Female representation in private equity and venture capital investment roles may be moving in the right direction, but there is a still a long way to go.
Figures gathered by Level20, a not-for-profit organisation that exists to improve diversity in private equity, show that 38 percent of private equity and venture capital firms in Europe have all-male investment teams.
The sample size is substantial, with data gathered from more than 1,000 firms with more than 9,000 investment professionals on staff.
The study highlights significant differences from country to country. All-male teams are particularly prevalent in Denmark and the Netherlands, representing 65 percent and 68 percent respectively. At the other end of the spectrum, only France has fewer than 20 percent all-male investment teams. The UK, which was the subject of a separate study, also had fewer than 20 percent all-male investment teams.
“Many of these are very small firms with only two to three investment professionals, but there are also larger firms that do not have female investment professionals on their teams in some countries,” the report authors wrote. “We believe this can and will change. In 2018, 28 percent of UK firms had all-male investment teams, but by 2021 that figure had fallen to just 12 percent. We hope to see a similar pattern of increase in more gender-diverse investment teams in other countries in future European data reports.”
Across all the European markets covered by the study, 20 percent of investment professionals in private equity and venture capital are women. This is skewed, however, towards more junior staff; the average proportion of senior investment professionals (roughly interpreted as partner or “chief officer” role or above) is 10 percent. Among junior roles, the industry average is 34 percent.