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updated: 5/2/2013 11:28 AM

Buffett says women key to nation's prosperity

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Associated Press

OMAHA, Neb. -- Billionaire Warren Buffett is optimistic about America's economic future because the nation has begun to unleash the potential of women.

Buffett's views on the role of women appeared online Thursday in an editorial he wrote for Fortune magazine.

He says that most of America's prosperity was created using only about 50 percent of its talent -- the men. So he's confident the country will prosper as more women excel in the workforce.

"For most of our history, women -- whatever their abilities -- have been relegated to the sidelines," Buffett writes. "Only in recent years have we begun to correct that problem."

Buffett is discussing the topic at the University of Nebraska at Omaha's business college at 11 a.m. Central Daylight Time Thursday. The talk is being broadcast online at Fortune.com. Buffett, 82, will respond to questions sent in on Twitter.

Buffett says his two sisters were encouraged to set their sights on "marrying well" as a career goal even though they are just as bright as the billionaire investor.

Buffett says he saw his friend, Katharine Graham, continue to doubt herself as she led the Washington Post Co. She'd been told throughout her life that men were better at business.

Buffett is getting ready to face more than 30,000 Berkshire Hathaway shareholders this weekend. He is Berkshire's chairman and CEO.

Berkshire owns roughly 80 subsidiaries that include railroad, clothing, furniture and jewelry firms. Its insurance and utility businesses typically account for more than half of the company's net income. The Omaha, Neb., company also has major investments in companies such as Coca-Cola Co., Wells Fargo & Co., and International Business Machines Corp., better known as IBM.

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