The BVCA and Level 20 are delighted to publish our findings on diversity and inclusion in the private equity and venture capital industry.
Level 20, a non-profit organisation, was created to drive gender diversity in private equity; and its core objective is to increase the number of women working in senior roles in the industry to 20%. The BVCA supports this aim alongside its broader mission to promote the participation of people from all socioeconomic backgrounds and of all ethnicities, genders and sexual orientations in the sector.
This year we wanted to enhance the conversation around the underrepresentation of people from different ethnic groups in our industry so, for the first time, we sought data on ethnicity. As the first detailed report of its kind to address this challenge, and as a new request to the industry for this information, our sample size is smaller than for gender. While it provides us with a foundation to work from, we firmly believe that further transparency is necessary to drive progress and we will encourage firms to provide this data going forward to support openness and improvements on this issue.
As for the findings, while we are encouraged by the progress made regarding gender since our 2018 study on Women in Private Equity, our research highlights the lack of gender and ethnic diversity in senior roles within the industry.
The industry must continue to widen access to women and people from all backgrounds, not only at entry level but throughout their careers. This is essential not only from a fairness and equality perspective, but there is a growing body of evidence to support the case for diversity enhancing performance and creating, ultimately, more successful businesses. Therefore, the industry must also build an inclusive working environment and culture, which seeks, invites and promotes diversity.
We hope this report will support the drive in the industry to deliver more transparency on this subject. We will continue to collect data on gender and ethnicity in future years, and we hope this will be able to demonstrate a positive trend on these metrics. To support firms to take individual action, this report includes a series of recommendations, actions and resources to guide the industry on the next stage of this journey
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