recruitment, diversity, inclusion, EDI, private equity, finance

Diversity Discussions: The rise of female talent in the private equity market

Tracey Alper our consultant managing the role

While private equity (PE) has made some small strides to improve gender imbalance, with firms placing a greater focus on Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) within PE, there is still progress to be made.

The sector has earned the reputation for being male-dominated, even in Sweden - a country that takes the top spot in the EU Gender Equality Index rankings - women account for only one in five board seats at portfolio companies owned by PE firms. The notorious gender imbalance within the sector means leaders cannot hide behind smoke and mirrors.

A better gender balance will support the growth of private equity

PE firms need more females at the decision table for a number of reasons, one of which is to dismantle microaggressions – a form of everyday discrimination that 64% of women admit they face in the workplace. Microaggression can be subtle, for example, a male calling a female professional ‘darling’ in the workplace. It’s not to say that microaggressions are always a barrier for women, but they can often distract and even derail a women’s success in the workplace.

Diverse teams are better at decision-making and can combat groupthink because, with different perspectives comes the need to weigh up all the possible outcomes. Of course, this can sometimes impede decision-making, which is why a strong leader is needed to unite the team. In a similar vein, a group with unique outlooks is better equipped when it comes to problem-solving. They put forward more creative solutions, combining their collective subject matter expertise and applying lateral thinking, making diverse teams a real asset in the competitive field that is PE.

There are many more benefits to having a workforce comprised of people from different genders, backgrounds, ethnicities, cultures, religions, sexual identities, abilities and ages. Their cognitive diversity is what makes them superior to a team that all think and act in the same way.

However, the combined impact of globalisation, the digital revolution, ramped up regulations and the pandemic has made it all that harder to attract, motivate and retain talent – particularly diverse talent. This poses a challenge for PE – a sector renowned for having a small pool of highly talented individuals.

However, the combined impact of globalisation, the digital revolution, ramped up regulations and the pandemic has made it all that harder to attract, motivate and retain talent – particularly diverse talent. This poses a challenge for PE – a sector renowned for having a small pool of highly talented individuals.

How to attract and retain female talent

Attracting women is only half of the battle for PE firms. The key to nurturing a diverse culture is retaining this talent.

In McKinsey’s latest ED&I in the private equity workplace report, the management consultant firm reveals progress has been made, but now is not time for the sector to rest on its laurels. To continue moving forward, organisations must retire the idea of “diversity initiatives” and instead set their sights on creating a robust D&I strategy that focuses on culture.

Empowering future female leaders

Building a gender diverse team is not only about ensuring operational success, it’s also about developing the female leaders of tomorrow. A report by Beauhurst and Newable found that one in four high-growth businesses in the UK were founded by women, yet the amount of money being invested in these female-founded companies is on the decline. The findings show that all-male teams are clinching the megadeals, leaving a smaller pot to be distributed.

The International Finance Corporation (IFC) released an analysis of the gender balance within PE and venture capital, revealing some thought-provoking findings.

Our data shows that female deal partners invested in almost twice as many female-led businesses than male deal partners.


This highlights how critical it is to ensure women have a seat at the table, to be a voice for other women and to champion female-focused investment.

How we’re helping PE firms grow truly diverse and inclusive environments

Organisations partner with Marks Sattin not only to tap into the expertise we’ve built over the last 30 years but also because of our commitment to diversity and inclusion.

It’s more difficult than ever to attract the best finance talent, and that challenge is only exemplified when trying to recruit diverse talent. This is where we step in. As specialists in finance recruitment, we have grown an extensive network of clients who trust us to help them build a diverse team.

If you’re looking to hire your next CFO, private equity change manager, Group financial controller, head of treasury, or investment executive, then submit a brief and we’ll be in touch for a chat.

Or if it’s time for a career change, find out more about private equity recruitment at Marks Sattin.

04/08/21
posts

Related articles

Why you need finance contractors to bolster your business
Why you need finance contractors to bolster your business

Teaser

Financial Services

Content Type

General

24/06/24

Summary

The interim and contracting industry currently accounts for a third of the world’s working population and is projected to reach $500 billion in gross volume in the next five years. Why has there

Teaser

Contract work meets rapidly changing needs

Read full article
Ryan Johnson

by

Ryan Johnson

Ryan Johnson

by

Ryan Johnson

London SMES are increasingly reliant on temporary workers
London SMES are increasingly reliant on temporary workers

Teaser

General

Content Type

General

06/06/24

Summary

According to research from Sonovate London SMES have become increasingly reliant on temporary workers. New research has revealed that there has been an increase in reliance from small and medi

Teaser

Are London SMEs increasingly reliant on temporary workers?

Read full article
Jamie Smith

by

Jamie Smith

Jamie Smith

by

Jamie Smith

What does the future hold for private equity?
What does the future hold for private equity?

Teaser

Executive Search

Content Type

General

18/04/24

Summary

As we navigate the ever-evolving landscape of the global economy, the future of private equity (PE) stands at a pivotal crossroads.  With rapid technological advancements, shifting market d

Teaser

Learn about emerging private equity job opportunities and more.

Read full article
Tracey Alper

by

Tracey Alper

Tracey Alper

by

Tracey Alper

jobs

Related jobs

We are sorry we can't find what you're looking for


Why not try one of the following ...

View all jobs