Warren Buffett reminded all of us last week that Corporate America could do more to advance women in the workplace. Perhaps he should start with his own company.
Berkshire Hathaway, where Buffett is chairman and CEO, ranked dead last among S&P 100 companies in boosting women and minorities, according to a March survey of corporate diversity from Calvert Investments. Calvert ranked companies’ commitment to diversity based on 10 criteria including board representation, highest-paid executives and family-friendly benefits.
Out of a possible 100 points, Berkshire scored a five. For comparison’s sake, Citigroup and Coca-Cola scored a 100 and a 95 respectively. Berkshire Hathaway didn’t immediately respond to an email message from The Huffington Post seeking comment.
Despite his company’s low ranking on the list, Buffett made a case last week for more women in the corporate world. In an essay in Fortune titled “Warren Buffett is Bullish on Women,” the Oracle of Omaha lent his voice to the recent chorus of people arguing that American businesses and working women themselves could do more to boost women in the workplace.
“Fellow males, get onboard,” Buffett wrote. “The closer that America comes to fully employing the talents of all its citizens, the greater its output of goods and services will be.”
Berkshire also appointed the third woman to its company board earlier this year, a feat that only 13 percent of companies have achieved, according to a recent survey from GMI ratings. More than 60 percent of companies have at least one woman on their board, according to GMI.
Still, as the Calvert report notes, Corporate America has a long way to go before becoming truly diverse. More than half of the companies surveyed had no women or minorities in their highest-paid positions.
And when it comes to the top job things are even worse: Only 4 percent of the S&P 500 CEOs are women andjust 6 CEOs -- or slightly more than 1 percent -- were a racial minority in 2012.
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