Private equity groups are introducing new policies to try to retain female staff - from flying nannies to offering to freeze eggs for free - in a sector that has the lowest proportion of women in senior positions. In Europe, Apax has in recent months started offering to pay for au pairs to fly with women who are back from maternity leave, for the first 18 months after the child is born. It has also extended paternity leave beyond two weeks and introduced payments for emergency childcare if a carer is off sick. In the US, strategic growth fund KKR started offering coverage for women looking to freeze their eggs last year. It also pays for breast-milk shipping during business trips. Many of the initiatives to try to attract and retain female staff have been launched in the past few years, and some private equity firms have only recently started to track the proportion of women in the workforce. Pressure is growing on employers in the financial services industry to hire more women and ...

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