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PE Leaders Working To Increase Gender Diversity

On February 7th, the Private Equity Women's Initiative hosted its second annual Forum at KPMG LLP headquarters in New York City with the aim of increasing gender diversity throughout the private equity industry. The Forum specifically included interactive discussions, case study analyses, networking opportunities, and insight from top industry executives. Over 80 top private equity professionals attended the Forum and worked to identify the best practices to recruit, retain, and advance women within the private equity industry.

The Forum is part of the Private Equity Women's Initiative, a partnership between the National Association of Investment Companies (NAIC) and the American Investment Council (AIC). Attendees heard from representatives of two of the largest public pension funds in the country, Ted Eliopoulos, Chief Investment Officer of CalPERS, and Scott Evans, Chief Investment Officer of New York City Retirement Systems. The Forum also included a roundtable discussion where participants considered solutions to the challenges of gender diversity.

"NAIC is delighted that our collaboration with the AIC will positively contribute to more women having the opportunity to develop long, vibrant and rewarding careers in private equity because the industry worked to become more inclusive in our policies and practices," said Jennell Lynch, Vice President of the association. "Forums such as this are among the first steps towards ensuring the talent possessed by women will no longer be overlooked or discounted."

In addition to its annual Forum, the Private Equity Women's Initiative provides Guidelines and Best Practices to firms that are looking to improve their recruitment and advancement practices. Given that women make up only about 14.2% of the senior ranks in the private equity industry, these efforts are essential to increasing gender diversity within firms.

"The AIC is a proud supporter of the Private Equity Women's Initiative," remarked Bronwyn Bailey, Vice President of Research and Investor Relations. "Our members are committed to increasing the number of women at their firms and strongly believe that diverse teams deliver better results for their pension and endowment investors that serve communities across our country."  

Other participants and speakers included: Maha Eltobgy, Head of Investors Industries, Member of the Executive Committee, World Economic Forum; Alex Doñé, Deputy Chief Investment Officer - Private Markets, Office of New York City Comptroller Scott M. Stringer; JoAnn H. Price, Co-Founder and Managing Partner, Fairview Capital Partners; Kelly Williams, Chair and CEO, Private Equity Women Investor Network; and Alisa A. Wood, Member, Partner and Client Group, KKR.