Warren Buffett Says Women Need To Take More Credit

Are you taking credit for your work? Or do you say it’s no big deal?

Warren Buffett is an American business magnate, investor, and philanthropist. He is widely considered the most successful investor of the 20th century. Buffett is the primary shareholder, chairman, and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway.

The Snowball: Warren Buffett and the Business ...

The Snowball: Warren Buffett and the Business of Life (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In an interview by Fortune magazine last week, Warren Buffett told a group of students that “women need to pursue more recognition for what they accomplish. He used Katherine Graham, former chairman and CEO of the Washington Post, as an example of a woman who’s stock multiplied, yet she never gained the confidence that came with success. Buffett found it peculiar when he saw Katherine Graham still feeling uncomfortable, despite all her accomplishments.

And yet, I don’t find it peculiar at all because I struggle with this everyday. I remember graduating valedictorian of my high school, receiving a full scholarship to college, and still feeling like I hadn’t accomplished enough. While everyone else was bragging about their graduation, I couldn’t, and really didn’t. Few people know I graduated as Valedictorian of my high school to this date.

I have improved a bit since my 18 year old self, but I am definitely not as confident as I should be. In college, I finished both my bachelor’s and master’s in 4 years, and I’m about to finish my MBA, and I still don’t brag about it. I should right? I see other people bragging…specifically men about their alma mater.

What’s happening at work? Am I taking credit when I should? Sometimes, but most times, I don’t. See, I’m the type of person who sees accomplishments and success as mandatory, not exceptional service. I see men praise their work, and all I see is “okay, you accomplished your goal, but you did not over-accomplish it.” In my head, there is no reason to feel a sense of glory when you just “accomplished” what you were suppose to accomplish.

It’s a problem. I already see where this mentality hurts women.

On Friday, I spoke with a female manager about handling “over-confident” men at meetings, and how the men in our industry view women. She has many years of experience, and basically told me it’s a hard world in the telecommunications industry. The industry is dominated by men, especially in senior leadership positions. And men do not take women seriously. Her words not mine. Although I have seen this behavior in our company. She mentioned at her point in her career, the last thing she wants to do is cause waves. She is just keeping quite, maintaining her job. She’s comfortable, and she admits to being okay with that.

But I’m just beginning in my career. I know I don’t want to cause waves, but I’m quite rebellious, which means I will cause waves.

I already know I’m not taking enough credit for my work. What next? What do I need to do to take credit for it? This change doesn’t happen overnight. What I can do is increase my confidence.

I pledge to be a strong, confident woman. 

Are you taking credit for your accomplishments?

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  • I like to think I take credit for my own accomplishments, but I probably don’t as much as I should. That said, we have a very flat management structure here (I report directly to the company owner) so I don’t have to do a whole lot of shouting to get credit for what I’ve done. It’s seen in our progress meetings.

    • I think it’s easier to be recognized for your accomplishments in a flatter organization. I have worked for a flat organization, and it’s easy to notice who are the high achievers. The more complex an organization, the more political it becomes.

  • I agree – a lot of women underestimate how much they’re actually doing and have actually accomplished – this issue isn’t as bad as it was before the Second Wave of Feminism.

  • KK @ Living Debt Free Rocks!

    I would say that I often play the team card when it comes to my professional achievements but my efforts still tend to get noticed by senior management and I hear about it which is nice.

    • Savvyfinanciallatina

      I think it’s important to play the team card, but it’s also important to recognize your individual accomplishments. Believe me, I have met a lot of senior executives, and they are not shy to say their accomplishments.

  • Good for you! I think it’s possible to find a balance between being a team player and being recognized for your individual successes. I applaud your commitment to becoming stronger and more confident. :)

    • Savvyfinanciallatina

      It’s my goal! My boss even said I need to increase my confidence and decrease my shyness in my annual review.

  • I have three points;
    Regarding Warren Buffett, he touched on this at the meeting too. He clearly feels strongly about the issue and it was neat to hear him talk about it at length.

    It makes me sad to hear about your struggles. You’re obviously an accomplished person who works very hard. Keep at it and never give up. I like to think that the best rise to the top and you will too. The blabber mouths are usually the worthless ones.

    Finally, I have a real life example. I work in software development where there seems to be about 100 men for every woman. My technical lead is an accomplished programmer and female. She kicks ass and doesn’t show off. She has risen through the ranks and got there just by working hard.

    • Savvyfinanciallatina

      I don’t want to show off. I hate show off’s. But I do think women brush off their accomplishments. I know I do. I’m getting better.
      I work for a tech company, and unless you are in HR or procurement, men outnumber women.

  • I agree, women don’t shout it from the mountaintops. I think part of it is the culture of the era in which I was raised (I’m a boomer). We were taught that “It isn’t lady like to brag”!!!

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