Change has come slowly, but the private equity industry has become more diverse. Women have steadily made their way into the upper ranks of firms, and firms are finding ways to recruit and retain talented women.
This is a big change. Ten years ago, one female GP told us, this magazine would not have been able to write a feature about women in PE because there were too few to mention.
Fast forward to today and the biggest firms have instituted policies that help create friendlier environments for women to thrive. And more women occupy senior roles in the industry.
Following is a list of trailblazers — women who have climbed to the top of their organizations as well as those who are quickly moving up the ranks. This list is not meant to be definitive. Clearly, there are far more than 10 talented women in private equity. Instead, we have done our best to highlight success stories from all corners of the industry.
Here then — in no formal order — are 10 women who have broken through the glass ceiling, easing the way for others to follow in their footsteps.
Hadley Mullin started her career in consulting. After graduating from Dartmouth College, she joined Bain & Co in 1996 and spent a substantial portion of her time in Bain’s private equity group.
While attending Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business, Mullin worked as a summer associate in 2001 for TSG Consumer Partners LLC. She returned to Bain after graduating from Stanford in 2002 and it was there that she met fellow TSG Partners Jamie O’Hara, Pierre LeComte and Jennifer Moser. (TSG’s founder and CEO Chuck Esserman is also a Bain alumnus.)
Mullin made the leap to TSG in 2004. At that time, the firm had plenty of women in administration and internal finance departments, she said. However, there was only one other full-time female investment professional and one female contractor who worked on investments at TSG. Today, Mullin is a senior managing director and one of the firm’s top three executives.
“TSG has been deliberate in its efforts to expand the number of women at the firm and we now have a large number of women in our senior ranks and throughout the firm – 50 percent overall,” Mullin said.
Of TSG’s 38-person staff, 24 are women, and three of the firm’s seven deal-making partners are women.
The firm has been able to attract talented women in part because Mullin championed part-time and flexible work options at TSG. This enabled employees to focus on their careers while balancing family commitments, she said.
Mullin’s deals for TSG include the 2006 investment in Smashbox Cosmetics, which was sold four years later to Estee Lauder; the 2007 investment in Yard House Restuarants, which was sold in 2012 to Darden Restaurants Inc; and the 2011 purchase of Sexy Hair Concepts, which was sold to Henkel in 2014.
ABOUT TSG CONSUMER PARTNERS LLC
TSG Consumer Partners, LLC is a leading investment firm with
approximately $5 billion of assets under management, focused
exclusively on the branded consumer sector. Since its founding
in 1987, TSG has been an active investor in the food, beverage,
restaurant, beauty, personal care, household and apparel & accessories,
and e-commerce sectors. Representative past and present partner
companies include Duckhorn Wine Company, vitaminwater, thinkThin,
popchips, Muscle Milk, Yard House, Stumptown, Pabst, Planet Fitness,
REVOLVE, PAIGE, Smashbox Cosmetics, Pureology, Sexy Hair, e.l.f. Cosmetics
and IT Cosmetics.
Meghan Gavigan / Dan Goldstein
Sard Verbinnen & Co
Meghan Gavigan - 212.687.8080
Dan Goldstein - 310.201.2040