The title of this piece caught our eye: Warren Buffett is bullish … on women.
We like Buffet! (See here.)
The tenor of this piece, though, is more than a little … basic:
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?
This sort of boosterism ignores issues that feminists who write about workplace issues have been discussing for some time. There’s no mention here of parenting of any kind. What about the idea that, not only do (some) women want a more flexible workplace, many men do as well? Women in the workplace could use more maternity leave, sure, but what about paternity leave? If men refuse to acknowledge that reproduction has much to do with them, that leaves women arguing largely with each other about the details of who gets 2 weeks and who gets 16, whether we should feel guilty about having nannies, Marissa Mayer’s in-office nursery, whether the ends-sharply-at-5pm performance of working moms dumps extra work in the laps of women without children, etc.
I don’t think it’s that hard a sell that, if we had more women engineers, they’d probably engineer some creative new stuff, including stuff that would sell really well. But we don’t make that happen just by boosting women’s self-confidence and telling men to lend a hand; real structural changes will have to happen for full inclusion in the modern American workplace.
Speaking of real structural changes, here’s a video of two monkeys testing a theory of inequity. And people wonder why we need Lily Ledbetter.
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