Thursday, 10 December 2020
Chairperson’s opening remarks
Championing D&I during a crisis – private equity leaders’ perspective
The disruptions of 2020 have had serious implications for the private equity industry. For some, this may have meant temporarily placing D&I initiatives on the back burner. However, this is the wrong approach, as a growing body of evidence shows that private equity firms whose leaders welcome diverse talent and different perspectives are likely to emerge stronger from a crisis. Furthermore, from a financial perspective, it has been reported recently that companies in the top quartile for diversity are 25% more likely to have above-average profitability than companies in the fourth quartile. In this context, our panel of global private equity leaders will explore the effects of COVID-19 on the D&I agenda, how they have tackled their leadership roles throughout this period, and how private equity is uniquely positioned to provide the catalyst for real change.
- To what extent has COVID-19 halted the industry’s progress in moving the needle on racial and gender diversity?
- Developments in the past year from an Asian perspective – how has the conversation of D&I shifted in response to global events?
- How can effective and resilient leadership at the firm level help companies through trying times, and how are top executives in Asia prioritising D&I?
- Are GPs feeling the heat from their LPs on issues relating to D&I?
Fireside Chat – a GP’s personal journey
In this intimate one-on-one discussion, our senior female private equity veteran will provide candid insights into her personal journey in the industry. She will discuss her perspectives on how the industry’s D&I focus has developed in Asia over the years, the challenges and opportunities she encountered along the way, and her views on how the industry can help to foster a more inclusive, diverse, and supportive ecosystem for the next generation of private equity leaders.
Moving forward: talent and culture in the private equity industry
Research has shown that the pandemic has placed a disproportionate burden on women in terms of both childcare and in the workforce, with women’s jobs being 1.8 times more vulnerable compared to that of men. As private equity executives continue to respond to the challenges of 2020 and make recovery plans, it is crucial that firms keep recruiting from an inclusive and diverse talent pool, whilst establishing attractive family planning policies and prioritising staff well-being to ensure that women at the junior and mid-stage of their careers feel supported and heard. Our panel of professionals will discuss the systems that need to be put into place to attract and retain female and diverse talent, and how to ensure that no one gets left behind.
- How do you truly create a diverse workplace, and is it possible to do this in a small firm/team, particularly in Asia?
- Case studies: How have industry leaders implemented practices and programmes that increase gender parity and diversity this year?
- People or Talent perspectives on recruiting and retaining candidates from non-traditional backgrounds and seeking young talent – what are some best practices?
- What are our roles in the PE community to stay competitive and committed in supporting our employees in the new normal?
Global LP insights: moving the needle towards meaningful change
Diversity continues to be an increasingly important consideration for LPs, with a recent survey indicating that 81% of investors seek to invest in firms that have gender and ethnic diversity in their leadership teams. In reality, progress has been slow from the top, with large institutional investors often finding it challenging to forego their financial responsibilities, and with only 25% of LPs asking about diversity in the due diligence process. However, as the conversation continues to develop, increasing numbers of LPs are becoming aware that they risk missing out on the strength of diverse investors if they do not actively engage with their GPs to promote D&I. Join our panel of global and regional LPs in a discussion of the practical solutions that can help to make a meaningful difference in this area.
- How have the social justice movements and uncertainties of 2020 provided a catalyst for change amongst LP D&I engagement? Are LPs now expecting more from their GPs?
- How can GPs show their LPs that they are still making demonstrable efforts in these times?
- What are some specific actions LPs can take to hold GP’s behaviour accountable, such as pushing for boardroom diversity in private equity and venture capital–backed companies?
- What are some lessons that Asian LPs can learn from their Western counterparts when making diversity efforts?
End of conference
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