We take part in a number of initiatives focusing on gender, ethnic and social diversity to improve Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (‘DE&I’) at 3i and within our industry more broadly.
At 31 March 2023, 3i’s total of 249 employees was broken down as follows, based on biological sex1:
Achieving better gender diversity is important to 3i and we believe we are making reasonable progress in that respect, within the constraints of being a small organisation with modest staff turnover.
Of the 41 new hires we made during the year, 15 were female and 26 were male. Note that we refer to ‘female’ and ‘male’ when discussing biological sex and to ‘women’ and ‘men’ when discussing gender.
We contribute to industry-wide work and advocacy on gender parity through a number of industry associations, by being an official sponsor of Level 20 and through our participation in the GAIN Empower Investment Internship Programme.
Level 20 is a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to improving gender diversity in the European private equity industry. It is sponsored by over 80 private equity firms.
Its ambition is for women to hold 20% of senior positions in this dynamic industry. It works to empower women who already work within the industry, encourage new female talent to join and provide leadership teams with insight and best-practice solutions to help them address current gender imbalances within the industry and their firms. It has four key pillars of activity which contribute to its goals:
Level 20’s latest study with the British Venture Capital Association, completed in March 2021, shows that 10% of senior investment roles were held by women compared to 6% in 2018.
3i has nominated several employees for Level 20’s mentoring programme.
GAIN (Girls Are INvestors) is a community of investors, with charitable status, set to change the lack of gender diversity in investment management.
GAIN aims to inform young women with online resources, bringing helpful information on careers in investment to their ﬁngertips and to inspire them with a strong network of relevant role models, who speak in high schools and universities around the UK and feature on its online channels, delivering compelling and high-impact messages on the many beneﬁts of investing as a career.
Among the initiatives managed by GAIN is a summer internship programme, open to women and non-binary students across the UK. 3i was one of 78 ﬁrms participating in the 2022 summer internship programme, taking on two interns for paid internships. We will renew our participation in the scheme with three further interns joining 3i’s investment teams for paid internships in the summer of 2023.
In addition to the internship programme, several of our employees are taking part in the GAIN 1-2-1 mentoring programme, both as mentors and mentees.
We continue to make good progress towards the fair representation of ethnic minorities within our organisation.
In FY2023 we appointed the ﬁrst Director from an ethnic minority background to our Board. Jasi Halai was promoted from Group Financial Controller to Chief Operating Ofﬁcer and became a member of the Board as an Executive Director in May 2022. Jasi joined 3i in 2005 and has held a number of positions in the organisation. Her promotion to the Executive Committee and Board demonstrates 3i’s commitment to growing its own talent and fostering diversity within its ranks.
We are committed to improving further the representation of ethnic minorities at 3i and to advocating for better representation of ethnic minorities in our industry. We have been participating in the #10000BlackInterns (formerly #100BlackInterns) initiative since 2021.
Following the successful launch of the #100BlackInterns initiative in which 3i participated in 2021, the #10000BlackInterns initiative was set up in 2022 to help further transform the horizons and prospects of young black people in the UK.
The programme seeks to offer 2,000 internships each year for ﬁve consecutive years. To deliver this initiative #10000BlackInterns has partnered up with ﬁrms from 24 different sectors, delivering internships across a range of business functions.
Since its launch, the programme has garnered extraordinary support with over 700 companies offering internships to black students in the UK as a way of attracting a more diverse range of talent to their sectors.
We welcomed two students as part of this programme for paid internships in our investment teams in each of the summers of 2021 and 2022 and will welcome one student in the summer of 2023.
In 2018, we began a partnership with Career Ready, a UK social mobility charity that connects employers with schools and colleges to prepare disadvantaged young people for the world of work.
Since 2021 we have also been collaborating with Speakers Trust, which has over 15 years of experience in providing high quality professionally-delivered workshops, events and educational resources on public speaking and communication skills. These are enablers of social mobility and help build a stronger society in which the voices of young people are heard, irrespective of their background.
Since 2002, Career Ready has connected employers with schools and colleges to provide disadvantaged young people aged 14-18 with mentors, internships, masterclasses, and employer-led activities that prepare them for the world of work.
3i takes part in the mentoring programme which supports young people aged 16 to 18 who lack the opportunities, professional networks and conﬁdence to ﬁnd their undiscovered talents.
Three of our employees are volunteering as mentors in the current academic year, meeting their mentees for an hour per month for up to 12 months.