Focus topic: Diversity and inclusion across the funds
Our 2021 request for information showed what we believe to be encouraging progress across the buyout funds, with 30% having (or partially having) a dedicated Head of Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) and 52% having a D&I steering committee (versus 30% and 18% respectively in 2020). 82% were shown to have D&I policies and 89% to have anti-harassment policies. On ethnic diversity, we did not see any increase in the percentage of companies reporting these metrics for their workforces, which we believe reflects the challenges companies are facing in collecting and reporting such data.
Social (number of companies reporting)2
Gender diversity (%)3
Ethnic diversity (%)4
Women on boards
ESG initiatives at Permira
As a firm that has grown and diversified rapidly against the backdrop of the global pandemic, a unifying culture of inclusion, empowerment and continuous development has never been more important. In 2021 alone, more than 80 new professionals joined Permira, learning on the job from Partners and colleagues. Given the diversity of the growing Permira team, we have heightened our focus on integration, with six months’ induction, weekly check-ins, and more team and individual coaching opportunities.
Our DEI steering committee reports into the Executive Committee and comprises 16 members, including 10 women. In 2021, it continued to drive progress against four strategic DEI priorities, with a focus on gender balance.5
Recruitment and integration
42% of new-starters were women, including 33% of new investment professionals and 65% of operations professional hires.
Family-friendly and flexible working policies enhanced.6
Internship programmes held alongside Howard University and #10,000BlackInterns.
Recruitment partnerships with Out Investors and SEO.
Leadership and culture
Inclusive leadership work launched with Partners, in progress across the firm.
New leadership development programme designed for Principals and Managing Directors, enhanced to build motivational, compassionate and empowering approaches.
Reviewed compensation processes to further reduce unconscious bias.
Mentor assignments refreshed to support growing number of diverse investment professionals.
Engagement and accountability
DEI data benchmarked via the British Private Equity & Venture Capital Association.
Signed up to the Institutional Limited Partners Association Diversity in Action initiative to advance diversity, equity and inclusion in our industry.
Permira Women’s Network meetings and events held regularly throughout the year.
40+ workshops delivered on race and ethnicity.
Social outreach and portfolio impact
DEI content integrated into leadership conferences for our portfolio executives.
Our New York office hosted Permira Summer Scholars, a four-day program to introduce diverse high school students to finance and related careers, in partnership with Minds Matter and Opportunity Network. Our London office hosted summer internships for sixth form students, in partnership with Teach First.
The Permira Foundation funded DEI-related initiatives in the community.
“At Permira, our culture has always been built on challenging ourselves to be ever better and simply not being satisfied with the status quo. The same applies to DEI, particularly in the last 12 months. Many exciting developments include expanded parental support policies, launching a new leadership development programme, and creating an environment across the firm and our portfolio companies that inspires inclusivity and belonging.”
Permira Partner and Chair of the DEI Steering Committee
of our PE investing team are women (up from 19% in 2020)
Wellbeing at work
In 2021, we sought opinions from colleagues around the world on wellbeing, specifically work/life balance (in light of Covid-19 requirements to work from home). Based on feedback, we implemented a number of firm-wide initiatives, in addition to the formalised hybrid working policy. These included measures to reduce administrative burden and streamlining projects, more team check-ins, post-deal debriefs and greater access to professional coaching.
1. With a focus on private equity buyout funds where we have the greatest influence. The focus is on buyout funds, where we have the greatest influence. Within the buyout funds, more focus is placed on companies with higher ESG risk or opportunity. Engagement in the PGO portfolio is more limited and may focus on ESG risks identified during due diligence or emerging post-investment, as relevant. For direct lending, there are fewer opportunities for direct engagement and has previously been focused on companies where the funds have equity or there is no sponsor. With a focus on private equity buyout funds where we have the greatest influence.
2. The data presented in the bar charts includes 46 buyout fund portfolio companies for 2021 and 41 portfolio companies for 2020. For 2021, 4 companies were excluded where a) exits were signed / pending by the end of 2021, b) no reporting submission was received because the investment was completed in December 2021 (1 company).
On the bar charts, there is a category for 'Not reported'. This indicates where there was no response or data for that particular question.
3. On gender diversity the number of companies at the end of the bar chart reflects the number of buyout fund portfolio companies which reported gender diversity metrics. Companies which reported no data at all for these metrics are excluded from the charts.
4. Ethnic diversity data are generally more readily available for companies based in the US where some companies have a regulatory requirement to collect and report such data.
5. We are currently commissioning a robust baseline assessment of minority ethnic data across our global offices. This is a complex process given the many jurisdictions, and therefore definitions/categorisations of racial diversity, we work across. We look forward to reporting this baseline in our 2022 report, with a view to improving ethnic diversity across our international teams.
6. Including more flexibility for primary and secondary care-givers and new benefits on family planning and emergency childcare. Based on employee feedback, the hybrid working model (three days a week in the office, two days remote) is now the norm across all global offices.