women in senior roles in the European private equity industry in 2015
women in senior roles in the European private equity industry
At our launch in 2015, women comprised around 5% of professionals employed in senior roles in the European private equity industry (source: Invest Europe). In addition, fewer women than men enter the private equity industry and only a small proportion progress to take on leadership roles. We believe that increased participation by women in the private equity industry, especially in leadership positions, will lead to not only sustaining but also improving investment performance.
Our goal is to see this proportion rise. 20% is the percentage synonymous with target returns and target profit share in the private equity industry. We thus feel it is appropriate to set this as a target percentage for women working in senior roles in the European private equity industry.
We are delighted to have won financial support from 40 private equity firms enabling us to recruit an executive team to work to deliver our goals.
We strongly believe that we can leverage our experiences and join forces with other private equity leaders to attract, nurture, and promote women in private equity, to achieve greater gender diversity both for the benefit of our industry at large as well as for the good gender diversity brings to the community.
Many of Level 20’s founders joined the private equity industry in the 1990s, when women were a rare species indeed in private equity. Our generation started to meet up informally in pairs before expanding into a semi-formal group in the early 2000s. Our gatherings enabled us to share professional and personal issues, challenges and triumphs.
As our careers and personal lives flourished, the lack of gender diversity became increasingly apparent. We also became aware that combining our experiences and franchises could lead to very positive outcomes. And so Level 20 was born.
Level 20 is a not for profit, non-aligned company limited by guarantee that was formed and seeded by the 12 founders.
The current officers of Level 20 are:
- Chair – Jennifer Dunstan
- Past Chair – Hanneke Smits
- Treasurer – Emma Osborne
- CEO – Jeryl Andrew
Level 20 is run on a day to day basis by a Steering Committee whose members are Jennifer Dunstan, Hanneke Smits, Helen Steers, Cécile Belaman, Dana Haimoff and Jeryl Andrew. There are quarterly Board meetings for all the Founders where the strategy is determined.
The committee members of the Level 20 German Chapter are:
- Anja Bickelmaier
- Dörte Höppner
- Giovanna Maag
- Martina Pfeifer
- Michala Rudorfer
- Laura Schroeder
Membership and Events are organised by the CEO, Jeryl Andrew.
- Business School Outreach headed by Christina Pamberg
- Future Leaders headed by Dana Haimoff and Kathryn Mayne
- International outreach headed by Cécile Belaman
- Mentoring headed by Alex Hess, Jennifer Dunstan and Kathleen Bacon
- Philanthropy headed by Kathryn Mayne
- Research headed by Helen Steers
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CEO, Level 20
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