Women In Private Equity: Some Small Gains

Women In Private Equity

Women In Private Equity: Geography, Strategy & Firm Size by Preqin

Women in Private Equity: Geography

Asia-based private equity firms have consistently had the highest average proportion of female senior employees, and this trend has continued in 2016, with 11.9% of senior roles being held by women. Across other regions, the average proportion of female senior employees has grown slightly, and now stands at a little above 10%. Firms based in the Rest of World have seen the biggest increase from 2015 to 2016, as the average proportion of senior female employees has risen from 9.8% to 10.6%.

Women in Private Equity: Strategy

Infrastructure, real estate and venture capital firms have all seen increases in the average proportion of women in senior roles from 2015 to 2016. Real estate firms in particular have seen a sizeable increase in the number of female senior employees, with the average proportion rising from 9.7% in 2015 to 11.9% in 2016. Conversely, buyout firms have seen a second consecutive annual decline in 2016. The average proportion of women in senior positions fell from 9.0% in 2014 to 7.5% in 2015, and has fallen further to 7.3% in 2016.

Women In Private Equity

Women in Private Equity: Firm Size

Among smaller firms with five or fewer senior employees, women hold an average 9.6% of senior roles. This is less than 1 per firm, suggesting there are still a sizeable number of smaller firms with no female senior employees. This proportion rises consistently among larger firms, and for firms with more than 20 senior employees women currently represent 15.3% of those on average. The largest firms have also seen the greatest sustained increase in the average proportion of women in senior roles, rising more than three percentage points since 2014. This may reflect a concerted effort among some high-profile firms to promote and recruit more women into senior positions.

Women In Private Equity


Encouragingly, these figures show that across most geographies and strategies, firms are employing more women at senior levels than in previous years. Overall, women currently constitute an average 12.6% of senior employees at private equity firms. However, the falling proportion of women at buyout firms is cause for concern, and the industry as a whole must continue to work to improve the employment rates of women at the highest level.

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