In conversation with Oksana Stowe
Partner, Redrice Ventures

20.09.2021

Please describe your current role.

I am a partner at Redrice Ventures. We invest at seed stage in premium consumer brands and related technology companies.

How did you get started in venture capital and what was the career path to your current role?

It took me a while to discover what I like, what I am passionate about and also what I am good at. Yet, I am grateful for all the professional and life experiences that I had – I gained a lot of valuable technical skills in corporate finance roles within various industries and then I was drawn to the fast-growing companies and dabbled my feet into angel investing. Once I built a modest portfolio and realised how much fun it is to be part of the early and growing businesses, I made a switch and joined a venture fund.

What attracted you to the industry / what do you enjoy most about your job?

I will probably sound a bit cliché, but the most exciting part of my job is the variety: variety of ideas, variety in how your days evolve, variety of people you meet, who have a lot of courage and conviction and view the world differently. Each industry is undergoing a lot of changes and working in venture allows you to take a sneak peek into the future. Just a tiny one.

What advice would you give women considering a career in venture capital or to younger women already in the industry?

For those in the industry: you matter more than you think and there has been a lot of groundwork already done for you to continue to initiate the change without adverse consequences. So, I would encourage everyone to take initiative and be part of the diversity discussion as often as possible. I also think that it is important for women to be inclusive as well and not alienate men. Female empowerment does not need to happen to the detriment of men.

What do you think it will take to improve the gender gap in venture capital and do you think we will see significant change in the coming years?

Many firms are taking steps in the right direction, which is very encouraging, and I am convinced that there will be significant changes. In fact it is inevitable, because progress (even though with some drawbacks) is inevitable. As Mary Portas has put it: ‘I really, really do believe that the future of being successful in work is going to be about embracing all of those wonderful things women bring – empathy, collaboration, flexibility – all those wonderful feminine traits we’ve suppressed for too long.”

What is the best advice you received in your career / what advice would you give your younger self?   

Even though it is a straightforward question, it is always hard to give a concise answer because what I find is that the best advice comes at the right time in the most random ways. You just have to be open and curious to spot it. One thing that I have recently realised is that it is important to appreciate and stay close to the people who are not afraid of your success, but have the maturity to promote and support it.