Warren Buffett is encouraging women, but I’d argue he’d have more impact focusing on his male peers.
Don’t get me wrong. Warren Buffett is one of my heroes — definitely on my list of whom (past or present) I’d invite to dinner. In many ways, he represents the values I grew up with in regards to respecting money and earning one’s keep, contributing, and keeping both feet on the ground. I’d love to learn from Warren Buffett.
Lately, Mr. Buffett has been making some very rational points in regards to women and the workforce, including the fact we’d be a far better nation (and stronger companies) if we tapped into the other 50% of our (female) brainpower.
Not a new point, but the fact Mr. Buffet (whose company, Berkshire Hathaway, is #5 on Fortune 500 list) is the one saying it, is!
In his outreach, Mr. Buffett is writing about important women he’s known and admired, and most recently offered career tips to young women as part of a Levo League event.
This is great. The more of like minds, the better. More effective, I believe, is if Mr. Buffett would turn his attention and time on men — his peers and those next in line.
Women know their potential to the extent we are ready, willing and able to see how high we can soar. We have the education, drive and passion. Regardless of age, we just need the time, place and, like men, sometimes guidance and doors to be opened.
Women will always continue to get stronger and better (it’s in our DNA) so the need for inspiration, I’d argue, is needed elsewhere.
If I were so lucky to have dinner with Mr. Buffett, I’d ask him what he thinks is the best way to encourage men to think about women as equals… and what that looks like in the every day. What can managers, HR directors, and executives in the C-Suite - most notably the CEO - start doing to effectively transform the rules of the game and open the playing field?
Women have needs, approaches, points of view and motivations that are not wrong, only different. According to the research, different also means profitable.
For their part, men need to understand specific ways they can help women successfully rise and shine, not just check a box. It’s new territory for many, and that’s okay, but awareness is not enough.
Now that he’s so wonderfully stepped out and spoken up on this issue, one last question I would ask: How can you, Mr. Buffett, successfully use your position, power and influence to really hit a home run and change the course of business history?