FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. —  The pay disparity between men and women continues to be a topic of importance, not just when women are employees but also when they are the employer.

To help women-owned businesses break down the many barriers they continue to face and to provide an opportunity for the public to address these issues, Broward College is hosting its first-ever Women’s Business Economic Empowerment Summit: Breaking Barriers.

“According to data from the Economic Policy Institute, in some industries, women-owned businesses make only 25 cents for every dollar their male counterparts earn, so we are excited to organize an event that shines a light on these important hurdles experienced by women in business,” said Dicky Sykes, Broward College’s district director of supplier relations and diversity, who planned the women’s business summit.

The College will lead a discussion on the obstacles women face in business, including unequal pay, work-life balance, contract negotiation, access to capital and implicit bias, among other topics. This event is free and open to the public, and will take place on Wednesday, December 9, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Broward College’s North Campus, 1000 Coconut Creek Blvd., Omni Auditorium.

Nancy Allen, president and CEO of Her Company, Inc. will serve as moderator and Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz will deliver a video message on the impact of women-owned businesses. Following the summit, a business card drawing will take place, and each panelist has agreed to provide 12 hours of free coaching to one woman business owner. Coaching sessions will begin January 2016. The woman-owned business owner must be present to win. Only women business owners are eligible for the free coaching sessions.

For more information or to register, visit