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Learning From Women Leaders in Dallas-Fort Worth

By Natalie Snyder Bode and Emily Hoffman

Let’s start with the good news: Of the top 150 public companies based in Dallas-Fort Worth, three named women CEOs within the last year. Former COO Melissa Reiff took the top spot at The Container Store. Many Ginsberg was named CEO of Match Group Inc. And Tandy Leather promoted former CFO Shannon Greene to chief executive.

Now, the not-so-good news: those three companies account for just 2 percent of the top 150. The other 98 percent—147 companies—are led by men. This, despite the fact that women account for 51 percent of the nation’s population. In the land of legends like Mary Kay Ash and Ebby Halliday, this just doesn’t seem right.

Cushman & Wakefield is serious about accelerating the advancement of women. The firm recognizes that women are a competitive advantage in the global marketplace.

That’s not to say there aren’t other hugely successful women business leaders out there. They’re just effecting change in private companies or in entrepreneurial roles. Take, for example, Karen Katz, President, CEO, and Director of Neiman Marcus Group. Or Nina Vaca, Chairman and CEO of Pinnacle Group. In another sign of progress, Dallas became the first major U.S. city where the top three law enforcement agencies are led by women: Dallas Police Chief Renee Hall, Dallas County Sheriff Lupe Valdez, and Dallas County District Attorney Faith Johnson.

Women also are assuming more positions in the C-suite as COOs or CFOs for companies like Michaels Group, Southwest Airlines, and Kimberly-Clark, whose chief executive Tom Falk launched an initiative to hire and promote more women in 2014. If the C-suite definition is expanded to include CIOs, CAOs, general counsels and divisional presidents, a full 36 percent of DFW’s Fortune 500 companies have female representation.

Cushman & Wakefield is serious about accelerating the advancement of women, too. The firm recognizes that women are a competitive advantage in the global marketplace and believes in the power of embracing diversity and inclusion. Cushman & Wakefield’s Women’s Integrated Network initiative is designed to respect, advocate for, and nurture the success of female professionals in the firm.

As two of those female professionals, we know the value of learning from women execs who have risen to the top of their fields. Our new blog series, Women in Leadership, will feature interviews with some of the region’s top female executives, in a variety of industries. Through in-depth conversations, we’ll share their insights, lessons learned, and “war stories” from their climbs up the corporate ladder.

We’re kicking things off with Matrice Ellis-Kirk, Managing Director of RSR Partners. Click here to read her story, and be watching every quarter for new interviews in our Women in Leadership series.

Cushman & Wakefield Directors Natalie Snyder Bode and Emily Hoffman specialize in office tenant representation of local and national clients. Advisory services include all aspects of corporate representation, from strategic planning and site evaluations to lease negotiations, headquarters relocations, and real estate acquisitions and dispositions.

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