The Power Of Talent

Are PE firms unattractive to female board candidates?

Catharina Mannerfelt, Partner and Head of Board Services at our sister company Alumni gives her thoughts on why private equity firms may find it hard to attract female non-executive directors for their portfolio companies.

We would like to share with you some highlights from this article which along with the recommendations to PE firms and other owners can be read in its entirety here.
Based on some thirty dialogues with female board professionals Catharina Mannerfelt found that the discussion stemmed from the perception that female candidates are more likely to turn down board offers from PE firms than their male board colleagues. The recurring themes in her dialogues were:
Culture match - PE firms typically have a style that is different from the corporate settings candidates come from.
Compensation - One of PE's clear strengths and the "opportunity" to invest may be very attractive, but the investment is often deemed a requirement. Not an opportunity.
Risk appetite - It has been argued that women generally are more risk averse and if true this could be part of the issue and carry a broad impact.
Time consumption - Some experience PE boards as very intense and with a relatively larger proportion of female candidates still in executive positions this may also be a factor.

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Eva Sandberg, Country Manager Sweden