This week Preqin’s latest research on women in the alternative investments industry captured headlines, as did the new book by high profile Silicon Valley venture capitalist Ben Horowitz. What do they have in common? The answer is they both show that women have some way to go in the domains of technology and private equity. Horowitz inadvertently revealed just how male dominated Silicon Valley can be, despite trying to be pro-female leadership in his text, according to BW, while Preqin concluded that there has been a slight increase in the level of female representation in PE — after studying the fact sheets of some 7000 fund managers.
According to the data, last year the percentage of women in PE as a proportion of the team increased slightly at buyout, real estate, and infrastructure funds firms, and stayed the same in VC, according to Preqin. However “the overall proportion of leadership roles that women occupy in private equity is still notably low”.
This all might sound like bad news for women who seek to forge a career in PE (and also for institutional investors that seek to put money to work in female-led PE teams), however it is worth noting that things are improving. One sign is that the Annual Women’s Private Equity Summit, which is a two day event for senior-level women in private equity and venture capital, reported this week that it would have 450 attendees. It is the “largest gathering yet” for the event, which is now in its seventh year. (Image source: Preqin)