Surrounded by shelves of chemistry books within the east wing of the stunning Neo-Palladian Burlington House, over 150 women gathered on International Women's Day for a BVCA networking breakfast sponsored by PER. 
As we warmed our hands on coffee cups, animated conversation filled the tall-ceilinged room before Suzi Gillespie of BVCA introduced key speakers Gurpreet Manku (Deputy Director General and Director of Policy, BVCA) and Jenny Tooth OBE (CEO of UKBAA).

Gurpreet and Jenny discussed the gender data from the most recent BVCA and Level 20 survey report, which revealed some progress and plenty of room for improvement. With just 12% of private equity seniors being women, and only 1% of total venture capital funding going to female founders, the industry is working hard to improve access to capital. Gurpreet laid out the four pillars of the BVCA framework for improving diversity across senior roles. These included governance, events and networking, research and publications, and outreach.

Having spent the morning of International Women’s Day in the company of some of the many talented women working in private equity, we were inspired to build our female networks. Creating and nurturing professional relationships with industry peers, mentors, and sponsors can help women expand their knowledge base, access funding sources, identify new investment opportunities, grow their businesses, and advance their careers.

As such, we’re pleased to announce that we’ll be commencing our Women’s Workshops this spring. Watch this space as we’ll soon release further details of dates and discussion topics. If you’re a woman working in private equity and you’d like to grow your network, build professional relationships and share your experiences, join our mailing list to be notified of the upcoming Women’s Workshop events. 

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About the BVCA

The BVCA is the industry body and public policy advocate for the private equity and venture capital industry in the UK. Since its founding in 1983, the BVCA has built a reputation such that it now informs Government and policymakers on a wide range of issues - regulatory, fiscal, technical and legal - as a leading and respected voice advocating the transformative nature of private capital.

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About Level 20

Level 20 is a pan-European organisation comprising 12 international committees. It works with its 100+ sponsors to provide tools, solutions and best practices to build diversity within their firms, as well as providing the data that the industry needs to accurately benchmark progress. Its focus is on supporting the goal of increasing the percentage of women in senior leadership in European private equity.

More about Level 20