Roundtable: Building Sustainable DEI in Private Equity

8 Dec 2021

Leathwaite Roundtable re-cap:

Leathwaite hosted a roundtable attended by CHRO’s & Chief Talent Officers from several of the leading Private Equity firms in the US.

DEI is now high on the agenda at several of the leading global Private Equity (PE) firms. Collectively these firms have an opportunity to create meaningful, lasting change in a sector that directly or indirectly now influences the lives of about 12 million people (or 7% of the US population).

The key themes discussed were:

Accountability & Transparency:

The PE industry is way behind their publicly traded counterparts when it comes to DEI and ESG, largely because public shareholders – representative of the changing consumer demographics – have been pushing the envelope.

Prioritizing Internal Best Practices & Intentionality:

When recruiting people from non-traditional backgrounds, develop a strategic training program. Training needs to be tailored and structured to the individual to support a range of skills in order to achieve long term success including EQ, confidence, mental health, client interactions etc. It is essential to marry a mix of hard and soft skills and offer extra mentoring as needed.

The Importance of Workplace “Allyship”:

You need allies for several different reasons. One crucial element of this involves allies recognizing their own privilege and using it to influence inclusion and call out or challenge behavior perpetuating bias and systematic injustice based on race, gender, sexual orientation, etc.- their role is to use their currency and their voice to affect change at all levels.