‘Women in private equity perceive lack of progress on gender equality’

A report from Investec suggests that a third of women working in private equity are considering leaving their jobs in the next year compared to 19% of men.

Gender Equality Finance


Women do not think that the private equity industry is pushing hard enough with efforts to improve gender diversity, with almost half stating that there has been little or no change, according to a new survey.

The survey of 289 private equity professionals conducted by Investec and MJ Hudson found that more work is being done by employers to bridge the gap – 61% of women said they agreed when asked whether their firm considers diversity and equal opportunities to be important.

However, when asked to compare their career satisfaction with 12 months ago, 29% of women said they were less satisfied, compared to only 12% of men. One third of female participants said that they were considering leaving their firm in the next 12 months, compared to 19% of men. When asked what they planned to do if they were to leave their current firm, women expected to stay in the industry in only 30% of cases, compared to more than 50% of men.

Deborah Sayagh, banker to private equity professionals at Investec Private Bank, said: “The lack of female representation in private equity cannot be disputed, but the industry is moving in the right direction. Take, for example, initiatives such as Blackstone Group’s Future Women Leaders Programme which has had a positive impact in doubling the number of female applicants for its analytics division.

“However, the journey does not stop there; the real challenge is to ensure that these women stay in private equity and build successful careers. Our research clearly indicates that not only is there a lot more work to be done to reach gender parity, but that there also needs to be greater emphasis on the rate of change.”

These findings come at a time when Limited Partners are increasingly expecting General Partners to show how they have improved diversity and inclusion in the workplace.


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