November 6, 2018
StepStone Group, a global private markets specialist, sponsored the Women’s Association of Venture & Equity (WAVE) Access Second Annual Women in Alternatives Career Forum. Approximately 400 women attended the event, which aims to provide undergraduate and graduate students as well as young professionals the opportunity to learn from and connect with industry veterans who specialize in any number of career paths that private markets can offer.
Over the years, StepStone has built a strong relationship with WAVE. The Firm’s deputy general counsel, Kirsty McGuire, was a co-chair of the event. Kirsty, who also sits on WAVE’s steering committee, shared “at WAVE, our objective is to bring better information to women about the breadth of career options available in the private equity sector and to provide them access to employers and opportunities.”
For more than a decade, StepStone has sought to support greater diversity in private markets. The Firm is a long-time sponsor of the Toigo Foundation, which offers fellowships to underrepresented professionals who want to pursue careers in finance. It also provides resources for organizations seeking to broaden their talent pool and foster more inclusive work environments.
Partnering with groups like WAVE and Toigo has been a natural fit for a company that promotes an entrepreneurial and collaborative culture. Four-in-five StepStone employees have a mentor, and the Firm encourages personal and professional development and intellectual curiosity.
To formalize its culture of inclusion, StepStone established a diversity committee. Led by Lindsay Creedon, a partner on StepStone’s private equity team, the committee explores new ways to make private markets a long-term and viable career path for all. She states that “diversity and inclusion are paramount for StepStone’s mission because different perspectives, views, and ideas strengthen our overall ability to strategize, invest, and communicate.”
StepStone is also adapting its global-local investment approach to recruiting. Earlier this year, the Firm launched a Women in Finance program. Female students from local universities came to StepStone’s La Jolla office to learn about private markets and build their professional networks. Owing to the event’s success, StepStone plans to expand the program to other global offices in 2019.