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Gender diversity in alternative assets has soared – but racial and ethnic representation is lagging

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Major hiring initiatives have helped boost the ratio of men to women working in alternative assets – but progress for racial and ethnic diversity is failing to keep pace, new research shows.

Women now represent more than 44% of marketing and distribution professionals across alternatives according to the 2022 Diversity Report from Jensen Partners, a global advisory, corporate development and executive search firm.

The firm said there had been a nearly 50% increase in women hired in 2021 versus the same period in 2020, while 42.7% of female moves were concentrated at senior levels compared to 37.8% of moves in the preceding year.

Racial and ethnic diversity has seen slower growth across asset classes, however, with white professionals still accounting for between 70% and 80% of alternatives employees.

Women of color continue to be disproportionately disadvantaged regarding both representation and level of seniority, Jensen said. More than 8 in 10 Black women in private equity distribution roles hold junior-level positions.

In Q1 this year the hiring of Black marketing professionals fell to 2.47% of all hires, a drop of more than 20% from Q1 2021. Hispanic and Latinx professionals experienced a 314.29% increase in moves in the same period.

Jensen founder and CEO Sasha Jensen said, “The data we’ve tracked over the past year sends a clear message: DEI is not a moment – it’s a movement.

“Though progress looks different for various groups and gains have been uneven, we’ve witnessed a dramatic shift in attitude across the industry and there is more reason than ever to be optimistic that the DEI movement will continue to accelerate.”

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