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In 1906 Finland became the second country in the world to give women the right to vote, and in 2020 the Finnish government is run by women. At the same time, there’s very little diversity at the boards of Finnish private-equity-backed firms, which remain overwhelmingly male.

Finnish Venture Capital Association (FVCA) said women hold only 13% of the board seats of PE-backed companies. In contrast, around a third of the board members of listed companies are women.

 In venture-capital-backed startups, very few women occupy leadership positions: 15% in top management teams and 8% on boards. In more established, buyout-backed growth companies, the situation is better: women hold 24% of top management team positions and 14% of board seats,  a study of FVCA showed.

“Startups are tech companies, and the technology industry is male-dominated. This trend is changing slowly but surely. For example, the Women in Tech network is constantly working to increase diversity in the industry,”  Pia Santavirta, Managing Director of FVCA, said in a statement.

The FVCA said that in addition to the work they do in their portfolio companies, PE investors also work towards increasing the diversity of their own teams.

“We need more female role models in the industry, as well as more women in sales-, business operations-, and strategy-related leadership positions. This can encourage the next generation of women to pursue careers in still male-dominated fields such as the tech industry or to become researcher-entrepreneurs or investors,” said Inka Mero, founder of the deep tech fund Voima Ventures.

“My own principle is to help one woman move forward on her career path each week,”Mero said.

NOTE: The illustrative photo of Superhero Capital team published in September in connection with the launch of their new fund.

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