Money talks. Over the last year, we’ve heard many private equity firms talk about diversity, but Carlyle is putting its money where its mouth is. Yesterday, Carlyle Group Inc. (Nasdaq: CG) announced it is awarding $2 million to 50 employees who are excelling at goals tied to diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI). CEO Kewsong Lee’s own pay is measured against metrics that include developing an inclusive culture. The company’s target is to have 30 percent of board seats of its portfolio companies filled by diverse candidates by 2023. “We need to measure people on this more than we have in the past,” Sandra Horbach, a Carlyle managing director and co-head of U.S. buyout and growth, told Bloomberg News in an interview. “Our industry still has a long way to go.”

We couldn’t agree more. In many ways, the PE industry is only beginning to devote serious thought and resources into recruiting and retaining diverse teams. At Mergers & Acquisitions, we hope to do our part to help move the needle by launching a new project next month. The 2021 Private Equity Leaders in DEI will recognize pioneers with proven track records in fostering diversity, equity and inclusion in their firms, their portfolio companies and in the PE industry. We’ll announce the list of approximately a dozen leaders in mid-September, and they will be featured in the September issue of the magazine. This is one of five Honors programs our publication produces. To learn more, you can visit the Awards & Honors section of our website.

We hope you’ll join us for our virtual event, M&A’s Leaders in DEI SPEAK, on Sept. 22. And in the meantime, we’d love to hear about what you and your firm are doing to make the PE industry more inclusive. Please email me at [email protected].

Mary Kathleen Flynn