Video Case Study: Private Equity and Gender Diversity
Susan Long McAndrews of Pantheon Describes The Industry Push for Gender Parity
WASHINGTON, DC – The American Investment Council’s latest video case study spotlights efforts throughout the industry to make meaningful improvements in gender diversity. The video features Pantheon partner Susan Long McAndrews, Head of Pantheon’s U.S. Primary Investment Team, member of its Partnership Board and International Investment Committee, and a champion of the firm’s diversity and inclusion initiatives.
Private equity leaders understand the value of diversity, and recognize the gap between where the industry stands now and where it wants to be in the future. In recent years, firms have been proactively working to emphasize inclusive cultures and implement best practices on diversity issues.
Long McAndrews has seen this transition first-hand. Since she began her career in the 1990s, the private equity landscape has changed drastically. She remembers the industry as a cottage organization of small funds, focused on a singular investment approach. Today, Long McAndrews says, private equity is a significant asset class with a broad array of investment strategies and is now “absolutely committed to diversity.”
Long McAndrews traces Pantheon’s diversity-focused origins to its co-founder — Carol Kennedy — who helped establish the firm’s philosophy of targeting talent “who have new ways of thinking about things.” Today, 50 percent of Pantheon’s departments in the Americas are led by women, in addition to 43 percent of global staff.
For firms looking to embrace greater workplace diversity, Long McAndrews recommends the AIC/NAIC Private Equity Women’s Initiative, saying, “It gives guidelines for firms that are struggling with this issue, letting them know they have peers out there that are also thinking about diversity.” The initiative adds clarity on these issues by “providing a framework to really help some of these private equity firms that see the problem but cannot figure out how to solve it.”
Long McAndrews notes that private equity has already been successful at promoting diversity and inclusion at the portfolio company level. “While private equity firms may be somewhat lacking in diversity at this point,” she says, “the actual companies they are investing in across America look quite diverse to me.”
Watch our latest video to learn more about how the private equity industry is supporting greater gender diversity.
About the American Investment Council
The American Investment Council (AIC) is an advocacy and resource organization established to develop and provide information about the private investment industry and its contributions to the long-term growth of the U.S. economy and retirement security of American workers. Member firms of the AIC consist of the country’s leading private equity and growth capital firms united by their successful partnerships with limited partners and American businesses. More information about the AIC can be found at www.investmentcouncil.org.