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Diversity in the industry: investors encourage inclusion agenda in asset managers Added in 8/9/2023
The path of companies in the diversity agenda has intensified in all sectors. With more emphasis in the last two years, the corporate world has started to adopt effective policies to make its staff more plural and in the investment industry it was no different. At ABVCAP, the election held last month served to elect not only the first female president in 23 years of association - Priscila Rodrigues - but to have 25% of women on the Deliberative Council, something unprecedented as well. In addition to Priscila, Marina Procknor Whitaker, from Mattos Filho, and Cristina Penteado, from Blue Like an Orange, are now part of the collegiate.

In the assessment of the three board members, the diversity in the association reflects the changing profile of the private equity and venture capital industry itself. The understanding is that the sector has historically been dominated by men, but that it is now possible to visualize stories of successful women in the industry. 

"When we say that we want to better prepare managers, it involves the inclusion of diversity. It is an agenda of the investment industry and publicly traded companies, mainly. These are topics that are in our daily lives because they make up the best practices of managers and can influence the industry", commented Marina.

Cristina pointed out that although the long-term investment industry has very stable teams, there is a renewal happening. "ABVCAP is also opening up to new segments that are changing the venture capital matrix. The change in the board is a mirror of reality and that is why it is legitimate," she said. For her, the association needs to give visibility to these changes in profiles that operate in the industry, not limited to gender. 

According to Priscila, one of the great challenges for women is to stay in the sector and reach more prominent positions. "At the first levels, it is possible to see greater parity. The problem is that many women leave the industry during their careers. There is a hectic schedule, a lot of travel, so you have to give up a lot to stay in the industry," she said. 

Consistent diversity agendas, mentoring programs and support networks are cited as strategies to keep women in managers and companies in the sector. This also helps to implement the agenda in companies that receive investments. "We implement inclusion policies effectively in these investments. This is transformative", Cristina emphasized.
The diversity agenda, under the umbrella of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI), connects with the even broader ESG agenda. Marina also pointed out that one of ABVCAP's challenges in the scenario is to work to improve the regulatory framework, since many investors (LPs), especially foreign ones, have set diversity goals among managers. "We attract foreign investors who arrive with this higher bar, with higher level ESG demands and goals," she said. "We need to create more opportunities and policies to retain female talent, as it has become a prerequisite," added Priscila. 

Cristina also pointed out that society's mentality has already evolved on this agenda, although the transformation is still far from ideal. "The change has been radical since I started", she commented. According to her, today it is possible to see men advocating in favor of this agenda. "Women have proven themselves in various positions. Today, there is awareness that diversity brings wealth, this has been understood and it is an important social change," Cristina said. 

The industry, by adopting the diversity agenda, ends up directly impacting society as it manages to influence the companies that receive contributions. Thus, the managers reinforce their capacity to contribute to social transformation through these policies. What remains, in the assessment of Priscila, Cristina and Marina, is to intensify the practices that can expand the diversity of staff in the industry.

Source: ABVCAP


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