On this, International Women’s Day, we are proud to say that nearly half of the senior WestBridge team are women. To give this context, a recent study by the BVCA found that only 6% of women in the UK private equity sector are in senior roles.
Our commitment doesn’t end there. Over half our current fund’s portfolio companies have women on the board, while all of them have women in executive management roles. We asked some of them what they thought about being a woman in business.
I feel proud to be part of the senior leadership team of a high growth, private equity backed business. I like to think I can be an example to other women, including my daughters, that gender bias should not prevent women from taking up leading roles in organisations. Nicola Hunter, finance director, APEM
I am proud that the effort I’ve put in since starting my career, along with my strong work ethic, has enabled me to achieve a senior role in the construction industry. I have confidence in my ability and have never had to justify my position, which has been achieved by gaining respect from peers and colleagues for the work I have undertaken and the leadership I provide. My gender as a leader in a senior role never enters my thoughts. Lisa Kerford, managing director, Aptus Utilities
I was the only woman when I first sat on a board. Although I knew I’d earned my seat, I couldn’t help feeling it was a token gesture and that I had to prove myself more than my male colleagues. I’m pleased to say that things have changed dramatically, especially over the past decade. Now, it is a much more inclusive landscape. I know I am there for my skill and expertise, not to make up a quota, and that is exactly how it should be! Christina Walsh, chief operating officer, Bespoke Health & Social Care:
I’m proud of what I’ve achieved in my career but am acutely aware I’m speaking from a privileged position and haven’t experienced the discrimination or barriers that face many others. Being a senior leader, it’s my responsibility to ensure we’re a progressive and inclusive business that champions everybody. Being a working parent at any level of seniority is a challenge and I’m proud to be a role model for my daughter and hope to inspire her to do whatever she wants to do. Lucy McLintock, partner, Channel 3 Consulting