Warren Buffett: Companies should invest in women
On the same day he joins Twitter, the Berkshire Hathaway CEO calls for men in corporate America to help their female counterparts succeed.
Lost amid all of Thursday's welcome tweets and all the minute-by-minute updates about how many followers Buffett had amassed -- 59,000 in an hour -- was an essay Buffett wrote the same day in Fortune imploring corporate America to help women succeed in the workplace. In the same essay, he also implored those women not to wait for help and to shed self-doubt on the way up the corporate ladder.
Granted, Buffett says all of this as the chief executive of Berkshire Hathaway, a company that Calvert Investments called the least diverse of all S&P 100 companies in a report released in March. However, in the same month, Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A) moved to add New York investor Meryl Witmer to its board, making her the third woman of 13 board members. Investors will vote on her appointment at the company's annual meeting later this week.
Buffett, in two lines, summed up what's in it for companies and their male hierarchy if they help women advance:
"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."
To answer the inevitable chorus of complaints about why gender in the workplace is still an issue, we'll remind folks that women in America's workforce are typically paid 22.6% less than their male counterparts in the same jobs and basically work 59 days for free each year as a result. According to the Democratic Policy and Communications Center, women make $434,000 less than men on average over the course of their careers.
That's not just at one point in their careers, but during their entire career. Congress' joint economic committee says women make $7,600 less than men immediately following graduation. That trend continues to the latter stages of their careers, when Catalyst says women make up just 6.2% of top earners -- which is exactly the point Buffett is trying to address. Though new legislation should close that gender pay gap, the Institute for Women's Policy Research says that won't happen until 2056 at this rate.
It's an issue because Yahoo (YHOO) CEO Marissa Mayer still gets more attention for her telecommuting and maternity leave policies than for day-to-day changes within the company. It's because the number of women in reading circles discussing Facebook (FB) Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg's book "Lean In" rivals, if not outnumbers, the number of women serving as COOs.
It's an issue until all of the above isn't true, which is why Buffett used more than 140 characters to address it.
Buffett has become a PC buffoon who likes to see his name in print so he panders to the PC MSM.
Make a truly honest effort to hire the most competent people regardless of sex. Period!
Totally agree - race, gender, national origin, etc. does not matter: only talent, skill, and ATTITUDE.
"Women have been and STILL ARE treated much like Minorities... There are still some (others) that just DON'T GET IT.."
The Civil Rights Act passed the year I went to Kindergarten. My whole life I was tempered by Equality as a key aspect of recruiting selecting training promotion credit decision, etc. I worked with women who achieved equality by being good at what they did. I have 3 daughters. All 3 excel at what they do. When I went to work for a bank, the first woman I worked for had manipulated her femininity to get whatever she wanted. The LAW helped me to not be victimized by her and breaking it severely helped her to get me out. I then worked for another woman in a bank. She did everything she could from the same play book the first woman used. Buffett needs a swift kick into his casket and an end to an era where we are plagued by billionaires. As for women... the ones who worked BESIDE me were mentors peers friends colleagues and champions. They were also paid the same rate I was. As for the banker chicks-- they were human garbage. The ones Buffett says need to lead are banker chicks. When women can hire men, be mentors peers friends colleagues and champions without specialized treatment cheating or committing crimes to get what they want, then there will be no reason why they wouldn't lead.
Meanwhile, this isn't about equal treatment, but about preferences for women. What else is new?
I was a union carpenter since 1988 and I have NEVER been on a job where a woman carpenter, making the same union wages I was, outworked men. If a woman can out work a man physically, it is the exception, one out of five thousand, not the rule. I do not see where the whole black argument comes into play with this article. Completely separate subjects. Oh and I am part native American and the fact is, we lost those wars and throughout world history there have been winners of war and losers also.
I am just saying in all those years of construction, I NEVER saw a woman work as had as men and yet they were paid the same money.
Women earn less on average because their method of career choice is typically "What fulfills me?", whereas men typically ask "What pays the most?". Women make less because they choose lower paying careers that are more personal to them; nothing at all wrong with that btw, we could learn from that philosphy and be happier.
And the black argument is ridiculous - differences between two races is negligible, whereas differences between males and females can be, in particular cases, huge.
It's time to put these kind of reductive, simplistic statistics like "77 cents for the SAME job" out to pasture if we truly want a society that respects women.
I think it's best to take Warren with a "grain of salt" or for "what he is."
I see no reason to condemn him or kiss his azz...He's just an Old Guy, that has done very well in investments for about 50-60 years...Along with Charlie Munger.
I guess his Daughter has written stories or books about him and his ways..NEVER READ THEM.
And he just puts out his own sage advice or thoughts occassionally..
That's what you do when you get old, part of life.
Dan...Just sayin' but you might have worked around "union shops"...??
Many women that do and have the same tenure and job description...Do get paid the SAME in most cases??
As far as the longer hours, overtime and such that is a chosen disparity in or about wages..
I always get a kick about women not working in the Home....They only wish they had it made like a man that only worked for 40 hours a week at a job "off the farm", providing or considering they had children they were raising also?
And as far as a woman not working the OT, they may have wanted to get home to the 2nd. job..?
I know today many husbands share a lot more in those duties.
But that wasn't always the case...Sense youse up, get me another beer, Honey.
Women are and will always be below a man. Why? They complain, they blame others for their short comings and when they have kids we all are suppose to bow to them. I have worked with many women in high positions and 90% of them are painful to work for. Moody, backstabbers, will blame the person not in the room for their MAJOR mistakes. I say hire the RIGHT PERSON for the job because as a business owner I don't want to go out of business due to a bad employee.
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