Caroline Rose Hunt got the Crescent built. Mary Kay Ash and Ebby Halliday founded companies from the ground up. Because of them and many others, Dallas is as we know it today.
I’ve been in business journalism for a few decades. I can’t tell you how many times reporters have complained about a lack of women executives to write about. My answer: “You aren’t looking hard enough.” They may operate a bit under the radar or lead in a quieter way than their male counterparts, but I can assure you, women have long been a powerful force in driving the North Texas economy.
That point is driven home in the June issue of D CEO, which focuses exclusively on female executives. It’s anchored by a cover story written by Hilary Lau that looks back at some of the women who have played a pivotal role in building Dallas. They include icons Mary Kay Ash and Ebby Halliday—innovative leaders who not only founded and led huge companies, but who empowered hundreds of other women by creating a way for them to build careers for themselves.
We also write about retail pioneer Carrie Marcus Neiman and the original Uptown girl, Caroline Rose Hunt. I look out at Uptown from my spot in the D newsroom. It’s hard to imagine what the view would be like if Hunt had not boldly built The Crescent there in the mid-1980s. Today, mixed-use projects are all the rage and bustling Uptown is one of the most successful neighborhoods in the country. But just 35 years ago, it was a barren scene. If Hunt had not developed her 1.3 million-square-foot hotel and office complex, would the city, instead, have grown to the south? Would Klyde Warren Park ever had been built?
The cover story includes a detailed timeline, sidebars on women leaders in politics and philanthropy, and an expansive collection of historical photos curated by creative director Hamilton Hedrick, managing editor Brandon Call, and art manager Morganne Stewart. (My favorite: an image of a young Ebby Halliday overlooking Dallas in the 1950s, which graces the cover.) I’m exceptionally proud of the entire issue and can’t wait for it to hit the streets on Thursday at D CEO’s fourth annual Women’s Leadership Symposium. (The half-day event will feature more than a dozen speakers, including a keynote from Yum! Brands global exec Tracy Skeans. Get more info and last-minute tickets here.)
So, what does the future look like for women business leaders in North Texas? Quite bright, according to Muneera Carr, one of the executives interviewed for our June issue. Carr was named chief financial officer at Dallas-based Comerica Bank in 2017 and says the city is a true land of opportunity. “When I came to America [from Mumbai] in 1990 with few dollars in my bank account, I had no idea my greatest career advancement would happen in Dallas,” she says. “Through a great commitment to diversity, women are rising in the ranks—and Dallas is embracing the movement.”
Learn all about it. The cover story is online today.