For availability and other enquiries please contact

View Terms & Conditions

Event Date

21 May 2019

Additional Info

Event Location

, 8 Northumberland Avenue, London, WC2N 5BY View on map


Breaking Barriers: Diversity in Private Equity & Venture Capital


Building on the success of previous events for women, LGBT and minorities, our Breaking Barriers forum now takes a wider look at diversity and inclusion within our industry.

This is an area the entire community needs to address, so join over 200 people for a day of networking and candid discussion to inspire and ignite change. 

We are pleased that Level 20 and Diversity VC will be collaborating with us on the day, which combines expert speakers with premium networking opportunities.


08:15  Three sponsored breakfasts under Chatham House rule

Please note, these breakfast roundtable sessions are by invitation only.

  1. Women in PE - progression into senior positions in the industry
    Sponsored by Debevoise & Plimpton. Chair Malin Holmberg
    Most industries now have a myriad of initiatives to support women into senior positions, and private equity is no different. But are they having any impact? What types of support are most effective? What else could be done? Join us for a discussion on current efforts to support women into senior positions within private equity and its associated sectors, using practical experiences to highlight what is working, and what is not.

  2. Talking safely and effectively about diversity in the workplace
    Sponsored by Private Equity Recruitment. Chair Gail McManus
    Improving diversity and inclusion is front of mind for many organisations. However, a fear exists around how to speak about the issues without causing offence or unleashing defensive behaviours. In this meeting, PER will moderate a workshop around language and behaviour to help organisations have constructive discussions with their teams around the topic.

  3. Building a robust employee engagement and retention plan
    Sponsored by Willis Towers Watson. Chair Tamsin Sridhara
    The disclosures on gender pay have found our reward, talent and engagement approaches wanting. At the same employee expectations on fair treatment and transparency are increasing. In this session we will explore what leading companies, outside private equity, are doing to understand what is not working and what to do about it – from both a business and an employee perspective. What can you then adapt for your firm?

09:30 Welcome Address
Helen Steers, Partner, Pantheon Ventures, BVCA Chair 2017/18, Level 20 Co-Founder 
Helen will set out why the forum now covers all aspects of diversity and inclusion in the industry, and why this is a strategic area for the BVCA Council

09:35 Introduction to the day and the BVCA activities
Gurpreet Manku, Deputy Director General and Director of Policy, BVCA
Gurpreet will provide an update on how the BVCA is looking at diversity within its own activities including events, research, outreach and the organisation’s governance

09:40 Keynote interview: Tackling inequality in London’s startup ecosystem
Deborah Okenla, Founder and CEO, YSYS Interviewed by Anu Adebajo, Investment Manager, British Patient Capital

10:00 Investing into diverse teams
Presentation of the UK venture capital and female founders research
Alice Hu Wagner, MD of Strategy, Economics and Business Development, British Business Bank

Panel discussion with firms reflecting on the research and their investment approach
Moderated by Alice Hu Wagner, MD of Strategy, Economics and Business Development, British Business Bank
Camilla Dolan, Partner, Eka Ventures
William McQuillan, Partner, Frontline Ventures
Camilla Richards, Head of Investor Relations, Atomico
Francesca Warner, Co-Founder, Diversity VC

10:40 Presentation: Wellbeing and mental health in the workplace
Arden Tomison, Founder and CEO, Thalamos

11:00 Break

11:30 Workshop: Diversity & inclusion
Hanna McCloskey, Founder & CEO, Fearless Futures
Hanna will address the following points in her session:
the concept of privilege: what it means and how it plays out in our lives
visualising the micro everyday instances of inequality in our working lives
how privilege can innovate our D&I thinking

12:00 Presentation: BVCA and Level 20 research on women in LPs
Noelle Buckley, Research Director, BVCA

12:05 Panel: The LP perspective
Panel discussion
Moderated by Kathleen Bacon, Managing Director, HarbourVest, Level 20 Co-Founder
Louise Boothby, Partner, Coller Capital
Ken Cooper, Managing Director, British Business Bank
Gordon McCullough, Head of Talent (Europe), CPPIB

12:35 Panel: What next for firms in the industry?
Senior figures in the industry sharing plans to improve diversity within their own firms and perspectives on their careers (what it takes to succeed)
Panel discussion
Moderated by Tim Farazmand, Chairman, Palatine Impact
Johanna Barr, Managing Director, Advent International
Reece Chowdhry, Founder and CEO, RLC Ventures
Antje Hensel-Roth, Senior Manager Director HR, ICG
Neil MacDougall, Chairman, Silverfleet, BVCA Vice Chair 2019/20

13:05 Fireside chat: BVCA and UKBAA association alliance
Tim Hames, Director General, BVCA
Jenny Tooth, Chief Executive, UKBAA

13:20 Closing remarks
Tim Hames, Director General, BVCA

Dress Code

Business attire


8 Northumberland Avenue

Find on map >


Members - advisers and banks £495 +VAT
Members - GPs and LPs £180 +VAT
Non-members: Please enquire by emailing Jack Hughes


For availability and other enquiries please contact

View Terms & Conditions

Sponsored by

Privacy Information

Following the introduction of GDPR the BVCA will continue to share attendance lists with sponsors and other attendees (names, job titles and company names only) with the exception of events of a sensitive nature.

Please contact if you would NOT be happy for us to share this personal information with other attendees. Our full Private Policy & Accessibility Statement can be viewed here.

Further information


 +44 (0)20 7492 0400