08.03.21

IWD Choose to Challenge: Katrina Engelbert answers a few questions…

Diversity is a key driver of innovation, essential for growth and consistent returns for investors but only one quarter of mid-level roles in private capital are currently held by women.

What does gender equality mean to you? 

It means equal rights and opportunities for all individuals, driven by a focus on capabilities and achievements in the absence of preconceived ideas and bias to provide an equal chance to contribute to workplaces and society. It means celebrating our differences to learn from and reap the benefits of diversity.

How can women improve the PE workplace culture?

Women alone don’t bear the responsibility of improving the workplace culture in PE or any other male-dominated industry; the onus sits with all individuals. A great team drives a great culture and is dependent on the inclusion and representation of diverse backgrounds, races, genders and religions to ensure we consider situations from multiple perspectives and are able to improve our tolerance of and respect for each other’s differences. It takes a multitude of experiences, viewpoints and personalities to challenge the status quo and break unconscious biases that are ingrained in society.

What are your top 3 tips for achieving what you want in your career?

  1. Find a role that’s fulfilling, helps you grow and makes you feel excited to get out of bed each morning.  The quality of work and drive you can bring to an organisation increases exponentially once you’re motivated, invested and passionate about what you’re doing.
  2. Take risks and don’t be afraid to step outside of your comfort zone – things will either pay off or you’ll learn a valuable lesson along the way!
  3. Know your strengths (and weaknesses) and build your personal brand. Human connection is universally important regardless of the industry you work in, so knowing how to communicate the strengths and skills you can bring to the table and embedding your value within deals, teams and relationships is key.

What attracted you to Private Equity?

I’ve always been attracted to the fast-paced and challenging environment that comes with working in M&A, but felt I was missing out on the post-transaction world whilst working in investment banking. A career in private equity is fulfilling in various ways and allows me to form meaningful relationships with founders and management teams, understand their key objectives early on and work collaboratively on strategic initiatives to drive the next stage of growth, all whilst continuing to learn and challenge myself each day. Witnessing the transformation of our partner companies and joining founders on their growth journey is an extremely rewarding and exciting experience.

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