Level 20 appoints international chair amid European push

The nonprofit organisation now has 12 international committees operating across DACH, France, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Nordics, Poland, Spain and the UK.

Level 20, the nonprofit organisation founded to improve gender diversity in private equity, has created a new position as it continues to expand its activity across Europe.

Jennifer McMahon, a principal at Dublin-based life sciences firm Seroba, has assumed the role of international chair, representing the various Level 20 country chapters.

“I am very pleased to be taking on the inaugural role of chair of the international committees at such an exciting time for Level 20,” McMahon wrote in Level 20’s annual review, published Wednesday.

McMahon has been with Dublin-based Seroba since completing a master’s in business and biotechnology in 2011. She has been working with Level 20 as a committee member since 2019.

Level 20 is so called as it seeks to increase the proportion of women in senior private equity roles to 20 percent. Membership is free to women in the private equity industry; it now has more than 3,000 members, more than 900 of whom are based outside of the UK, where the initiative started.

In addition to its advocacy, networking and mentoring activities, Level 20 instigates research into female representation in private equity markets at the country level. So far it has published research on the PE industries in the UK, Spain, Netherlands and Poland.

“As highlighted in the diversity and inclusion reports published […] we have a lot of work to do to achieve 20 percent representation of senior leaders in PE, but we now have more granularity on our baselines with country-specific insights for improvement,” McMahon wrote in the report. “Over the course of the next year we will broaden this international dataset and work together towards gender parity.”

Level 20 now has 12 international committees operating across DACH, France, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Nordics, Poland, Spain and the UK. Activities are organised locally by committee members.

The aim is to gather equivalent data on women working in private equity by country across the whole of Europe, wrote Pam Jackson, chief executive of Level 20 in the report.

“The results will give us a benchmark and become the basis of discussion for where people are on their journeys and how to improve. It is not just data; it is the launch pad for  increasing diversity and inclusion across our industry.”

Note: PEI’s Women in Private Markets Summit takes place in London on 1 and 2 December. Check out the speaker roster and agenda.