X
Menu
X

Women in Private Equity

It Begins with Intentionality

To see greater female representation within the private equity industry, according to Patricia Miller Zollar, Managing Director of Neuberger Berman, there must be a marshalling of resources directed towards greater representation. She also lays out some of the things firms need to do to help recruit and retain greater numbers of female professionals.

Recruiting Women to Private Equity

Melody Rollins, Partner and Head of Client Service & Business Development of Brightwood Capital Advisors, explains why there are so few women in the private equity industry and what can be done to ensure a healthy pipeline of female talent to recruit and retain at firms of all sizes. Brightwood provides flexible capital solutions to U.S. based small to medium-sized enterprises

Problems with the Pipeline

The lack of female representation within the private equity industry is a result of a problem with the entire pipeline – applying for a job, being interviewed, retained and promoted. Maha Eltobgy, Head of Investors Industries, Member of the Executive Committee, World Economic Forum LLC, says there are few women represented in every phase of that process, giving the impression that this is an industry not very friendly to women.

A Viable Career Path For Women Equity

Alisa Amarosa Wood, Member, Client and Partner Group, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. L.P., says women make up only about 18% of the entire private equity industry, and roughly 9% of the senior levels. A greater emphasis on communicating to women the viability of a career choice in private equity while they’re in school as well as greater tools, resources and retention programs at firms could go a long way towards improving these numbers.

Creating Flexible Environments

Nearly half of business school students are female, yet they make up only about 18% of the private equity industry. To successfully increase their ranks, Alisa Amarosa Wood, Member, Client and Partner Group, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. L.P., says firms must create flexible environments and resources to allow women time to be caregivers as well as industry professionals.

Getting The Message Out To Women

When it comes to recruiting best-in-class talented women into the private equity industry, there’s a bit of a communication breakdown. Alisa Amarosa Wood, Member, Client and Partner Group, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. L.P. details some of the industry efforts under way to market to, recruit and mentor women to order reduce the current gender gap.

A Complex Multi Pronged Issue

The reasons for the dearth of women in the private equity industry is twofold, according to Bronwyn D. Bailey, Vice President – Research & Investor Relations, American Investment Council. The greatest contributors to this underrepresentation are recruitment practices that have looked to the same sources for talent over the years and a lack of programs and policies within firms that help with retaining those already in the industry.