Carlyle Woos Women To Male-Dominated PE World

The Carlyle Group — at one time famous for having former presidents and prime ministers on its payroll — is taking a step to attract more women and minorities into the male-dominated world of private equity.

“I’d say that private equity firms have been behind investment banks and law firms (in such hiring),” David Rubenstein, co-founder of Carlyle told Reuters. “The industry… probably has fewer women partners and probably fewer minority partners than we probably should have.”

D.C.-based Carlyle is now looking to encourage women and minorities to break the glass ceiling to gain high positions in the firm. Carlyle, together with non-profit organization The Robert Toigo Foundation, said on Thursday it’s setting up a MBA fellowship which will include time spent working at Carlyle, its portfolio companies and with some of the firms’ investors.

Rubenstein said that hopefully, some will afterward want to work permanently at Carlyle or other private equity firms.

“We hope this will lead to our recruiting some very talented minority MBAs,” he said. ”In our particular case, we do have the most senior women in the buyout world who are partners here, and we have a number of senior minority black partners, but we could do better,” he said.

Carlyle said it has pledged $1 million over four years to support the effort.

The firms are inviting second-year minority MBA students to apply at and said in a press release they’re expecting strong competition.

“The foundation we’re affiliating with has a 30 year history of identifying very talented MBA students and finding jobs for them on Wall Street,” he said. “Well, we want to make sure they come to private equity firms, not just other kinds of Wall Street firms.


  • This is a breach of Carlyle’s fiduciary duty to its LP’s. It should be hiring people because they are talented, not because they happen to be women or minorities.

  • You are assuming that they are currently hiring talented people. They might just be hiring people that are well networked into PE and as is mentioned in the article most of the people in PE are not women or minorities. So, it is probable that the friends and family of the people in PE are not as diverse as the general population. I would rather hire someone that has been vetted by an organization like Toigo than a friend of a friend. Overall, the most talented person should be hired and I think that an inititiative like this just increases the exposure of minorities and women that a PE firm might not have looked at before. At the end of the day, they’ll hire the best candidate. Now they’ll have more candidates to choose from and thus likely to hire the most talented person not just someone that is talented.

  • In response to the comment on Oct 23, I’d like to note that Carlyle would not be breaching fiduciary responsbilities becase they can hired talented people who also happen to be minorities.

    I think this is a good move by Carlyle because, PE hiring is extremely driven by networking. Some may argue that in general, women and minorities tend to have less influential networks in the business world. This makes it very difficult for them to be hired even with similar academic and intellectual capabilities. This drive will likely hire a small handful of women and minorities for a few years. However, it should not materially affect your chances of getting hiring at Carlyle. That still depends on your capabilities, not women and minorities.

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