Women Don’t Quit

Women don’t quit but I knew that.

Through the rain, sleet and miserable weather at the Boston Marathon, many quit but not Desiree Linden.  There are actually some great stats that came along with that win.  In 2017, the male dropout rate was almost 80% but for women, it was only around 12%.  This comes as zero surprise to me.

I can only compare this to my data points of investing in women for more than a decade.  With those investments have also come many connections to other women that I have cheered on from the sidelines but did not put capital in their businesses.  Very few have called it quits.  Although many have been undercapitalized which is one of my biggest frustrations (and obviously theirs) but as an investor, seeing someone figure it out come hell or high water and sticking with it although all the odds are against them, is the kind of person you would think that more institutional investors would be paying attention to.

As for the men, I have invested in them too and have had a few pack it up, not pay attention to the thoughtful advice around them or even ask for it.  They just called it in and walked away.  I do believe a lot of these actions start from the very beginning when men (boys) are told just keep trying, shoot more darts, keep moving while women (girls) are told that this might not be something that they are good at and should try something else.  What happens is men find it easier to just walk away and not take the blame.  Women internalize that with the thought, I will prove you all wrong.

To all the investors who have ignored these women for way too long (and that includes many of you female investors who have not looked hard enough for them or made it part of your personal thesis to find these women and support them) open your eyes.  Women don’t quit, they are great collaborators, they listen to the people around them and most of all they are serious survivors.

We can all applaud Desiree Linden, who did not quit the Boston Marathon, through horrendous weather, but again, that’s a woman for you.



Comments (Archived):

  1. Anne Libby

    Yes! Also, there’s also the other side, staying in something suboptimal for too long. When I look back on the earlier days of my career, I did this more than once, thinking that I should be able to make things work. In the end, another experience — knowing when to hold ’em and when to fold ’em…

    1. Gotham Gal

      100%. There is a time to call it a day too

  2. JLM

    .You misread that NYT article. Here’s the original article: https://www.nytimes.com/201…Here’s another good article on the actual Boston Marathon demographic data: https://registration.baa.or…The male dropout rate was UP 80% to a total of 5%. It was not a total of 80%. It was UP 80% to a total of 5%.The female dropout rate also increased — UP 12% to a total of 3.8%. Again, it was UP 12% to a total of 3.8%.2018 BM male dropout rate: 5%2018 BM female dropout rate: 3.8%What this suggests is that in the 2017 BM, the male dropout rate was, in fact, 2.77% (5.0%/1.80); while the female dropout rate would have been 3.4% (3.8%/1.12).This draws a very different picture, no?Historically, men dropped out at a lesser rate than women. Sort of turns the hypothesis on its ear.What is also meaningful is the dropout rates were similar amongst runners considered to be world class or “elite.” That suggests some more organic explanation. It was a cold, wet, rainy track and some runners hate those conditions. In the horse racing business, some horses are “mudders” and others cannot run in the rain.It is difficult to draw the conclusion you do from the correct data. Nonetheless, I agree totally with your observation that women tend to internalize their feelings of success and failure. That has been my empirical experience.Would it be fair to suggest that your experience may be skewed a bit because of your identification as a woman friendly investor? I imagine women might seek you out as a safe harbor, a sympathetic listener in a storm or when seeking funding. Fair?JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…