Ireland tops Europe for women in senior private equity or VC roles

Ireland has the highest number of women working at senior level in private equity and venture capital in Europe, according to a report.

The study from Level 20, a not-for-profit organisation working to improving diversity, shows 28 per cent of senior level positions in the sector are held by women here, versus a European average of just 10 per cent. Indeed, all countries with the exception of Ireland, which had almost double the number of women working at senior levels than its nearest rival France, exhibited a level of representation at or below 15 per cent, and in seven cases, less than 10 per cent.

Ireland is second last for female representation at mid-level in investment roles, at just 10 per cent, but comes in fourth for the percentage of women in junior roles – at 38 per cent, versus a European average of 34 per cent.

The Republic also ranks joint highest in Europe along with France for the percentage of venture capitalists who are women.

The study shows 29 per cent of people in VC in Ireland are women versus a European average of 22 per cent. In comparison, just 14 per cent of those working in private equity in Ireland are women, versus a European average of 18 per cent, and compared to 25 per cent in France.

Overall, just 20 per cent of people working in private equity and venture capital in Europe are women, according to the study. That figure falls to just 10 per cent at senior level, although women are better represented at junior levels with just over a third of all professionals in the investment sector being female.

Level 20 said the fact that 34 per cent of investment professionals are junior level are women, indicates that diversity levels could rise in the future if the sector continues to take steps to encourage their retention and promotion.

Some 38 per cent of all firms working in both private equity and VC in Europe had all-male investment teams, the study shows. In Ireland, the number of all-male teams stood at 29 per cent, with 50 per cent of private equity firms and 25 per cent of VC firms not having any women on their teams.

France and Spain lead the rest of Europe with an overall higher female representation across all levels and types of firms, according to the report.

Source: Business Post

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