• PE-backed C-suite roles present an opportunity for women to catch up in wages - but only if they're getting and staying in those roles
  • Family care and workplace accessibility must be prioritized
  • Cultural fit can be a slippery slope into bias
  • Putting effort into engaging executive women pays off

PE-backed CFO positions present an opportunity to tighten the gender pay gap — but the numbers of female representation are far from equal.

Despite the numerous discussions and studies that have been conducted on improving gender diversity, the private equity industry is still grappling with gender-based disparities. When it comes to the PE-backed C-suite, the biggest problem is with the presence of women itself.

In a field as historically male-dominated as private equity, it’s a pleasant surprise to find that female CFOs enjoy roughly equal compensation. Financial data from FALCON’S own survey of candidates who made it to the screening phase of recruitment shows that female CFO candidates came into the process with competitive pay rates compared to their male peers. In fact, some candidates entered with greater starting salaries than their male counterparts coming from a similar background.

FIG. A – Normalized Salary by Gender

Yet these relatively equal levels of compensation have limited positive impact when so few C-suite executives at private equity-backed portfolio companies are women.

In a recent FALCON survey of CFO candidates who made it to the screening phase of recruiting within the last year, 41 out of 378 placed candidates were female. That’s just 10.8%. This sample set follows a larger pattern of gender disparit...