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Private debt’s diversity push

Our Women of Influence list reveals the women at the forefront of driving change in the asset class, as part of a report that highlights both progress made and remaining obstacles to gender balance.

Having a diverse team not only generates innovative ideas but also drives good returns. Research by the International Finance Corporation found that gender-balanced teams at private equity and venture firms can produce up to 20 percent higher net internal rates of return.

Considering this, private markets firms, including private debt firms, have been making moves towards greater diversity and inclusivity. This is reflected in the sector’s hiring patterns over the past couple of years.

Global advisory and executive search firm Jensen Partners’ most recent private debt industry diversity snapshot revealed that, for front-office distribution roles, women made up 43 percent of hires during 2020-21, while they comprised 51 percent of hires between 1 January 2022 and 26 May 2022. This positive trend shows that firms are now starting to take action rather than just talking the talk.

However, the gender gap is still significant when it comes to senior roles. Only 42 percent of women working in private debt front-office distribution roles hold senior positions, compared with 61 percent of men, per the Jensen Partners data.

Our second annual women-focused Women in Private Funds report will form part of our upcoming July/August issue and looks to accelerate the gender diversity movement further by spotlighting 60 influential women within private markets, sharing insights about their experiences and achievements. The calibre of nominees this year was as outstanding as ever and demonstrates that women really are making their mark within the industry.

Throughout the report, you can learn more about the 60 women featured in this year’s list, discover how private debt firms are incorporating DE&I into financing solutions, and how investors and managers are working to improve the recruitment and retention of women within the asset class, and more broadly. Don’t miss it!

Write to the author at evie.r@peimedia.com