Business

I’ve Learned That Breaking Through The So-Called “Glass Ceiling” … Means Working Harder’

By Jane Wooldridge
The Miami Herald

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) While gender bias has abated in the workplace, top real estate broker Barbara Liberatore Black says there’s still a great deal of work to be done. She says, women often still have to work harder, and be better prepared, than male counterparts.

The Miami Herald

From the earliest days of her career, Barbara Liberatore Black has worked in a man’s world. When she arrived in Miami in the 1980s, the number of female commercial real estate brokers could be counted, literally, on two fingers — if you included Black.

Even today, as managing director of JLL’s South Florida office, she is the lone female in a leadership team of 12.

With opportunities limited for women, in the late 1980s Black co-founded her own firm, Cresa South Florida, which grew to a leadership team of seven partners — six of them men. The firm’s strong reputation as a tenant advisory firm led to its sale in late 2015 to JLL (formerly Jones Lang LaSalle).

While gender bias has abated in the workplace, Black says there’s a great deal of work to be done. Women often still have to work harder, and be better prepared, than male counterparts, she says.

For years, she competed against Alan Kleber, then with Cushman & Wakefield. On one occasion, when she and her partner lost the business, she called Kleber to congratulate him and his team. “This was incredibly unconventional in our business,” Kleber wrote in an email, saying he had not placed nor received similar calls up to that point. Kleber was so impressed that eventually he joined her firm as a partner.

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