We were delighted to sponsor the latest instalment of the BVCA's Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Series: Black History Month

The private equity and venture capital industry in the UK has struggled with diversity for many years. The BVCA, alongside Level 20 and many other organisations, is looking to address this issue, and to make the industry accessible to a wider range of recruits from different backgrounds.

“Private equity and venture capital is all about people and ideas. We need to tap into and retain the best and widest pools of talent to ensure we continue to be successful – which includes people from all backgrounds"

Garry Wilson, BVCA Chair 2023/2024, and Managing Partner, Endless LLP

Ethnic Diversity in
UK Offices

The 2023 BVCA and Level 20 Diversity & Inclusion report reveals striking disparities in the private equity and venture capital sector. Currently, only 18% of professionals in this industry are of Asian, Black, or other ethnic backgrounds. This figure drops to just 10% when considering senior positions.

While 14% of senior women belong to these diverse ethnic groups, a mere 12% of senior investment roles in the UK are occupied by women. Only 3% of senior investment roles are held by women from ethnically diverse backgrounds, with no representation at all for black women.

Additionally, the report highlights that 26% of UK investment teams remain entirely white, and 13% are exclusively male. This disparity reaches 28% when considering firms with an AUM of  <£100m.

BVCA DEI Series:
Black History Month

An integral part of the BVCA's mission is to increase participation and representation within our industry, and for Black History Month this October, they are supporting it's theme this year, ‘Saluting Our Sisters’, which honours the achievements of black women.

What we learnt from the event

  • Cast the net wider during hiring
Building more diverse teams will require some unconventional thinking on the hiring front. Interviewing individuals exclusively from well-known schools and traditional backgrounds is a simple approach - organisations needs to broaden their initial recruitment efforts and delve deeper into a more extensive pool of candidates in order to connect with a more varied and capable group of potential employees. These initiatives can happen at an early stage, such as at the graduate or undergraduate level, by working together with organisations committed to promoting diversity in the business world.

  • Provide role models
It can be challenging to attract a diverse, younger talent pool when there are no senior role models within your organisation to inspire them. Having visible role models can be instrumental for inspiring young professionals and demonstrating what is possible for them to achieve. Seeking senior talent from outside your organisation can establish a more inclusive culture and serve as an example for others at lower levels, encouraging them to diversify as well. 

  • Be invested in your employees
Building an inclusive culture, creating strong people development and embracing workplace flexibility are central ingredients to success. Make sure your diversity hires know they work for people invested in keeping them and helping them thrive. It means forging a culture that embraces true authenticity and invites everyone to share his or her point of view.

Meet The Panel
Ladi Greenstreet

Ladi is a visionary leader and head of Accenture Ventures UKI, where he specialises in investing in growth-stage companies and driving digital transformation for large enterprises. He's also the CEO of Diversity.VC, a non-profit committed to breaking down identity barriers in Venture Capital. With an extensive network connecting enterprises, entrepreneurs, investors and universities, he's poised to drive meaningful change through the reduction of bias.


Patricia Hamzahee

Patricia helps social enterprises attract private capital through her company Integriti Capital and advocates to increase funding for diverse founders of start-ups and small businesses through Extend Ventures.  She also co-founded Black Funding Network, a community of individuals and institutions who intentionally support small, Black-led non-profit community organisations as well as co-founded GiveBLACK, where she commissioned an important examination of Black Philanthropy in Britain.

Extend Ventures

Theodora Newman

In her capacity as Policy and Strategy Manager at the British Business Bank, Theodora plays a pivotal role in spearheading the Investing in Women Code and championing the adoption of best practices in fostering diversity and inclusion within both the private capital sector and the broader spectrum of the bank's operations. Investing in Women Code is a commitment by financial services to improving female entrepreneurs' access to tools, resources and finance. 

Investing in Women Code