As we celebrate International Women’s Day today, Laura Sisson, Investment Manager at YFM Equity Partners, tell us why diversity in the workforce and a commitment to creating an inclusive working environment is a real passion and priority
A workforce that better represents society can bring a range of perspectives from which to deliver enhanced innovation, teamwork and decision making. And combining a diverse team with a supportive workplace culture that actively encourages people to bring their whole selves to work has been shown to positively contribute to employee engagement and retention.
In the financial industry, which has lagged behind others in responding to the need to promote diversity, this is as important as ever. As providers of capital, investment firms such as YFM can only benefit from a variety of approaches to considering investment opportunities and supporting portfolio businesses as they pursue growth.
But real progress in this arena requires a shift in thinking and a commitment from those already in these roles to cultivating a diverse workforce, providing the platform, benefits programme and culture to welcome both underrepresented individuals looking to break into the private equity industry, and in turn, those who are looking to raise money from funds such as ours.
Thanks to my investment role with YFM, I am also an Operational Board member for Fund Her North, a collective of over 30 women in finance with combined investment power of over £650m in the North of England. At Fund Her North’s core is the aim of empowering female founders and supporting them in tackling the many barriers women face in accessing tools, resources and financial investment to successfully scale their businesses.
Together we are making real strides in breaking down these barriers, and I am proud to be able to play my part in supporting the female founders of today and potential success stories of tomorrow.