Groundbreakers RISE is a year-long leadership platform that includes in-depth leadership development training, mentoring individualized coaching, quantitative training from best in class coaches and subject matter experts, and more. Delivered both in-person and virtually, the curriculum supports rising women in private equity at a key pivot point in their career and leadership development.

Welcome to Groundbreakers RISE

Groundbreakers RISE is a Toigo Foundation program specifically for the career advancement of the next generation of mid-career women leaders. The program will be introduced in phases based on asset class. Our first program focuses on careers within the private equity sector.

We invite you to explore the benefits of supporting a rising leader within your organization to participate in this creative new program.


The year-long model includes in-depth leadership development training, individualized coaching, and quantitative training from best in class coaches and subject matter experts, and more. Delivered via a combination of in-person and online training, the unique curriculum addresses key challenges women face as they rise as leaders within the private equity arena.

RISE combines best practices from our Toigo Fellowship program and in-depth women leadership training from our Groundbreakers platform launched in 2011. Participants will join a class of rising women leaders, providing each with a rich network of trusted colleagues. This class approach has been a powerful component of our longstanding Fellowship program for MBAs. Including both GPs and LPs will help women build stronger, more relevant networks and invaluable perspective.

Key Benefits

The program provides personalized leadership development support and coaching to each nominee. For organizations that have existing talent programs, the curriculum will be additive; for those without a formal program, RISE can be a foundation for building out internal programming. The training is tuned specifically for the private equity industry and will factor in if the participant is on the GP or LP side, as organizational culture and other elements often differ. In addition to personalized leadership support, the program provides participants with a trusted network of contacts, including others in their RISE class as well as a PEWIN mentor and exchanges with the broader Toigo network.

How to Nominate

Nominations can be posted via our online RISE nomination form. Space is limited to a maximum of two participants per organization; all candidates to be reviewed/approved by the Toigo Foundation to ensure candidate meets eligibility.

The nomination deadline is June 1, 2021; participants and firms will be notified of final acceptance on or before June 15, 2021.

Program Details

The participation fee for the one-year, in-depth leadership development and coaching program is $7,500 per participant (fees to be paid by firm to Toigo for each RISE candidate they enroll).


Review the FAQs. If you have additional questions regarding the program, nomination process or more, please don’t hesitate to contact me at

We look forward to your firm’s participation—and together fueling the pipeline of standout women leaders in private equity.

Nominate a Rise Candidate

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Groundbreakers RISE: Candidate Criteria

  • Prospective RISE candidates will have:
  • 7 – 10 years professional experience (a pivotal career development point), currently within a private equity firm/team (GP or LP)
  • An active role that tracks directly to investments, client-facing interactions, deal exposure
  • Leadership presence and potential for more
  • Exhibits qualities and holds values the organization has identified as high potential for advancement and retention

Candidates can be nominated by their organization or self-nominated.

How to Nominate

Nominations can be posted via our online RISE nomination form. Space is limited to a maximum of two participants per organization; all candidates to be reviewed by the Toigo Foundation to ensure candidate meets program criteria.

Groundbreakers RISE FAQs

Who is the ideal RISE candidate?

Women working within private equity—either on the GP or LP side—for seven to ten years are the ideal candidate. Individuals will be rising within their organization and are likely at or approaching a key inflection point in the role. With added leadership training and support, the candidate will gain confidence and skills needed to rise within the organization.

Our firm has a leadership development program, why isn’t that enough?

We realize some firms have valuable programs that support rising leaders. Toigo’s RISE leverages the fundamentals of leadership development with unique dialogue, coaching, and a setting to build bonds with peers as they support each other through the development curriculum. Based on Toigo’s Groundbreakers and Fellowship experiences, we have seen the value open exchange of ideas in a small “class” setting provides to all. Additionally, with the support of a coach from within the private equity industry, the candidate gets additional perspective on their development.

The tuition to participate is $7500—is that paid up front?

Yes. Once a candidate nomination has been approved to be a RISE participant, the firm will be billed by Toigo for that tuition. The tuition covers Toigo’s cost to organize the program, secure expert trainers and workshop leaders and provide the ongoing support to the RISE class during their class year.

What if the RISE participant leaves the firm mid-year—can the firm select another participant to take her place?

Yes. Toigo will work with the firm to “onboard” a new candidate. An additional leadership diagnostic will be conducted, with a fee of $500 to cover that expense.

My firm opted not to support my application—may I apply on my own?

Self-nominations are welcomed. In this case, if approved, the participant’s tuition would be paid by the individual.

I work for an allocator—not on the GP side. Will the training, curriculum and networking be relevant to me?

We believe strongly in the value of brining GPs and LPs within the private equity arena together as part of this leadership development experience. The curriculum is leadership focused vs PE firm management focused. Our goal is to have a mix of viewpoints and career paths represented as Toigo believes this drives a richer, more robust outcome. When pairing each RISE participant with a coach from the PEWIN network or within the PE industry generally, we will strive to find an individual with experience that also includes an LP-element as we understand the challenges, decision-making processes and culture of a foundation/endowment or institutional investor likely differs than the GP-side. While there will likely be a larger concentration of women from the GP side, we believe the learning, exchanges and networking will be valuable for all participants.

What are the curriculum components for RISE?

  • The curriculum includes a mix of in-person training, assessments and online learning.
  • Personalized Leadership Assessment: A detailed assessment will be conducted in early February, prior to RISE | Kick-Off: training session in late February, with findings shared with each participant during that session. The assessment serves as a starting point for identifying and building on individual strengths and areas for further development.
  • RISE | Kick-Off: The formal program begins with a 2-day leadership development launch including in-depth training. RISE candidates will receive their assessment, coupled with discussions and coaching to map out a go-forward development plan. Candidates will be paired with a coach, either in-person or a virtual connection. Additional sessions will include senior PE professionals sharing insights about navigating key challenges—from leading teams and presenting to senior decision-makers and more.
  • RISE | Quarterly Training Sessions: Three additional in-depth training sessions will be held in 2020 focusing on key skill building, including executive presence, communications, negotiations and more.
  • RISE | Quantitative Webinars: Five in-depth quantitative training webinars sessions will be delivered via webinar. These are self-paced and will be taped for access and repeat viewing.
  • Virtual Office Hours: Working with PEWIN professionals and other industry leaders, Groundbreakers RISE participants can take advantage of set “office hours” to ask and exchange ideas on how to navigate situations. This open forum is intended as a way for participants to access added senior support. Situations addressed will not be deal specific, but will focus on addressing leadership dynamics of navigating situations.
  • Online Training: Throughout 2020, a series of webinars and podcasts will be made available to RISE participants as a way to supplement their leadership training. PE-specific quantitative and modeling sessions, plus sessions on personal branding, team dynamics and more will be offered.

Nominate a Rise Candidate

Click to Nominate

RISE Sponsors

The following firms nominated and have Groundbreakers RISE participants in our 2020 class.

  • Adam Street Partners
  • American-Securities
  • Apollo
  • Avante Capital
  • Blackrock
  • Camden Partners
  • Clearlake Capital
  • Dignity Health
  • GCM Grosvenor
  • IFM Investors
  • LLR Partners
  • Palladium Equity
  • Spire Capital
  • TRS
  • Welsh Carson

RISE Participating Firms

The following firms nominated and have Groundbreakers RISE participants in our 2020 class.

Clearlake Capital Group, L.P.

Clearlake Capital Group, LP is a leading private investment firm founded in 2006. Based in Santa Monica, California, Clearlake is led by José E. Feliciano and Behdad Eghbali, who have together built a team of investment professionals with a unique blend of sector and product capabilities through a history of long-term strategic partnerships with management to transform and grow companies. The team has approximately 200 years of collective experience with a focus on complex situations in small and medium-sized companies. The firm’s core target sectors are software and technology- enabled services; industrials and energy; and consumer. Clearlake has over $10 billion of assets under management and its senior investment principals have led or co-led over 100 investments.

Private Equity Women Investment Network (PEWIN)

PEWIN is the pre-eminent organization for senior women leaders in private equity. Its members represent institutions with over $2.5 trillion in AUM. The organization provides opportunities to network, share ideas, make deep connections with peers, and empower each other to succeed. PEWIN members will serve as RISE coaches, workshop leaders and more.

Kwanza Jones & José E. Feliciano SUPERCHARGED Initiative

The Kwanza Jones & José E. Feliciano SUPERCHARGED Initiative believes in bringing together vision, talent and financial resources to drive beneficial societal change. This belief is core to our impact investment model and our one bold goal — to power possibilities for humanity and its future. It’s why we partner with for-profit businesses and nonprofit organizations who seek to find solutions to humanity’s challenges. The organization’s efforts are focused on creating lasting impact in four key areas: Education, Entrepreneurship, Equal Opportunity and Empowerment. SUPERCHARGED co-founder Jose Feliciano is a Toigo Alumnus and recipient of the 2019 Toigo Mission Possible: IMPACT Award.


Rise Sponsors

Private Equity Women Investment Network (PEWIN) Logo


Rise Sponsors