BlackRock’s Pamela Brylski on forging a career in private markets

Career paths in private markets may not be linear, but there are always opportunities to learn and build relationships, says BlackRock’s Pamela Brylski.

Pamela Brylski, fundraising director and senior relationship manager at BlackRock, was named among Private Equity International’s Future 40 leaders in 2022. Brylski actively engages with industry associations, as well as philanthropic and educational organisations, including serving on the board of the Women’s Association of Venture and Equity. Here, she shares key learnings from her involvement with such initiatives and gives her top tips for women looking to forge a career in private markets.

Pamela Brylski

As a board member for WAVE, how do you work with the association to support the advancement of women?

The key tenets of a successful diversity, equity and inclusion initiative are intentionality, transparency and consistency. As a board member of the Women’s Association of Venture and Equity, we are intentional and transparent about our mission, and we communicate across our membership to maintain consistency on how we execute on that shared mission.

From a membership perspective, we curate programming that focuses on key issues across the private markets and creates a forum for members to network, exchange dealflow and share career opportunities with their peers. We also lead career forums and summits nationally and regionally that expose selected graduate and postgraduate female scholars to industry panels and interview opportunities with our partner investment firms across the industry to help bridge the diversity gap across the talent pipeline.

You have been involved in various industry outreach initiatives, such as the Sponsors for Educational Opportunity career programme; what have been your key takeaways from these experiences?

Sponsors for Educational Opportunity has been a driving force in my career. There are many takeaways that I have learned from SEO, but there are a few that standout. Firstly, actively seek out a sponsor with influence. Many key career decisions are done behind closed doors; therefore, it is important that we proactively seek out sponsors who can speak our name behind those doors.

Second, is to always give back. Many have paved the way for us to be in the industry, so it is pivotal that as you climb up you bring others along.

Finally, be excellent. There is implicit and explicit bias throughout our industry, but the best way to combat bias is through excellence.

What advice would you give to women considering a career in private markets?

As a woman who is forging a career in the private markets, I have many nuggets of advice to share. First is to build your network. Much of life is not what you know, but who you know. Second is to create a brand around client service. Serving your clients is the premise of being a successful professional, so build a reputation around putting clients first.

Next, recognise your journey is not linear. As someone who entered the private markets as a lawyer, my journey has not been straightforward; but in every role, I learned new things, met great people and built lasting relationships with clients.

Finally, remain confident, even in the face of failure. Failure is inevitable, but know you will come out stronger and do not fear it.

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