U.S. Markets open in 4 hrs 44 mins

Warren Buffett: Women make me 'very optimistic' about this country

Legendary investor Warren Buffett, chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, is bullish on the potential of women in the U.S. to boost the economy.

“I have two sisters that are absolutely smart as I am and better personalities,” Buffett told Yahoo Finance’s editor-in-chief Andy Serwer in a wide-ranging interview. “And, they were born around my time of 1930. And they were told, ‘Marry early and marry well.’

According to Buffett, 87, that was the “unseen message” his sisters received growing up.

“I mean, nobody ever said it that way. So, I have seen half of the United States’ talent basically put off to the side,” he said.

That means that women hold the key to unlocking economic growth in the U.S.  A recent report from S&P Global argued that promoting the entry and retention of more women in the workforce in the U.S., particularly in STEM fields, could create a “substantial growth opportunity,” with the potential to add 5% to 10% to nominal GDP in a just few decades.

“It’s one of the things that makes me optimistic about America because when I look at what we have accomplished using half our talent for a couple of centuries, and now I think of doubling the talent that is effectively employed or at least has the chance to be it makes me very optimistic about this country,” Buffett said.

Watch Warren Buffett LIVE at the 2018 Berkshire Hathaway Annual Shareholders Meeting exclusively on the Yahoo Finance app and desktop. Coverage begins May 5 at 9:45am ET. Set a reminder now!

Berkshire Hathaway’s annual meeting will be held on May 5.

Julia La Roche is a finance reporter at Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter.