“Shark Tank” investor Kevin O’Leary likes to invest in companies run by women.
Over nearly a decade of putting his money behind small companies through Shark Tank “not some of my returns, all of my returns, have come from the ones run by women or owned by women,” he told CNBC.
This isn’t new for O’Leary. In 2015, when he was invested in 27 companies, he told Business Insider, “I don’t have a single company run by a man right now that’s outperformed the ones run by women.”
In a video published by Inc, O’Leary told the crowd at Inc’s GrowCo conference about why he thinks this is.
“I have a theory about this,” he said. This theory has two parts:
1. Women are better at time management.
“If you look at the transition of a company from a startup to $US5 million, then $US10 million, then $US25 million, then $US50 million, there’s different skill sets required there. But I believe the reason that women are more successful in many outcomes is that their time-management skills are better than men. There’s an old adage: ‘If you want something done, give it to a busy woman.’ There’s a lot of truth to that in a private, small company, because they’re allocating their and their employees’ time.”
2. Women set more attainable goals.
Here’s O’Leary again:
“Guys tend to set goals that are very hard to achieve, outlier goals, and when they’re achieved it’s a huge success, they feel great, but they don’t mind getting 50% of the way there. But what they don’t realise is happening within a small business is that when you don’t achieve your goals consistently, morale starts to slump and you get higher employee turnover.
“Women set goals that are achievable — they get achieved 80%, 90%, 95% of the time, company morale goes up, and there’s a really sticky culture developing. So employee turnover is less. These are really interesting attributes, and when you have less turnover of employees, productivity goes up and basically, your use of capital, your return on assets, goes higher, and the outcomes are better.”
O’Leary is adamant that he’s not out to start “gender warfare” — “I would give money to a goat if I get a good return,” he’s said repeatedly — but his conclusion is, he told the audience at GrowCo, “the outcomes have been very, very good on these women-run businesses because they know what they’re doing with time, and goal-setting, and these things matter in micro-communities where culture is a big deal.”