News & Events

Women in Private Equity: Overcoming the Odds


In recent years, the gender difference among private equity firms has been a hot topic of discussion. As the industry looks to increase diversity in the workforce, women have been making great strides in the field and female-centric summits are growing in popularity.

However, according to a new study from Preqin, there is still a long way to go before women are on equal footing with their male counterparts. The report found that only 12% of private equity professionals are women, and this number is expected to rise only slightly by 2023.

While the gender imbalance is still an issue, it’s important to note that women in private equity are faring better than in other industries. In fact, the study found that female professionals are more likely to be promoted to management positions and earn higher salaries than their male counterparts.

For the last 18 months, Carnegie Consulting has been asked by their Private Market clients to proactively identify and source top female talent. The war for talent since the worst of the Covid pandemic had passed has been well documented, and has made all hiring more challenging. This trend has required both hiring firms and recruiters to be a little creative as certain skill sets are particularly underrepresented by female professionals. This issue is particularly prevalent within Investment related positions in the Private Equity industry.

Since 1st April 2022, Carnegie Consulting has seen the following within their specialist business areas within the Private Equity and Private Market sectors (sample size 10 or greater for each business area):

Finance & Accounting:   57% female hires

Business Support:            100% female hires

Human Resources:          78% female hires

In conclusion, women in private equity are continuing to make great strides. The number of women in top positions is on the rise and the industry is becoming more aware of the importance of diversity and inclusion. Private equity firms are beginning to recognise that gender diversity is not only the right thing to do, but it makes good business sense. As the industry evolves, we can expect to see even more progress made in terms of gender equality.