Letter from the Editor: What glass ceiling?

It’s getting harder and harder to see it, that proverbial glass ceiling we speak of often. 

The one that women have been attempting to break for decades. Depending on where you sit, and the view you have, it might still be there or you might not see it at all. Maybe you never did. 

Like anything else, we all have our own experiences with these things. But one thing I know is for the 51 women you’re about to read about, whether that ceiling is there or not, it doesn’t matter. 

Each of Tampa Business and Wealth’s Tampa Bay Business Women Award finalists has earned their spot in this class. 

And yes, we are well aware of the number of finalists. There were discussions. Is this too many? How are we going to create a program honoring 51 people and not have an event that lasts 6 hours? Who is going to write all of those profiles? 

That last one was just a question from the editor… but, we determined, with nearly 300 unique nominations and a little over 150 submitted packets, this meant at least 100 people didn’t make the finalist list. This meant the 50 that were chosen by the judges deserved their recognition and we didn’t feel it was our place to whittle away at the list to make our own lives easier. 

That is not the TBBW way. We would just have to figure it out. We always do. 

The truth is, each awards program is different. I’ve been managing this process for a long time. I promise you, it never gets easier and there is always unique challenges. 

In fact, the TBBW Awards process began one slow day, right before Thanksgiving, when team TBBW sat around the office with binders, and notes, and determined the events of 2023. 

Bridgette Bello, publisher and chief executive officer of TBBW, asked us, “Do you think we can even do this guys?” As we often do, we all said, “Let’s go for it, we’ll figure it out.” 

Figuring it out is how it’s done. You wake up, put the fire out at your feet and slowly just figure it out, flame by flame. 

The glass ceiling isn’t there just for women. It’s there for minorities of all types. It’s also there for small teams that, together, make stuff happen. 

On April 21, let’s celebrate together. Celebrate your accomplishments and this honor, and we will be incredibly proud we were able to put together a program worthy of you. A night I dearly hope you will cherish for the rest of your life. 

Cheers, ladies! Lame glass ceiling. Never stood a chance…

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