The most recent issue of FORTUNE features an essay by Warren Buffett entitled, “Warren Buffett is bullish ... on women.”* In it, Mr. Buffett contributes his own thoughts to the recent dialogue taking place around women and work in the U.S., characterizing the unfortunate fact that barriers still remain.
Despite our track record as a nation, Mr. Buffett writes, “America has forged this success while utilizing, in large part, only half of the country's talent.”
Ultimately, Mr. Buffett’s FORTUNE essay issues a call to action not only to the men who continue to lead the majority of our corporations and occupy nearly all of the seats on our corporate boards, but also to those men who manage employees at any level.
Mr. Buffett states:
“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?”
While I don’t wholly agree with Mr. Buffett’s assessment on certain points (I’m sure he won’t lose any sleep over that), I did find his argument to be compelling. It also made me take a moment to look at the public relations profession in light of the argument that embracing the ascension of women to executive roles and directorships within companies, in addition to providing greater opportunity, mentorship and promotion of women through all levels of business makes business sense. Read the rest of this entry »