KKR 2021 Sustainability Report: Human Capital

KKR 2021 Sustainability Report: Human Capital

Monday, October 10, 2022 - 10:35am

CAMPAIGN: Scaling Up: KKR 2021 Sustainability Report


Human capital issues have come to the fore recently as employers sought to keep employees safe amid an ongoing health crisis, address social justice issues, and recalibrate the employee value proposition. Amid these challenges, advancing a rewarding, inclusive culture is critical to a well-functioning, sustainable organization.


We believe that a strategic approach to human capital issues, including employee engagement and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI), is critical for companies today. In 2021, we increased our connectivity with our portfolio companies, equipping their leaders to better meet the needs of the moment.


  • Created tools and resources for our portfolio companies, including an updated Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Handbook
  • 52% increase in diverse board seats across KKR’s majority-controlled portfolio companies and investment vehicles1
  • Launched Version 2.0 of the KKR Capstone Benefits Program for U.S.-based portfolio companies

To make connections and increase dialogue with and within our portfolios, we hosted a series of ongoing conversations, a five-part webinar series, and a virtual summit for chief human resource officers. In November 2021, nearly 50 leaders representing more than 35 companies participated in this virtual conference. Speakers shared best practices for retaining key employees in a tough market and described fair and equitable hiring and promotion practices to attain a more representative workforce. We also launched the first in a five-part virtual learning series on Strategic Governance for DEI, in collaboration with BSR. Our team of in-house experts and nonprofit partners provided additional support to portfolio company leaders.

Recognizing the importance of employee well-being and benefits to increasing engagement and bolstering recruitment and retention efforts, we also launched Version 2.0 of the KKR Capstone Benefits Program. This program aims to help portfolio companies develop a balanced approach to optimizing costs in an inflationary environment by providing innovative benefits to employees and their loved ones. The work is ongoing, and we seek to make considerable progress in 2022, including introducing new cross-portfolio benefits programs exclusive to KKR portfolio companies.

Additionally, to help portfolio companies build their pipeline of diverse talent, we launched an internship program in conjunction with the nonprofit SEO (Sponsors for Educational Opportunity). Four portfolio companies participated in the inaugural KKR-SEO program, hosting 11 undergraduate interns who each spent approximately 10 weeks working on strategic projects in a variety of functions. We are planning to continue this partnership with our summer 2022 programming. KKR supplemented this experience with access to senior Firm leaders and a mentorship program with KKR Capstone associates. The expectation is if these interns perform well, they will be welcomed to join full time after graduation. We view this as a key lever to bringing greater diversity into our selection of highly qualified, entry-level talent in our portfolio companies.

Finally, we worked with diverse job boards to help portfolio companies reach candidates from a wide range of backgrounds. More than 70 positions were posted to job boards in 2021.


In line with our Global Ambitions, we seek to continue to support and collaborate with portfolio companies to improve performance on these topics. Some of our key focus areas for 2022 center on community building, performance, and data collection, including:

  • Facilitating DEI goal setting, sharing best practices, and tracking progress against goals
  • Continue expanding employee ownership and broadbased engagement strategies across our private equity portfolio - Learn more in the Employee Ownership at Work section.
  • Conducting cultural assessments and identifying tools
  • Updating and developing new resources to share best practices and lessons learned, with a particular focus on engaging with our Asia-based portfolio companies
  • Innovating cross-portfolio benefits programs with a focus on family planning and mental health

Read the full 2021 Sustainability Report.

1 Diversity defined as individuals self-identifying as female, LGBTQ, or as from a historically underrepresented group. For more detail on calculation methodologies, refer to the Endnotes of this report.