How to do diversity, according to ILPA

The Institutional Limited Partners Association’s private equity diversity and inclusion roadmap is an open-source and online resource for LPs, GPs and industry practitioners.

Private equity investors and managers now have a baseline of best practices and tools to promote and implement gender diversity and inclusion initiatives in the workplace.

The Institutional Limited Partners Association published on Monday its Diversity and Inclusion Roadmap for the Private Equity Industry, an online and open-source resource that outlines 30 best practices and more than 100 resources and reports.

The ILPA roadmap consists of five categories:

  • demonstrating organisational support for diversity and inclusion;
  • attracting and promoting diverse talent;
  • building and sustaining inclusive cultures;
  • applying diversity and inclusion to investment strategy; and
  • benchmarking and measuring diversity and inclusion progress.

ILPA’s recommendations in the roadmap include establishing a chief diversity officer or champion per firm, extending diversity initiatives to service providers and promoting diversity at the boards of directors of PE-backed portfolio companies.

Each best practice is accompanied by a list of web resources, tools and reports that firms and organisations can refer to for implementation. These resources include Blackstone’s diversity and inclusion website, Carlyle Group’s diversity and inclusion council web page, the International Finance Corporation’s report on gender diversity in private equity and venture capital in emerging markets and Harvard Kennedy School’s impact of gender diversity on the performance of business teams report.

ILPA expects to grow the roadmap over time and is accepting contributions from industry stakeholders.

Diversity forms a major part of due diligence for only 23 percent of LPs in sister title Private Equity International‘s LP Perspectives 2020 survey, while only about one-third of LPs polled said they actively engage with GPs to promote gender diversity and inclusion.

Panellists at the women in private equity session in a IPEM in Cannes last month noted there are signs that industry progress is slow and without senior engagement, nothing happens, as reported by PEI. Eurazeo chief executive Virginie Morgon also said at the conference that the lack of gender diversity is a clear industry failing: “It has to be a joke. It’s a disgrace. We have to face it. We have to make some changes.”