Mergers & Acquisitions names the 2021 Leaders in Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, including Suzanne Donohoe, global head of strategic growth and co-chair of inclusion and diversity council at KKR & Co.

Founded in 1976 by Henry Kravis and George Roberts, KKR & Co. Inc. (NYSE: KKR) today has $367 billion in assets under management, and entities it invests in employ more than 800,000 people throughout the world. The firm has recently been on a mission, led by Pete Stavros, partner and co-head of Americas private equity, to get more stock in industrial and manufacturing companies into the hands of employees.

Suzanne Donohoe joined KKR in 2009 and is a partner of the firm and the global head of strategic growth. She co-chairs the firm’s Inclusion & Diversity Council, along with serving on the Investment Heads Committee. She is a board member of Global Atlantic Financial Group as well as PAAMCO Prisma Holdings, both investments that KKR has made from its balance sheet. Prior to the formation of Strategic Growth, Donohoe built and led KKR’s Client & Partner Group for over eleven years. She serves as a member of the Board of Directors of Georgetown University and a co-chair of Georgetown University’s Wall Street Alliance. Donohoe shared some insights with Mergers & Acquisitions in this Q&A:

What steps you are taking to improve DEI at your firm?
Over the last few years, we have been taking steps to increase our diversity & inclusion efforts across our entire workforce – from changing how we recruit to analyzing our benefits to augmenting our training of our managers. Specifically:

 1. We have made it a strategic priority – from the top of the firm
• Formed an Inclusion & Diversity Council in 2014 comprised of senior leaders
• Instituted unconscious bias training and “managing inclusively” training for all of our managers

 2. We have changed the way we recruit over the years
• We expect recruiters to provide a diverse slate of candidates
• We have expanded beyond investment banks for talent
• We have enhanced mentoring and increased internal accountability for diverse candidate slates, in our new hire process and in monitoring tangible progress of current employees

 3. We have strategic partnerships to support the widening of the talent funnel (such as with SEO or Toigo)

4. We have expanded our benefits
• Increased paid leave for primary caregivers from 12 to 18 weeks and for non-primary caregivers from 1 to 4 weeks
• Implemented firm-paid Childcare Travel Program to provide employees who are primary caregivers to a newborn with the option of bringing their baby and childcare provider on essential business-related travel after they return to work following Parental Leave and until the baby’s first birthday
• Parental Leave Executive transition support program to support primary and non-primary caregivers who are expecting a child as they make this transition in their lives
• Improving lactation support and resources for new mothers (including firm-paid breast milk shipping during business travel).
• Offering family building / support programs in the U.S. such as unlimited IVF coverage and donor egg coverage through the healthcare plan, infertility management and healthy pregnancy support, egg freezing, surrogacy, adoption reimbursement benefits option, emergency back-up child/elder care services, and access to digital mental well-being resources for conditions such as postpartum depression, among others
• Providing gender confirmation and ABA therapy coverage under the KKR healthcare plan. 
• Offering up to four weeks of 100 percent paid family caregiving leave globally for employees who need time to care for a family member

These enhancements are among numerous steps we have begun to take to advance our goal of becoming a more diverse and inclusive organization. We continue to work to identify and implement other “best-in-class” practices to drive greater diversity and inclusion.

What measurable results have you and your firm achieved in DEI?
Since the formation of our Inclusion & Diversity Council (IDC) in 2014: 
• The number of Senior Women (Member/MD) has increased ~4x 
• Women in investing roles has increased from 9 percent to 25 percent 
• Individuals from Historically Underrepresented Groups in investment roles has increased 100 percent
• For five years in a row, KKR has received a perfect score of 100 on the Human Rights Campaign’s (HRC) 2020 Corporate Equality Index (CEO), the nation’s premier benchmarking survey and report on corporate policies and practices related to LGBTQ workplace equality
• For five years in a row, KKR has also been recognized by The Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption on their annual list of the Best Adoption-Friendly Workplaces

Is there anything you’d like to add?
At KKR, we are deeply committed to ensuring we are a firm that attracts, develops and retains the best possible talent. Our people are our greatest asset. Therefore, we have made becoming more diverse and inclusive a strategic priority for the firm, as we believe that different perspectives will enhance performance. Having people from different backgrounds and perspectives – leveraging differences across gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, religion, background, skills and experiences – helps us make better decisions.  We also firmly believe that the composition of our talent should be more reflective of the clients we serve, the companies we partner with, and the communities in which we live and conduct business.