Reed Smith is pleased to announce the launch of The 1973 Club, a networking, knowledge-sharing and philanthropic platform for women in the private equity sector.
This prestigious Club is named for the year in which women first gained access to the London Stock Exchange trading floor. The Club aims to increase gender diversity in the private equity industry, from supporting those first entering the industry, to rallying women to stay in or return to the sector by bolstering their connections both personally and professionally.
Private equity firms are dominated by male employees – last year just 14% of partners were female, while research by Private Equity News placed the overall proportion of investment professionals at European buyout firms at around 12%, an inexcusably low figure. These statistics lag well behind the wider banking industry.
By founding The 1973 Club, Reed Smith is committing to changing standards within the sector, not only encouraging talented women to enter the industry, but empowering established female professionals to remain within and occupy leading positions within it.
The network will host regular events to provide an informal setting for women to network with each other and build the relationships which underpin everything in this industry. We hope that they will return to their workplaces confident in their belief that more should and will be done to encourage equality in private equity.
In addition to these aims, The 1973 Club is delighted to confirm its partnership with Child’s i Foundation, a charity that is working in Uganda to build a family-based care system to eliminate the need for orphanages. The Club has set an ambitious initial target of raising £30,000 to support 100 women to provide and care for their children instead of placing their children in orphanages. To meet this target, donations will be encouraged at our events together with members of the Club undertaking fundraising challenges, and we believe that this collaborative effort will show our members the value of cooperative action.
The 1973 Club inaugural launch event will take place on October 5th 2017 at Burberry on New Bond Street, and will gather women from the industry together to express solidarity with the cause of equality. Networking drinks and a private viewing of the Burberry collection will follow an opening address from Reed Smith and Child’s i Foundation. Attendance is on an invitation basis only.
Commenting on the launch, Laura Brunnen, private equity partner at Reed Smith and co-chair, said:
“We’re so excited to be launching The 1973 Club, which we see as aligned to two key issues of importance to our private equity clients: gender diversity and philanthropy. Having worked in the private equity sector for over a decade, I’m conscious that, while gender diversity in the industry is improving, there is a long way to go. The 1973 Club will provide a positive forum for members to grow relationships with like-minded professionals and foster personal relationships that underpin a sustainable professional network.”
Lucy Buck, founder and CEO of Child’s i Foundation added:
“I originally came into Reed Smith to discuss how we could work together more generally and had a meeting of minds regarding partnering with The 1973 Club and the broader ethos of women helping women. Their determination to make a difference is perfectly aligned with the ambitions of Child’s i Foundation, and I’m confident that we’ll do great work together in the months and years to come.”
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