The top of the corporate food chain remains a boys club.
Women account for just 5% of CEOs at Fortune 500 companies.
However, it’s not a question of intelligence, “Shark Tank” investor Barbara Corcoran recently told Tom Keene and Olivia Sterns on Bloomberg Television.
When asked how we can get more female executives, the savvy businesswoman who turned a $US1,000 investment into a $US70 million real estate business had an interesting answer.
“I don’t think it’s an issue of getting executives in the first place, because so many people are coming out of business school and pursuing a career like that,” she told Keene and Sterns. “I think it’s a question of how do you keep women in that position, or on the career path, long enough to get to the top office?”
So why aren’t women sticking it out?
The “one great reality in life called having children,” Corcoran explained. “Believe me, any woman who has a high-paying job and also is a mum at home can tell you how hard that is to juggle both.”
That’s where the intelligence piece fits in. “W
omen are smarter than men,” she said. “They get to a point and think, ‘Is this worth it?’ The resounding answer is no, and they check out.”
The fix, according to Corcoran, is for women to start their own businesses and be their own bosses.
But that’s just the beginning. Even when women take ownership and jumpstart an entrepreneurial career, Corcoran has observed that their businesses are more likely to experience a downfall.
“If you’re going to build a business, it’s just a matter of jumping over a million obstacles and having the stamina to get back up and say … ‘hit me again,'” she told Bloomberg. “But women tend to pout a little bit more. They lay back and think, ‘Oh my God, oh my God.’ And while they’re doing that, the next guy’s running away.”
To get her female entrepreneurs back in the game, Corcoran gives them a large dose of tough love.
“I shame them to death. ‘What would your daughter think? Is she going to be proud of you if she reads this oh poor me email? Get the heck up!’ I just badger them,” she said.
Watch the full interview here.
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