In advance of the event, Delano spoke with Rajaa Mekouar, founder & CEO of Calista Direct Investors. She speaks on the diversity & inclusion panel, Tuesday 30 November at 11:45am.
Aaron Grunwald: What do you want the audience to get most from the diversity & inclusion session?
Rajaa Mekouar: That D&I is necessary because it contributes to value creation and the bottom line. It’s not just fluff.
From your point of view, what are the biggest diversity & inclusion challenges in private equity right now?
Expanding the set of role models that younger female talent can get exposed to, in order to be encouraged to join our ranks. It’s like when men walk into a room full of women, it feels awkward and they don’t feel like staying. Well, that’s the story of many women in their careers in PE. If those who are in [PE] show up more publicly, it will encourage younger ones to join in.
What are the biggest D&I changes that you expect to see in 2022?
It’s a step-by-step process rather than a sudden change... let’s keep ploughing and use the current momentum to accelerate diversity.
Aside from your own talk at the ALFI event, which session are you most looking forward to hearing, and why?
More than hearing, it’s meeting again! In the age of digital everything, live human interaction has never been more precious.