New group to boost proportion of women in senior roles across Europe’s private equity industry


The founders of Level 20 are pleased to announce the launch of a not-for-profit organisation set up to inspire women to join and succeed in the private equity industry.

Formed and seeded by a group of 12 senior women active in private equity and representing GPs and LPs, its goal is to ensure that females account for 20% of senior professionals across the European private equity industry by 2020.

Today, women account for just 5% of senior industry roles1. In addition, fewer women than men enter private equity, and only a small proportion progress to take on leadership roles.

Hanneke Smits, chairman and co-founder of Level 20, said: “We believe that gender diversity at senior levels in the private equity industry will lead to superior investment performance.

“Studies focusing on publicly-listed companies have observed a correlation between gender diversity in senior teams and higher returns on equity; we see no reason why the private-equity asset class should be different.”

1. Source: European Private Equity & Venture Capital Association