Marijuana Business Magazine | January 2019 6 A t MJBizConNEXT last year, keynote speaker Kevin O’Leary shared from the stage a realization he had made about his investment company. The female-led businesses in his portfolio met forecasts more often, had lower turnover and generally outperformed their male counterparts. The women, O’Leary said, had a more tempered and realistic view of their companies, which resulted in their teams feeling more successful and, by extension, more satisfied in their roles. That realization led O’Leary to implement a new approach to how his company manages these portfolio companies—an approach that further improved overall results. Here’s another angle to think about when pondering why the issue of gender diversity matters within your own business. Women and men entering the workforce today—many of whom are choosing to pursue careers in the cannabis industry—are experiencing a vastly different landscape than I did when I took my first job out of college at a B2B newsletter publisher in suburban Washington DC. Today, it is a given that any workforce entrant will, at some point in their career, have a manager, colleague or employee who looks, behaves and manages much as I do—an approach that in many ways is notably different from the company cultures I have encountered during my career. As a business leader and a mentor, it’s my responsibility to help my staff develop the skills and competencies to thrive in this new environment. The team at MJBizDaily is proud to be playing the role we serve in this industry: helping each and every one of our subscribers and event attendees understand the business side of the industry as it is now—and as it is likely to be in the future if we all do our jobs well. Our goal is to help each of you do your job better and run your businesses better and, thus, collectively advance the cannabis industry overall. In the same vein that it’s my responsibility to prepare my staff for the new normal of female leadership, the MJBizDaily team considers it our collective responsibility to contribute to building an industry that provides a level playing field for all who want to compete. I’m proud to be among the more prominent company heads in the cannabis industry. I take even more pride in being part of an as-yet- smaller-than-hoped-for—yet no less powerful—growing cohort of females who head up their businesses and use their positions to drive the industry forward. I’m glad to be serving as an example to the “Women to Watch” featured in this issue of Marijuana Business Magazine and likewise appreciate having these women inspire me as I continue to forge a path forward for my own business. Women may not (yet) fill as many senior leadership roles in cannabis as males, but they are not going away, either. I hope you enjoy this month’s issue and the profiles of these amazing and influential cannabis industry leaders. The Business Case for Female Leadership Cassandra Farrington President & CEO, MJBizDaily From the CEO | Cassandra Farrington Marijuana Business Magazine has implemented some design changes starting with this issue. We hope you enjoy our new look!