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.