Barbara Corcoran is best known as a business-savvy shark on ABC’s “Shark Tank,” doling out advice about how to turn ideas into cash just as she did with her real estate empire.
But now the female titan is getting some heat for a tweet that has since been deleted from her account.
“I find running a #business in a man’s world to be a huge advantage. I wear bright colors, yank up my skirt + get attention,” the controversial tweet said.
The comment certainly got women talking. Eileen Carey, co-founder and CEO of Glassbreakers, a diversity and inclusion enterprise software company, argued that Corcoran is sending women the wrong message.
“As a millennial, we’re expecting to be judged by our intelligence, our hustle and our creativity. Not by what we’re wearing,” Carey, 30, told ABC News.
Corcoran hasn't backed down, wholeheartedly sticking by her message on “Good Morning America” today.
“I totally believe what I said. And I’m frankly a little bit surprised by getting any reaction to it,” Corcoran, 67, said. “I think it’s so obvious that if you’re a woman or a man, it’s nothing to do with what sex you are, you’ve really got to play up what you’ve got. I happen to have great legs. I didn’t have the best face always or the best body, but I have great legs. So if I want to get attention, and I still do it, I wear my skirts really high, I yank up my skirt at the midriff, and I walk into a room and everybody notices me because I’ve got great legs."
She continued: “I think it’s a great gimmick actually, if you are smart enough to get attention. And I don’t think that’s sexual in anyway, but that’s what makes the horse race, right?”
The business mogul also said that flirting is a technique for her at times.
“It certainly is, and think about it, what do man do?” she asked. “They smoke cigars together, they get flashy by pulling in with the Ferrari, they’re wearing the Rolex watch, they’re playing golf with their bosses, they’ve got all the gimmicks going that make them belong to be a little bit different to be a part of the boy’s club.
“Women don’t do those things,” Corcoran noted. “If you’re attractive, it’s one thing to build up your numbers in business and get a tremendous balance sheet, and in the end you’re judged by that in business. It has nothing to do with male or female. You’re judged by your numbers. But to get to those numbers you’ve got to stand apart from the pack. You will never succeed being exactly like the next guy or gal because nobody will nobody will notice you and you’ll never get to that juicy balance sheet that every woman out there is hoping to get to.”
This isn’t a new message for Corcoran, however. She’s written a book titled “If You Don't Have Big Breasts, Put Ribbons On Your Pigtails,” and vigorously defends that idea because at the end of the day, she says it all ultimately comes down to brains.
“Let me tell you something. If you’re not using your brains, you’re not going to succeed in business,” she said. “It is not an easy game to build a business. You have to be thinking all the time and using every bit of common sense and great intelligence to work in business. That’s a given. But assuming you have five people with equal intelligence working equally hard, the person who knows to grab attention is going to be the one that gets noticed and gets put ahead.”
Corcoran explained she’s “lived in the business world her whole life” and “if you can grab attention and be different from the pack,” that’s the key to success.
“I think it’s a wrong message to tell young women that they should look like the guys. I just don’t think it works in business,” she said. “If you’re beautiful, let yourself be beautiful. I just feel that you should use whatever you’ve got to your advantage.”