An integral part of the BVCA’s mission is to promote diversity within our industry and support firms to build inclusive environments in which everyone can thrive.

BVCA Diversity in Private Equity & Venture Capital Series BVCA Diversity in Private Equity & Venture Capital Series

Promoting diversity within our industry

The BVCA is committed to improving diversity and inclusion in the private equity and venture capital industry. A core part of our strategy is to work with firms to:

  • increase the participation of men and women from all backgrounds in the industry; and
  • encourage greater representation in senior roles.

We have put in place a framework to support this strategy that covers:

  • our own governance;
  • engagement with the industry through our events series;
  • publishing authoritative industry research; and
  • working with firms and promoting careers in the industry.

The BVCA also supports the work of Level 20 and Diversity VC and the targets they have set for the industry.

Governance and Women in Finance Charter

We have looked at our own governance arrangements to improve the representation of women on the BVCA Council (the board), Committees and Advisory Groups. The Governance section of our website includes the BVCA Governance Handbook (which is due to be refreshed in autumn 2018) and provides detail on our structure and our committees, including their composition.

The members of the Council, Committees and Advisory Groups are drawn from BVCA member firms and work together in their area of expertise to advise us on a voluntary basis. We would encourage women and men from all backgrounds to apply to join these to have a role in the BVCA’s governance and a voice on matters that impact the wider industry.

The BVCA’s Chair for 2019/20 is Cheryl Potter (Permira). Our Nominations Committee meets regularly to consider candidates for the Council and at present, four out of 11 (36%) Council members are women.

HMT Women in Finance Charter

The BVCA has signed the Women in Finance Charter. This is a commitment by HM Treasury and 272 signatory firms to work together to build a more balanced and fair financial services industry. As the trade body for the UK venture capital and private equity industry, the BVCA has a leadership role to play in improving gender diversity in the industry and our activities are set out on this page.

  • The BVCA has pledged to promote gender diversity by:
  • having one member of our senior executive team who is responsible and accountable for gender diversity and inclusion;
  • setting internal targets for gender diversity in our senior management;
  • publishing progress annually against these targets in reports on our website; and
  • having an intention to ensure the pay of the senior executive team is linked to delivery against these internal targets on gender diversity.

    Our target is to ensure that the proportion of women or men in the senior executive management team and the Council is at least 30%. Currently, 63% of the senior executive management team and 36% of the Council is female.

    The BVCA is keen to support firms considering signing up to the Charter and please contact Gurpreet at for more information.

    Events and networking

    We host regular networking breakfasts and drinks receptions for women, LGBT and minorities throughout the year to exchange thoughts and experiences in a relaxed atmosphere. We also hold our annual Diversity Forum in May to debate the issues in our industry and showcase what firms are doing to improve diversity and inclusion.

    For further details, see our range of events focused on diversity. Given the importance of the diversity debate, everyone needs to be part of the conversation, so these events are open to all. Feedback from attendees is captured in this video.

    More broadly, we are committed to ensuring there is a high representation of female speakers at all of our events and especially our flagship conferences such as the Summit, High Growth Conference and National Dinner Series. If you are interested in speaking at one of our events, please contact


    The BVCA is carrying out and publishing research on diversity that is specific to our industry. In 2018 the BVCA and Level 20 published the first report on the number of women in the private equity industry. The follows the 2017 report with Diversity VC on the number of women in venture capital.

    Our research provides a robust and valuable data set that highlights the lack of gender diversity in senior investment roles. The pipeline, however, is promising and we will continue to work with the industry to improve on these results over the coming years.

    We are also delighted to join forces with the British Business Bank and Diversity VC to run an industry-wide initiative which will build the first clear picture of the representation of women – and diversity more broadly – in the pipelines of UK venture capital firms, and how this corresponds to the deals that get done. Further information is available here.

    The BVCA has a dedicated section on gender diversity in our academic research portal and this issue is on the agenda of our Research Advisory Group. For further information and if you have any suggestions for research, please contact

    Outreach and careers in the industry

    We need to do more to encourage women and men from all backgrounds to join and stay in the industry and this involves working with private equity and venture capital firms, universities and business schools. The BVCA is: spending time with the HR professionals within firms or those individuals with responsibility for people; promoting the issue to senior industry leaders; raising the profile of our events; and working with Level 20, Diversity VC and the other organisations listed below.

    At the 2018 Breaking Barriers Forum we started a public online campaign to improve the perception of careers in the industry. We filmed sessions from the day and interviewed industry professionals for the following promotional videos that are for those individuals thinking about joining the industry.

  • Careers in venture capital and private equity (short video)
  • Diversity Forum panel with industry leaders on their career pathways (longer discussion)
  • Please feel free to share this content with your networks, including schools and universities. The BVCA would be delighted to speak at events or nominate people in the industry.

    Our HR events are part of our peer networking series and further information is available here.

    UK VC & Female Founders PUBLICATION

    UK VC & Female Founders 2019

    View Online


    Women in Private Equity 2018

    View Online

    Women in UK Venture Capital PUBLICATION

    Women in UK Venture Capital 2017

    View Online

    Further information


     +44 (0)20 7492 0400