Before joining CalPERS, Ms. Musicco was a partner at New York-based private equity shop RedBird Capital Partners. Prior to RedBird, Ms. Musicco spent a year as senior managing director, head of private markets at the C$73.7 billion ($56.7 billion) Investment Management Corp. of Ontario and spent 16 years with the C$242.5 billion Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan, both in Toronto, leading the private equity and public equity investment teams.
While at Ontario Teachers, Ms. Musicco said that even though most of her experience to that point involved U.S. private equity, she put herself up for a new job in charge of the pension plan's Asia-Pacific private equity investments. She was appointed managing director for Asia-Pacific in September 2015 and moved her "two small children to Hong Kong," she said.
Mentors are also important — so much so that a woman might choose a job that may not give her additional compensation. Rather, she might choose a job that, for instance, is led by a person she thinks could be a mentor for her, Ms. Frost said.
And mentors do not have to be other women, according to speakers on another panel examining how male sponsors and allies can help further women's advancement that was moderated by Ms. D'Adamo.
At State Street Global Advisors, 25% of executives, including the heads of cash and quantitative investing, are women, Cyrus Taraporevala, president and CEO, said on the panel.
"And we have miles to go before I sleep," Mr. Taraporevala said.
SSGA is also moving to have a more inclusive group of vendors, he said. SSGA spends billions with suppliers and the firm is moving to do business with a more diverse group, Mr. Taraporevala said. For example, SSGA traditionally had used large Wall Street banks for its bond underwriting and other, smaller firms would "pick up a few crumbs," he said. So, SSGA began making minority-led firms lead underwriters of bond issuances, Mr. Taraporevala said. Today, 50% of SSGA's underwriting is led by minority firms. Managers need to challenge the status quo, he said.
Men can be allies by standing by and supporting women in their organizations, he said. Mr. Taraporevala said that he makes the positive assumption that men do care that women do not have the same opportunities for career advancement, but they just don't realize "what it means to walk in all of your shoes," referring to the predominantly female audience at the conference.
Mr. Taraporevala said that even though he is not female he could relate to what many of the speakers at the CalPERS conference said. He said he is often "the only brown man in the room."
And he said that he looks at diversity as broader than gender, race and sexual orientation. For example, the U.S. Supreme Court lacks diversity because all of the justices attended Ivy League schools, Mr. Taraporevala said.
Diversity also means including people with different life experiences and from different backgrounds, said Carin Taylor, chief diversity officer at Workday, who spoke on the same panel.