Published: Mar 08, 2023
The world of finance is infamous for its challenges with diversity, and as an industry, women have been underrepresented in private equity. According to a report published by EY in 2021, just 10% of private equity roles are held by women.
Within Maven women are integral to our business and culture and have played a prominent role in the success of our organisation to date. Women have always had a position in our top level management and hold senior positions throughout our business, from our investment team to our critical operational departments. Women make up 36% of our workforce.
That said, there is clearly more work to be done to completely break through the glass ceiling across our industry and see greater female representation at the highest levels. Action is far more important than rhetoric.
When it comes to how we do business our approach to gender does not change. Whilst we will take a highly selective approach to private company investment, the decision to invest is based on the company in question having strong core characteristics and the potential to deliver sustainable growth in revenues. We back highly capable and balanced management teams, regardless of gender, and who have the collective skills, experience, vision and commitment to make the business a success.
We have female-led businesses dotted across our portfolio and it is pleasing to see The Rose Review Progress Report on female entrepreneurship, published last year, report that female entrepreneurs created a record number of new business in the UK in 2021 and that it is growing by a third each year. Maven became a signatory to the Investing in Women Code in 2021, a commitment to support the advancement of female entrepreneurship in the UK, in which we are dedicated to improving their access to tools, resources, and finance.
At Maven, the experience and skills brought by women have enhanced our business. Our mixed gender teams are developing more innovative ideas, creating better work processes, and building stronger relationships with our investor base or the management teams we back. There are clear benefits to greater diversity which make for a better bottom line.
To mark International Women’s Day 2023, female team members from across our UK office network shared their perspectives on what it’s like to be women in private equity.
“To me, IWD is a great opportunity to recognise the progress made by those women who have developed interesting and rewarding careers in all kinds of industries that have been traditionally dominated by men. These examples help to inspire the next generation of women and show us that gender should not be a barrier to the pursuit and achievement of ambition. “
Melanie Goward, Partner at Maven
“International Women’s Day is an opportunity to reflect and to support other women across industries, geographies, and backgrounds. It is a privilege to be involved in progressing equality and diversity in the private equity corner of the world, both within Maven and also across the portfolio companies in which we invest or seek to invest, as well as personally in my strong support of other females.”
Lorna Kelly, Strategic Development Director
“As a woman working in what is still a very male dominated environment within financial services where we interact closely with SME businesses, it is refreshing that Maven is very supportive of the flexible working needs of its staff and I am appreciative that they embrace me working on a part-time flexible basis which helps me achieve the work/life balance that I need. To me, IWD gives us all the perfect opportunity to pause, reflect and celebrate the valuable contribution that working women make to business and the economy.”
Michelle Pownall, Portfolio Director
International Women’s Day is an opportunity for us all to celebrate the progress we have made in the UK, and reflect on how other women across the globe need support and a voice to overcome cultural changes. For me the focus is on changing mindset, no matter what your gender, to provide some equality of treatment. On a personal level, in my lifetime my values have been moulded through parents, and other authority figures for me to adopt a mindset that hasn’t ever had me focus on the fact I am women, just whether I have the skills to deliver what is required and assess what that might be.
Karen de Meza, Portfolio Director