Warren Buffett's views on diversity and inclusion might surprise you. Here is what he says
Consider it but don't
An analysis by Calvert Investment found that Coca-Cola (Warren Buffett is a big investor) was one of the best companies for workplace diversity while Berkshire Hathaway (Buffett’s own company) was one of the worst. Buffett has explicitly stated that he does not consider diversity when hiring for leadership roles and board members.
Does that need to change? Is he missing any investment opportunities as a result? Does he consider diversity when analyzing the value of a company?
The short answer is no, he says.
Buffett says that he always selects board members based on competence, relevant business experience, shareholder value, and special interest in Berkshire Hathaway.
His business partner Charlie Munger tells a story that explains the way they think about diversity:
As a lawyer, Munger did some work for the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Los Angeles. His law partner at the time was surprised that a religious leader with strong convictions had chosen them for the task. He remarked, “We know you don't need to hire us to do this. There's plenty of good Catholic tax lawyers.”
The Archbishop’s response was thought-provoking. He said, “ Last year I had a very serious surgery and I did NOT look around for the leading Catholic surgeon.”
That's the way Buffett and Munger feel about diversity on the board.