CNBC’s Julia Boorstin discusses how female leadership moves markets and drives profit-driven innovation

Julia Boorstin, CNBC’s senior media and technology correspondent, leveraged her pandemic lockdown downtime. She has embarked on a book that examines female leadership in business, how it is changing, and how these management styles are changing business.

‘When Women Lead’, to be published next month by Simon & Schuster, is a highly publicized book that brings a global perspective to examining the situation of women managers in companies large and small. One fact that stood out like a neon sign in her research was the shockingly low percentage of venture capital dollars that flow into women-led businesses. His anecdotal research has only reinforced the conscious bias among VCs who seek out founders who look like Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg.

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“I thought, ‘It’s bananas,'” Boorstin said on the latest episode of Variety podcast “Strictly commercial.”

“The most recent statistics indicate that 82% of all venture capital dollars went to companies without a single female co-founder,” she says. “So that means all of these billions of dollars that are funneled into companies like Uber or Airbnb that are going to change the way we live don’t involve women. I thought, ‘This is crazy.’ I was interviewing women who defied those odds and I thought, “I want to know how these women succeeded.”

“When Women Lead” is anything but easy reading. Nor is it dominated by interviews with the usual suspects when it comes to women entrepreneurs. Boorstin did his homework and his research. The book is organized by broad themes that are explored in depth – these are not platitudes about bosses.

“One of the reasons I want to tell the stories of about 60 women in this book is that there was such incredible diversity, such a wide range of different ways that women lead,” Boorstin says. “And they look, sound and do things their way. I mean, there are women in the book who are naturally introverted and they’ve figured out how to use their introversion as a superpower in business. I think that’s so cool, because it totally breaks that stereotype of what a leader is supposed to be.

The book covers a wide range of industries, but tech and media companies are being watched closely, including the recent sale of Reese Witherspoon’s Hello Sunshine banner. Boorstin details the strategy that led to the company’s $900 million valuation.

“Reese Witherspoon is a big star. But the amazing thing about watching Hello Sunshine is that there was this period where all these streaming services were launched….and each of these ads seemed to feature a show of Hello Sunshine,” she said.

What is clear in hindsight is that “studios and streamers were looking to leverage the Hello Sunshine brand while Hello Sunshine was looking to leverage streamers to increase their valuation. It shows that women can do it.

“Strictly professional” is Variety weekly podcast featuring conversations with industry leaders about the media and entertainment industry. New episodes debut every Wednesday and can be downloaded from iTunes, Spotify, Google Play, Stitcher and SoundCloud.

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