The key to America’s future success lies in having women excel in the workplace, said Warren Buffett, billionaire investor and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway.
In an essay published in Fortune, Buffett urged men to help women achieve their goals at work, stating that it was not just an ethical thing to do, but also in a man’s self-interest.
“Fellow males, get onboard. The closer that America comes to fully employing the talents of all its citizens, the greater its output of goods and services will be,” he wrote.
Buffett noted that while the structural barriers for women were falling, too many women “continue to impose limitations on themselves, talking themselves out of achieving their potential”.
He raised the example of the late Katharine Graham, controlling shareholder and CEO of the Washington Post. Despite her many accomplishments – Washington Post stock going up by more than 4,000% during her time as boss, winning a Pulitzer Prize for her autobiography – her self-doubt always remained. This was due to “brain-washing” that she experienced when growing up that men were superior in business, he said.
Buffett then made a case for greater gender diversity by stating that with more women onboard, greater productivity and performance can be achieved.
“No manager operates his or her plants at 80% efficiency when steps could be taken that would increase output… If obvious benefits flow from helping the male component of the workforce achieve its potential, why in the world wouldn't you want to include its counterpart?” wrote Buffett.