Suddenly, Buffett Bullish on Women--his History not so Much

Billionaire investor Warren Buffett is urging corporate America to help develop women's workplace potential because it’s the right thing to do and it’s just good for business.

In an essay published online Thursday, he argues women are the key to America's economic prosperity and in recent years he’s been pretty vocal about expanding opportunities for women.

Adding a bit of historical context, the piece for the May 20 issue of Fortune magazine lays out why women are the key to prosperity: 

So, my fellow males, what's in this for us? Why should we care whether the remaining barriers facing women are dismantled and the fun-house mirrors junked? Never mind that I believe the ethical case in itself is compelling. Let's look instead to your self-interest.

No manager operates his or her plants at 80% efficiency when steps could be taken that would increase output. And no CEO wants male employees to be underutilized when improved training or working conditions would boost productivity. So take it one step further: 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?

Great talking points Mr. Buffett, but in Forbes’ recent list of best and worst companies for women and minorities, Berkshire Hathaway ranks among the worst. There are no women or minorities in the C-suite and only three women are on the board of 13. Yet, studies say three may be the crucial number where women can create real change in the boardroom.

On Friday, Buffett also tweeted "Warren is in the house."  Got any other announcements to make Mr. Buffett? We’re waiting.


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