami believes that creating a diverse workplace and learning environment is the right thing to do and the smart thing to do, as it improves decision-making through different perspectives and experiences. This is why our search committees are tasked with proactively and intentionally identifying competitive women and minority candidates for our top management positions.

Dr. Julio Frenk, president, University of Miami


At Gurkha, we have never distinguished salary based on gender. We value people based on what they do. Our industry tends to be male dominated but we have always had women in management positions because we always hire who we feel is the best person for the job.

Kaizad Hansotia, founder, CEO, Gurkha Cigars


As a father of three, we want our daughter to have all of the same opportunities as her brothers. We need to continue to push this topic to the forefront and work on closing the gender gap in all industries. It’s no secret that financial services is a male-dominated industry. That needs to change.

Javier Holtz, chairman, CEO, Marquis Bank


At Mast Capital, our team is comprised of many capable and professional women, including at the senior level, which helps drive the success of the company. We offer equal opportunities to men and women and support community associations with those goals.

Camilo Miguel Jr., founder, CEO, Mast Capital


Imalac is a female-founded company in the male-dominated field of medical technology. Statistically, female entrepreneurs raise less than 5 percent of all capital for entrepreneurial ventures and we are bucking this trend while raising awareness about this inequity. In 2017, Imalac participated in and was selected as the winner of Babson College’s Women Innovation Now (WIN Lab) accelerator. We plan to pay that investment forward in our personal and business development.

Noreen Sablotsky, founder, CEO, Imalac


Miami Children’s Museum is a gender-equal environment that supports career and family balance. Currently, 75 percent of our senior staff is female. Because our institution has long positioned itself to accommodate working mothers and fathers, the percentage reflects that initiative. I believe in mentoring young women to dream big and have a distinct vision of what success looks like to them. With authentic and transparent information and resources, mentoring assists those on the career path to create a clear future with attainable goals. Facilitating environments for women to develop strong lasting connections and networking with one another becomes a huge factor in the success of their career.

Deborah Spiegelman, CEO, Miami Children’s Museum


At Cross Country Home Services (CCHS), diversity inclusion and gender parity has been at the forefront of our talent strategy, with 68 percent of our workforce being women. We look at gender gaps broadly — from compensation to balanced representation at all levels of the organization. It’s my personal objective, and that of our leadership team, to enhance diversity across our organization and address the gap by regularly looking at our talent and recruiting pipeline. We are also constantly leveraging our talent review process to identify the gaps and create action plans to address them, including building succession planning bench strength and identifying and implementing development plans for “high potential” talent. I am proud to say that, averaged over the past three years, 65 percent of all promotions at CCHS have been women, and our pay parity at management level and above is about 20 percent higher than the 72 percent pay rate of women compared to men (statistic provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics for management, professional and related jobs).

Steve Upshaw, CEO, Cross Country Home Services

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