Like many great movements, the spark that began PEWIN was a simple reaction. The reaction was to an article in a business magazine claiming that there were only four top women working in private equity. There were more than four of us sitting around the table that night in 2007 so we initially had a laugh at this story, but quickly realized the serious implications of this belief: the profile of senior women in our business was not high enough. Moreover, we ourselves wanted to increase our ability to seek out and interact with other senior women working in private equity.
From the beginning, our mission was to create an intimate forum for senior women in private equity to foster and grow our relationships, professionally and personally. We want to share investment ideas, to explore ways to work together and to increase the profile of female leaders in our industry. We come from all parts of the private equity industry – general partners, limited partners and other private equity professionals – and have grown from that first group around the table to over 900 women across North America, Canada, Europe, Asia and Africa. While we have grown, we have maintained our focus on having an open and trusting interaction by limiting membership to the most senior women in the industry, each of whom has been sponsored by another member. We hold member events and an education series that are enthusiastically attended.
PEWIN has proven firmly that there are far more than four of us out there. And with the support and commitment of our members, we only continue to grow.