LP focus on diversity boosts number of female partners

Despite the 8 percent growth in 2016, females still only account for 14 percent of all private equity partners.

The number of female partners at private equity firms has increased at a faster rate than men, according to research by executive search firm DHR International.

There was an 8 percent rise in female partners in 2016, while male partners increased by 2 percent year on year, the data show.

The overall proportion of female partners remains low, rising just 0.6 percent to 14 percent in the 12 months to December.

The gradual improvement has been attributed in part to increased questioning from investors on a firm’s gender diversity. The New York City Retirement System and APG now ask about male-female balance to their due diligence questionnaires.

“Private equity houses often have a reputation of being boys’ clubs which can deter women from entering the profession,” Simon Mansfield, managing partner at DHR International, said.