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Diversity & inclusion

There is an ever-growing body of evidence to suggest that diverse groups significantly outperform less diverse peers, so where are the blocks and what is holding us back?

Authored by

Maria Carradice

Managing Director, Portfolio – Environmental, Social and Governance, Mayfair Equity Partners,
and Judge, BVCA Excellence in ESG 2021


Anyone who works within the PE/VC industry will be aware that there is a long way to go to increase the number of under-represented groups at all levels, but especially at senior levels.

The BVCA, amongst other organisations, has undertaken significant research over the years, to capture both current levels of diversity and benchmark progress against prior years, but there is still some way to go to fully understand why it is taking so long to re-dress the balance. This is particularly surprising when there is an ever-growing body of evidence to suggest that diverse groups significantly outperform less diverse peers, and the industry is always looking for ways to outperform, so where are the blocks and what is holding us back?

Practically, it can be difficult to know where to start, but here are a few simple things some of us are considering. We can be more receptive to staff needs, develop more flexible people and diversity & inclusion (D&I) policies to ensure that current and potential staff feel included and able to thrive, whatever their background or personal circumstance. This may necessitate a culture change, which can be challenging.

Recruiters and careers officers also have a significant role to play, working with us all to ensure potential job specs are more inclusive and candidate short-lists are more diverse. They can also actively promote the industry to attract candidates with broader experience, and by understanding the career ambitions of graduates and students, we can better showcase the different roles and excellent career opportunities available.

The findings and recommendations of the BVCA’s most recent research on diversity and inclusion are here.

The Excellence in ESG awards this year will be promoting GPs and portfolio companies who have made significant progress towards addressing D&I within their businesses and thought leadership, have identified some of the blocks or developed new, innovative ideas or processes with case studies to showcase progress in this area. We look forward to receiving applications on how D&I is being approached across the industry, as well as other aspects of ESG.


About Maria

Maria joined Mayfair in 2015 to work alongside portfolio companies to identify, quantify and unlock business process improvement activities. Maria’s expertise as both a former practitioner and consultant allows her to focus on opportunities to drive incremental value in areas such as tax, ESG and finance with the aim of supporting the teams Mayfair partners with to deliver their plans faster or with less risk.

Prior to Mayfair Maria worked at LDC where she advised LDC and its portfolio companies on a wide range of M&A structuring, tax, operational and accounting issues as well as advising on fund structuring and related investor issues. Prior to that Maria worked for both Deloitte and Arthur Andersen in their private equity and international M&A groups.

Maria is a qualified accountant, tax and treasury adviser, has a first-class honours degree in Chemistry from The University of Surrey, a PhD in Nanotechnology from Cambridge University and is a member of the Chartered Institute of Taxation. Maria is also a member of the British Venture Capital Association’s Tax Committee and Responsible Investing Advisory Group.


Back to Excellence in ESG Enter here



"We can be more receptive to staff needs, develop more flexible people and diversity & inclusion policies to ensure that current and potential staff feel included and able to thrive, whatever their background or personal circumstance."