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Diversity and Inclusivity in the Private Capital Industry – New Benchmark Report Released

Diversity and Inclusivity in the Private Capital Industry – New Benchmark Report Released

By: Heidi Gordon, Suzie Cusson

The Canadian Venture Capital and Private Equity Association and BDC Capital release a new benchmark report on the current state of diversity and inclusivity in the private capital market


On June 27, 2019, the Canadian Venture Capital and Private Equity Association (“CVCA”), in partnership with BDC Capital, released its first State of Diversity and Inclusion report (the “CVCA Report”). The CVCA Report is based on data collected by Deloitte in early 2019 from private equity and venture capital firms that are members of the CVCA. The CVCA Report reveals that like so many other industries, including the legal profession, many Canadian PE and VC firms struggle with familiar challenges when it comes to diversity and inclusion.

As noted in the CVCA Report, “inclusive diversity is not only the right thing to do, it is the financially strategic thing to do”. Research conducted over the last 30 years has consistently demonstrated that effective management of workplace diversity and inclusivity leads to better organizational performance, effectiveness, profitability and revenue generation.

What Next

The CVCA Report establishes baseline data intended to enable the CVCA and its members to measure the private capital sector’s progress over the coming years. The CVCA Report also outlines the following recommendations to harness and foster a diverse and inclusive workforce:

  1. Develop onboarding and engagement strategies: This tactic involves, among other things, pursuing new recruitment and retention strategies that factor in diversity and inclusivity.
  2. Fostering an inclusive environment: This can be achieved through, for example, mentorship and networking opportunities specifically targeted at diverse members, rotating who runs meetings and championing staff at every level to represent the organization at external-facing events.
  3. Embed diversity and inclusion: The CVCA Report emphasises the need to track diversity metrics and to be transparent with the communication of progress against goals and realistic and business-focussed benchmarks. Implementing is also encouraged. The CVCA has endorsed the Institutional Limited Partners Association’s Industry Code of Conduct Guidelines and recommends its members do the same.
  4. Champion education: This can be achieved by, among other things, enrolling leaders and employees in unconscious bias training and workshops and making diversity and inclusion an active part of conversations with employees and business partners.




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