Dry Powder: The Private Equity Podcast

Bonus: Inside Bain’s DEI Journey

There are no shortcuts, but there are breakthroughs.

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Bonus: Inside Bain’s DEI Journey
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On the previous episode of Dry Powder, we discussed how private equity firms could act as a catalyst for diversity, equity, and inclusion by testing and scaling programs across their portfolio companies.

Today on the show, we’ll look at what it really takes for one company to change its culture.

“The beginning is hard,” says Julie Coffman, Bain’s chief diversity officer and head of our Diversity, Equity & Inclusion practice. “We had to have a case for change ... What are the metrics, how are we going to measure progress? What are the interventions we think might work?”

Julie tells us how she set up diversity programs at Bain and how she learned that, in the war for diverse talent, recruitment isn’t even half of the battle.

“Working on recruitment without the core elements of what you do to retain diverse talent is a fool's errand, in my opinion,” Julie says. “You might work really hard, put it all out there on your search firms to find you diverse talent—but, if when they join, they don't feel a strong sense of belonging, support, and trust, they will exit that organization in the next 18 months.”

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