Private capital industry suffers from lack of diversity: report

Private capital industry suffers from lack of diversity: report

Survey of venture capital and private equity firms shows room for improvement

Canada’s private capital industry still has a way to go in achieving a diverse workforce, according to a new report commissioned by the Canadian Venture Capital and Private Equity Association (CVCA) and BDC Capital.

The report, based on research from Deloitte, found that only 12% of 23 private equity firms surveyed had female partners, and 11% of 36 venture capital firms surveyed had female partners. By comparison, Canada’s banking sector has 38% female partners, and the legal sector has 25% female partners.

Visible minorities comprised only 6% of partners in private equity, compared to 15% in the banking sector. Visible minorities accounted for 18% of partners in the venture capital sector, compared to 9% in legal.

The study also found that the private capital industry lacks in people who self-identify as Indigenous, LGBTQ+ or persons with disabilities.

Of the 23 private equity firms that participated in the survey, 21 had no employees who self-identified as Indigenous, while two firms had less than 10% of their workforce self-identify as Indigenous. Nineteen firms had no employees who self-identified as LGBTQ+, while four firms had between 1–10% of their workforce self-identify as LGBTQ+. Twenty firms had no employees self-identify as persons with disabilities, while two had 1–10% of the workforce self-identify as persons with disabilities.

Among the 36 venture capital firms surveyed, 34 said they had no employees who self-identified as Indigenous, while one had less than 10% of the workforce self-identify as Indigenous and another had 10–20%. Twenty-six firms had no employees self-identify as LGBTQ+, while three firms had between 1–10% of their workforce self-identify as LGBTQ+ and four firms had between 10–30%. Thirty-one firms had no employees self-identify as persons with disabilities, while one had 1–10% of staff self-identify as persons with disabilities, two had 10–30% and one had more than 50%.

In the report, the CVCA pledged to bolster diversity and inclusion by informing members and stakeholders of the benefits, creating education opportunities, showcasing success in the industry and offering continued support for inclusive industry programs.

“We encourage all participants in Canada’s private capital industry to review their practices and policies to ensure there are no obstacles that stand in the way of career success for employees, both today and in the future,” CVCA chair Peter Dowse said in a news release. “In doing so, the skills and energy of the total workforce can be harnessed effectively for the good of the industry and Canadian society.”

Read the State of Diversity & Inclusion 2019 report.

Source: Investment Executive

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