The statistics are discouraging. Women globally hold 18 percent of roles in private equity and 9.4 percent of senior roles, according to a 2017 PricewaterhouseCoopers report. This figure is even worse than venture capital (11.5 percent women in senior roles) and hedge funds (11.2 percent).
Encouragingly, pressure is ramping up from all sides for firms to address gender diversity seriously — and not just for optics. Funds with gender-balanced senior investment teams see better returns, according to a March 2019 study from the International Finance Corporation and Oliver Wyman. The study found returns were 10 to 20 percent higher for gender-balanced teams than majority male or majority female senior investment teams.