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The proportional representation of women in high-level private equity roles is highest at Asia-based firms, according to a report from Preqin, with an average of 12.8 per cent of senior roles held by women at firms based in this region as of February 2013.
This is higher than in North America and Europe-based private equity firms, where the average is 10.3 per cent and 9.9 per cent respectively.
Larger private equity firms have increased the average proportion of senior employees women represent at their firms over the past year, with women accounting for an average of 9.3 per cent of the team in 2012 at firms of 11 to 20 senior employees compared to 10.7 per cent at the start of 2013. At firms with more than 20 employees women account for an average of 11.9 per cent of senior roles as of February 2013 compared to 9.9 per cent at the start of 2012. However, smaller firms of between one and five employees have seen a decrease in the average proportion of senior roles occupied by female employees, from 9.2 per cent in 2012 to 8.7 per cent in 2013.
Female representation at private equity firms also varies based on a firm’s primary strategy. Infrastructure firms have seen a decrease in the proportion of senior employees accounted for by women, from 13.5 per cent in 2012 to 10.5 per cent in 2013. However, venture capital and buyout firms both saw an increase in the proportion of female employees in high-level roles, with venture capital firms increasing their female representation from 9.7 per cent of all senior employees in 2012 to 11.2 per cent in 2013, and the average proportion of senior roles at buyout firms held by women growing from 6.9 per cent to 8.7 per cent over the same time period.
The primary investment strategy with the highest proportion of women employed in senior roles is real estate, with an average of 11.3 per cent, closely followed by an average of 11.2 per cent in venture capital firms. Women account for an average of 10.5 per cent and 8.7 per cent of senior roles at infrastructure and buyout firms respectively. Infrastructure and real estate firms saw a decrease in the proportion of women employed in senior roles, but buyout and venture capital firms saw an increase; last year women only accounted for an average of 6.9 per cent and 9.7 per cent of senior roles at buyout and venture capital firms respectively.
Women account for an average of 8.7 per cent of the team at private equity firms with five or fewer senior employees, a decrease compared to the 9.2 per cent women accounted for at these firms last year. Women accounted for an average of 10.6 per cent of senior staff at firms of 6-10 employees, and 10.7 per cent and 11.9 per cent at private equity firms with 11-20 and 21+ members of staff respectively.
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