Pam Bondi prepares to become Florida's first female attorney general | People
TALLAHASSEE, Florida -- Former Tampa prosecutor Pam Bondi, who will be sworn in Tuesday as Florida's first female attorney general, told supporters at Florida State University this morning that she didn't realize the importance of the distinction until she hit the campaign trail for the first time.
"Young girls would come up to me, 14, 15, and 16 and say 'I want to go to law school because of you. I want to be attorney general because of you.'"
Bondi and Lt. Gov.-elect Jennifer Carroll, who will be the first African-American to hold the job, were the guests of honor at a Salute to Women in Leadership breakfast kicking off two days of inaugural events for Gov.-elect Rick Scott. Like Bondi, Scott has also never held office.
Bondi spoke of being inspired by other women leaders, including the keynote speaker at the breakfast, fellow attorney and fellow Fox News legal commentator Greta Van Susteren, and Gulf Power CEO Susan Story, the master of ceremonies.
"I tell you there is no glass ceiling," Bondi said. "Because of people who have come before."
Bondi's remarks were warmly received by a crowd of more than 250 at FSU's Alumni Hall. Some career women, however, might think Bondi went a tad too far.
A report by the Government Accountability Office released this September showed that female managers earned 81 cents for every $1 earned by male managers in 2007, an increase of 2 cents from the last survey in 2000. The same study of 13 of the largest industries that make up most of the U.S. workforce showed that women made up 40 percent of managers and 49 percent of non-managers, only a slight improvement from 2000.
But it wasn't a day for splitting hairs.
Van Susteren challenged the new Scott administration to prepare to compromise and "show up" the partisan gridlock in Washington by working with Democrats to fix Florida's nearly 12 percent unemployment rate.
After the speech, Carroll said she agreed with the theme.
"That's the way life works," Carroll said. "Not every family gets along 100 percent of the time. You have to work together for a better Florida."