Moving Toward Gender Balance in Private Equity and Venture Capital – IFC (2019)

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IFC, 2019 – 137 pages

Our research examines gender balance—defined as leadership teams with at least 30% of men and women—in private equity and venture capital funds and the companies they invest in within emerging markets. We explore the relationship between gender balance and fund performance, and the roles that general partners, the vehicles investing private equity and venture capital funds, and limited partners, the source of capital, can play in alleviating gender gaps in investment funds and their portfolio companies. We find that the gender gaps in the representation of women as allocators and recipients of capital put access to financing at risk for female entrepreneurs and may reduce investment returns for funds. This report answers three questions:

  • How gender-balanced are leadership teams of General Partners, which allocate capital, and of portfolio companies, which receive investments?
  • Are there benefits of moving leadership teams toward gender balance within General Partners and portfolio companies?
  • What can General Partners do to move toward gender balance in their leadership teams and those of the portfolio companies they invest in?