Tesi’s Diversity Review: Number of women doubled in VC & PE investment teams, yet progress remains to be made

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Tesi’s Diversity Review of venture capital & private equity investment teams shows progress has been made over the years, but still much needs to be done to improve diversity. The number of women in investment teams has doubled in four years while the number of young people has grown steadily. The teams come from similar backgrounds, however, and only one in five investment team members is a woman.

This is Tesi’s fourth Diversity Review, and it covers the investment teams of all Finnish VC & PE fund management companies.

The Review shows that since 2019 the number of people working in Finnish VC & PE investment teams has increased by 40%, while the number of women has doubled. Nowadays, one in five team members is a woman. Most women are managers (42%), but only 13% of partners are women.

“The number of women at managerial level in venture capital teams, which invest in startups, has risen to 46%, which is above the industry average. In view of these figures, I expect an increase in the proportion of women at partner level also in venture capital teams. I’d like this trend to accelerate because so far there are still relatively few women partners in these teams compared to the average for the investment industry,” comments Tesi’s CEO Pia Santavirta.

According to the results of the Diversity Review, the age distribution of VC & PE investors is very even in Finland and talent also moves upwards in the teams evenly, from analysts to managers and then to partners. The number of young people in the sector has grown steadily during the four-year review period, and currently one-third of VC & PE investors is younger than 35.

“A pronounced generational change is occurring in buyout teams, which focus on M&As. The seasoned veterans in these teams have made way for new talent,” comments Santavirta, and adds: “Many new trainee programmes have been launched in the PE & VC industry, providing younger people interested in investment with a pathway to work in the field.”

Almost 90% of people working in the teams have a university degree in a business or technical field. Likewise, over one-half have work experience in finance or consulting. One-third of VC & PE investors has previous work experience from the industry. The work and study backgrounds of investors working in venture capital teams is more diversified than the average. Women hold more academic qualifications than men and are more highly educated across the board than men.

”Team diversity is one component of sustainability, and both are very important to us at Tesi. By publishing these results, we’re trying to develop the venture capital and private equity market. We want to openly and transparently bring to light the progress made on themes important to the sector,” explains Investment Associate Jens Färm, who was in charge of conducting the review.

Diversity of Finnish VC & PE investment teams (figure for 2021 in brackets)
  • There are 37 VC & PE fund management companies in Finland, and at the end of 2022 some 250 people worked in their investment teams.
  • The proportion of women in the investment teams is 21% (18%).
  • Women account for 21% (32%) of the investment teams´ analysts, 42% (31%) of their managers, and 13% (11%) of their partners.
  • The proportion of under 35-year-olds in the investment teams is 31% (29%) and over 55-year-olds 12% (14%).
  • Some 88% of people working in the teams have a university degree in a business or technical field.
  • Of the people working in the teams, 32% have work experience mainly from the finance sector, 23% from consulting, and 33% from the industry.
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Further information:
Pia Santavirta, CEO, Tesi
+358 40 546 7749
Photo of Pia Santavirta

Review conducted by:
Jens Färm, Investment Associate, Tesi
+358 40 566 0067
Photo of Jens Färm

Contact for communications:
Susanna Aaltonen, Director, Communications, Tesi
+358 40 593 4221

Tesi wants to raise Finland to the forefront of transformative economic growth. We develop the market, and work for the success of Finnish growth companies. We invest in private equity and venture capital funds, and also directly in growth companies. We provide long-running support, market insights, patient capital, and skilled ownership. tesi.fi | Twitter | LinkedIn | Newsletter

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