Although most GPs are now actively conscious of the need for increased diversity in the industry, there remains much discussion and debate in terms of how to best implement changes effectively, particularly in the Asia-Pacific region, where conversations and progress surrounding DEI tends to be slower and more fragmented. Global LPs are increasingly questioning managers on their DEI policies within the firm and at the portfolio company level, however, slowly but surely changes are coming to the forefront. Our panel of regional and global GP leaders will share their respective firm’s initiatives, views on the industry and provide actionable insights.
- How has the conversation of diversity, equity and inclusion developed in the past 12 months globally and locally? Why should these issues be taken as seriously as climate change?
- Within Asia, which countries are taking more concrete steps towards inclusion and diversity and what are best practice firms can share?
- For GPs that have just started to think more about DEI, what are concrete action points/first steps to take?
- How can managers hold their portfolio companies accountable, and which sectors already see wider diversity and more representation?
There is now ample evidence to support the business case for increasing diversity in the venture capital industry. Across the region, particularly in Southeast Asia, we have witnessed increased efforts to improve DEI metrics, whether it be within VC firms or the entrepreneurs that they choose to back. As the VC ecosystem continues to evolve in the region, VCs must not only increase diversity within investment-decision making roles, but also continue to have explicit conversations with their portfolio companies and encourage the C-suite to look at DEI as a matter of strategic importance. Our panel of leading regional venture capitalists will highlight the steps they have taken to create a more inclusive and equitable playing field for the next generation of fund managers and discuss developments in the region.
- What are the initiatives firms have made to ensure that more capital is being committed towards female founders and diverse companies?
- Building diverse investment teams - what needs to be looked at beyond gender, and for the uninitiated, why is this so important?
- Inclusive entrepreneurship - what is the opportunity set like in Southeast Asia and beyond? What more can be done to encourage the next generation of female founders?
- What is the best way for VCs to have conversations with portfolio companies on issues regarding DEI?
On a global level, LPs have taken steps to increase pressure on their GPs to take DEI seriously by asking tougher questions, encouraging the adoption of diversity initiatives, and placing more emphasis on capital allocations towards DEI. However, the bulk of the discussion and changes come from overseas LPs, whilst regional LPs are more focused towards ESG as a whole but neglect the “S” aspect of the equation. As a major influence of GP behavior in the industry, there is more that needs to be done. Our panel of global and regional LPs will discuss and debate best practices to enhance DEI in Asia and beyond.
- How can LPs push for more diverse investment partners and executive teams within portfolio companies?
- What needs to be done for regional LPs to take DEI as seriously as their global peers?
- Have LP conversations seen a gradual shift to encompass diversity beyond gender equality?
- Walking the walk - what have LPs been doing internally within their organisations to promote DEI?
Roundtables and cocktail reception
Moderated by industry leaders, these discussion groups will cover different facets of the industry to encourage discussion between attendees.
- The importance of representation within the workplace - role models, mentorship, safe spaces
- Addressing our own implied biases and how to overcome them
- How to be authentic in your professional life and make a difference in the workplace
End of Conference
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