These women set private markets alight in 2021

The achievements of the women named in PEI’s inaugural Women of Influence in Private Markets include leading the charge on diversity and promoting innovation in their PE portfolios.

Private Equity International’s inaugural Women of Influence in Private Markets list, which was published in July, celebrates 60 trailblazing women in alternative assets.

To create PEI’s Women of Influence list, we solicited nominations from our readers and industry executives. The list celebrates their achievements in the last year and over the course of their careers. These women were selected by our editorial teams from more than 680 nominations. We then had the difficult task of culling that initial list to just 60 women – 10 each from private equity, private debt, infrastructure, real estate and venture capital, as well as 10 working across multiple asset classes.

While the volume of nominations was staggering, the breadth of female talent in the industry was not at all unexpected. In private equity, achievements ranged from co-founding a non-profit and improving gender diversity in the industry to establishing an investment management business that has grown to more than $112 billion in AUM and founding the growth equity business of a global bank. Ardian’s founder and president Dominique Senequier, the former chair and council member of the British Private Equity and Venture Capital Association Helen Steers and the Future Fund’s Alicia Gregory are among those who featured in the list.

Much has changed for women working in private markets in the past few decades, but the industry’s track record on diversity is still lagging. At more than eight in 10 private equity managers, 30 percent or fewer front-office roles are held by women, according to EY’s 2021 Global Private Equity Survey. Meanwhile, the BVCA and Level 20’s latest Diversity and Inclusion Report found that women make up just 10 percent of senior investment roles among the UK and European private equity and venture capital firms they surveyed.

But there’s good news, too: the clout of women in the industry has never been greater, and their contributions promoting diversity and inclusion are more apparent than ever.

The Women of Influence list is the centrepiece of PEI’s debut special report on women in private markets, which highlights how LPs and GPs have stepped up their diversity and inclusion efforts.

Also worth viewing are videos on the value of mentoring and how to become one, which feature Ropes & Gray partner Isabel Dische and Pantheon’s Steers, respectively.