The proportion of female investment professionals working at private equity (PE) and venture capital (VC) firms across Europe now stands at 20%, according to Level 20, However, that figure falls to just 10% when looking at women employed in senior level positions.
• Some 20% of investment professionals in private equity (PE) and venture capital (VC) across Europe are women, with the figure falling to 10% at the senior level
• Ireland has the highest proportion of senior female investment professionals (28%), followed by France and Spain with 15% and 13% respectively
• A total pf 38% of European PE firms still have all-male investment teams
The proportion of female investment professionals working at private equity (PE) and venture capital (VC) firms across Europea now stands at 20%, according to Level 20, However, that figure falls to just 10% when looking at women employed in senior level positions.
The not-for-profit organisation, which is dedicated to attracting and retiring more diverse talent in the European private equity and venture capital space, has published its first comprehensive data set covering the representation of female investment professionals in 13 European countries.
The research, which is based on data from over 1,000 PE and VC firms collectively employing more than 9,000 investment professionals in 2022, as well as UK data from 2021 employing an additional 5,000 staff, also reveals that at the junior level, women make up 34% of investment professionals. This disparity could be an indicator that diversity levels will rise in the future if the sector continues to take steps to encourage the retention and promotion of women in investment teams.
At the more junior level, female representation is highest in Sweden, Norway and France at over 40%, while at the senior level it is Ireland that leads the way with the highest proportion of female investment professionals at 28%. France and Spain are also diversity leaders with 15% and 13% of women respectively, occupying senior roles.
On average, a total of 38% of European PE firms still have all-male investment teams, these being most common in Denmark and the Netherlands, where 65% and 58% of investment teams, respectively, are solely staffed by men. Among the countries examined, only France comes in below 20% for all-male investment teams, at 18%.
The research project marks the first step in an effort to provide consistent gender-specific data to enable Level 20 and the wider PE and VC industry to benchmark current levels of gender representation, identify where progress can be made, and highlight the drivers and barriers to increasing diversity on a country-by-country basis.
Pam Jackson, CEO of Level 20, says: “The publication of our first annual European research report is a significant milestone, and serves as a great starting point to measure the progress the wider PE and VC industry is making on increasing diversity. While there is clearly more work to be done in ensuring women are fairly represented at the highest levels of the industry, we are greatly encouraged by the number of females at more junior levels, which bodes well for the future.”
Key Takeaway | GPs: The number of women working at more junior levels in the PE and VC industry is encouraging and could lead to greater female representation at senior levels, but only if firms commit to retaining and promoting women in investment teams.