An increase in attention to and awareness of gender equality in private equity is a step in the right direction, experts say in a Law360 column.

As a recent Preqin report notes, only 10.5% of senior roles at North American private equity firms are held by women. While that figure has not changed significantly in the past few years, efforts are underway to move it higher.

Public dialogue on the issue has increased. More millennials — who grew up in families in which parents often took on more equal responsibilities for raising children — are climbing the ranks of PE firms.

In addition, there are a number of women-focused PE conferences. They include the Kayo Women’s Private Equity Conference, of which McGuireWoods is a sponsor, which will take place October 4-5 in Chicago.

Despite the slow progress, Kate Mitchell, co-founder of Scale Venture Partners, told Law360 that she is pleased to see that the focus on gender equality isn’t going away. “I thought it might be a passing discussion but it has turned out not to be.”