In the words of Virginia Slims, “We’ve come a long way, baby!”  Generation Z, Millennial and Generation X women have grown up in a time where women were expected to go to school, work and still maintain the tenets of motherhood and wifedom.  Women in the last 50 years have embraced the shift in their role in society and so in March, we take the time to celebrate Women’s History Month to celebrate all the gains that women have made over the years and also the individual successes of some women. CNN dubbed 2018 “the year of the women” as the landscape embraced the changing role women were demanding in the workplace with regards to equality and better treatment from their male counterparts[i].

Woman are today very active in the employment arena.  Of the women in Florida 54.4% of them in 2015 Census Data were participating in the labor force.  36.9% were in Managerial and/or professional occupations.  28.9% of business were owned by women[ii].  Accordingly to the 2016 State of Women Owned Business report commissioned by American Express Open, Florida has the second highest rate of business growth of women owned businesses in the last 20 years.  This is affirmed by the US Census Bureau Survey of Business Owners which indicates a move from 338,000 women owned Florida business in in 1997 to over a million in 2017[iii]. Nearly half of those businesses are housed in Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties.  Additionally, the fastest growing segment of female owned businesses is women of color which has increased by 126%.[iv] There is one drawback, however, there was a decline from 86% of women above the poverty line in 2004 to a new low of only 83.7% of women living above the poverty line[v].

Women are also succeeding in very diverse areas of business. The South Florida Business Journal lists the following top women owned companies in South Florida by Revenue[vi]

  1. JC white Architectural Interior Products 47.52 million
  2. Starmark (a Marketing Firm)                        48.34 million
  3. CSI International (Janitoria/Facility Ops) 53.79 million
  4. Cruise Planners 56.39 million
  5. RCC Associates (General Contracting) 85.43 million

Therefore, as women look for schools to attend and places to work to join the ever growing trend of female success, they are looking for places that understand and cater to the unique needs of working women who are balancing school, employment, raising children and sometimes taking care of aging parents. There is a need for educational institutions and employers to understand these unique constraints which women unlike most men often face.

According to the 2015 Census data, of persons 25 and over; 88% of women have a HS Diploma, 60% have some college, 43.4% have an Associate degree, 32.7% have a Bachelor’s Degree and 12% have an advanced degree.  There had been a large gap between men and women in educational attainment; however by 1996 that gap had begun to close and now women are earning degrees in higher numbers than their male counterparts. Approximately 26.7 percent of women in Florida have a bachelor’s degree or higher, an increase of about 7 percentage points since 2000. Women have recognized the need to be educated as a way to increase and improve their socio-economic status; especially if they are part of the 6.9% of single parents or serve as the head of their households in the State of Florida[vii].

In Florida, the aging population along with other factors has led to a growing health care industry. Of the top 25 jobs which can be held in the health care field in Florida, 3 of them are Nursing related:  Nurse Practitioner (#3), Registered Nurse (#15), Nurse Midwife (#22)[viii].  But all the other top ten stated fields such as Physician’s Assistant, Pediatrician, OB/GYN, even if women cannot enter these field directly, there are avenues for them to join such as a Nurse, a Certified Nursing Assistant or even as a Medical Assistant.  The Number 11 slot belongs to the Anesthesiologist and women can enter this field in just under two years as an Anesthesia Technologist.  For women wishing to participate in the #12 slot of Surgeon, they too can enter the field as a Surgical Technologist.  The #20 slot belongs to the animal lover as a Veterinarian and again women can enter this field as a Veterinary Technician.

From the roles of Vet Techs, Home Health Aides, Certified Nursing Assistants, Medial Assistants, Nurses all the way up to Health Care Administration officials, the industry has become a well spring from which many women have been able to find employment which allows them to support themselves and their families while also seeking growth into better paying jobs and positions.

City College, an ABHES accredited, health based college, located in Florida (Miami, Hollywood, Fort Lauderdale, Altamonte Springs and Gainesville) takes great pride in offering health programs as well as catering to a predominantly female population.  Over 70% of City College employees are women and we boast an over 70% female student population.  The College President, Vice President of Academic Affairs and the Corporate Directors of Compliance, Financial Aid, Admissions, Facilities and Admissions are all women. The College offers a diverse set of  programs in health care including Nursing, Medical Assisting, Medical Office Administration, Surgical Technology, Anesthesia Technology, Veterinary Technology as well as a Bachelor’s degree in Health Care Administration.

City College is proud to work with women to gain education and experience in the health field so that they can support themselves and their families and become a vibrant part of the female empowered Florida landscape. City College continues to position itself in a way to help all interested students; but takes great pride in our ability to help women to become independent, empowered and to join the ranks of those 43.4% of women who hold as least an Associate degrees with the ability to go even further.