The numbers on women in private equity are pretty eye popping

Steve SchwarzmanReuters/Brendan McDermidBlackstone CEO Schwarzman.

We’re all familiar with the glass ceiling on Wall Street, but in private equity that glass is exceptionally thick.

Women make up less than 11 per cent of senior managers at then ten biggest firms, reports Bloomberg’s Madeline McMahon and Devin Banerjee. They took a look at a handful of top firms and found some pretty striking results.

Tim Geithner’s Warburg Pincus, for example, has 70 partners — but only two of them are women. At Providence Equity, three of 43 senior people are reportedly women.

Steve Schwarzman’s Blackstone Group, which recently decided to extend its maternity leave, has the most women in executive and managing director roles — 58. But that still makes up less than 16 per cent of the firm’s total 370 senior people.

In second place, Carlyle, with 14 per cent senior women, is actually down slightly from the 14.4 per cent they employed three years ago.

The biggest challenge, according to the firms, is getting women to apply to the companies in the first place. At Blackstone, only about 10 per cent of entry-level applicants are women, a spokesperson told Bloomberg.

So is the problem that there aren’t enough women at the bulge bracket banks, where PE firms often recruit analysts and associates? Or is it that women are choosing to stay at the banks rather than move to PE?

Either way, some firms have begun recruiting at college campuses to target women early for summer internships and entry-level roles, which could eventually lead to senior positions.

About a quarter of Blackstone’s summer interns will reportedly be female this year. Maybe that will work.

Head to Bloomberg for the full story ยป

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