On April 7, Hamilton Lane hosted its inaugural Undergraduate Women’s Private Equity Summit, welcoming a select group of sophomore and junior women from several Philadelphia area colleges and universities for a one-day educational and networking event.
Organized as a joint effort across our Human Resources Department, The HL Women’s Exchange and the HL Diversity & Inclusion Council, our short-term goals for the day were simple: first, to introduce the young women to the private equity asset class and, second, to help them envision a career in financial services. The long-term goal is more profound: to move the needle on female representation in senior private equity positions, both in the asset class in general, and at Hamilton Lane in particular.
Andrea Kramer, Managing Director and Head of Hamilton Lane’s Fund Investment Team, welcomed the women to kick off the exciting day. Our audience was next provided an overview of the private equity asset class and Hamilton Lane’s role within the industry, including the range of services we provide to investors. Participants were then asked to apply their newfound knowledge through a case study in which they were challenged to act as a member of the investment team to evaluate a potential new private equity fund investment. Later, a panel of six Hamilton Lane women from a variety of roles and departments provided our guests with a more in-depth look into various career options in the industry – from investing to client services to accounting and marketing.
Shifting the focus to professional development, members of our Human Resources team discussed the dos and don’ts of resume writing and cover letters, provided interviewing tips, and offered advice for effective networking and job search tactics. Other Hamilton Lane representatives were available to provide hands-on, individualized coaching on how to best position oneself for success in a private equity career. We were pleased to see this become the highlight of the day, as it gave the participants an opportunity to interact one-on-one with female role models in financial services.
We wrapped up the day with a call to action, encouraging the participants to consider private equity as a possible career choice and to consider how they can play a role in increasing female representation in our asset class and in financial services more broadly. The attendees shared their appreciation of the candor and insights provided by our presenters and their new understanding of the opportunities available in private equity.
We’re grateful to our guests for participating in what appears to have been a great success and an event we look forward to hosting and expanding upon annually. We truly believe that events like this play an important part in the effort to broaden gender diversity in private equity and increase awareness in college-age women of the vast opportunities available to them.