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Level 20 is a not-for-profit organisation founded by a group of 12 senior women active in private equity, including Emma Osborne, ICG’s Head of Private Equity Fund Investments.
Level 20 aims to inspire women to join and succeed in the European private equity industry and has an objective of increasing the proportion of women in senior roles from 5% at the organisation’s launch in 2015 to 20% by 2020.
Numerous studies have established a correlation between gender diversity in senior executive teams and higher returns on equity in public companies. Level 20 sees no reason why private equity should be any different and believes that gender diversity at all, and in particular senior, levels in the private equity industry will lead to superior investment performance.
Level 20 promotes its vision through five pillars: a career mentoring programme; research relevant to gender diversity in private equity; outreach activities to inspire ambition and interest in private equity; networking for women at all stages in their careers; and a commitment to philanthropy.
With financial backing from over 40 private equity firms, including ICG, Level 20 has established a small staff to support its activities and now has over 1,250 individual members.