Private equity firm TA Associates and Athena Alliance, a nonprofit focused on helping more women attain board seats, have formed a partnership. According to details of the effort, Athena Alliance will help senior women leaders from TA Associates’ portfolio companies prepare to sit on boards by providing them with access to personal development coaching. Also, TA Associates will use Athena Alliance’s network to increase the gender diversity of its portfolio companies’ boardrooms. Athena Alliance’s backers include TA Associates, Autodesk, Intuit, Microsoft and OpenView Venture Partners.
Half Moon Bay, CA (August 21, 2018) – Athena Alliance, a non-profit dedicated to helping more women attain board seats, today announced a strategic partnership with TA Associates, a leading global growth private equity firm and Athena Alliance’s first private equity sponsor. Through the partnership, TA Associates’ portfolio companies will have the opportunity to offer their senior women leaders access to personal development coaching from Athena Alliance to prepare them for a board director role. In addition, TA will seek to leverage Athena Alliance’s vast network of highly qualified female leaders to help strengthen and diversify the boardrooms of TA’s portfolio companies around the world.
“TA Associates’ partnership approach with our portfolio companies begins with active, strategic involvement at the board level,” said Kevin Masse, Chief Portfolio Officer of TA Associates. “Data suggests that companies with diverse boards perform better, and we believe helping our portfolio companies build strong, diverse boards offers tremendous value. Our partnership with Athena Alliance provides TA with a unique opportunity to leverage Athena Alliance’s expertise in identifying highly-qualified women as independent directors for our portfolio company boards, and to amplify the impact of the female executives currently in our portfolio. We are proud to be a founding sponsor of Athena Alliance and are excited to work together with a shared mission to accelerate gender diversity in the boardroom.”
Mr. Masse, who works closely with TA’s portfolio of profitable, growing companies in the technology, healthcare, financial services, consumer and business services sectors, joined the board of Athena Alliance in June, allowing him to work closely with Athena Alliance to help guide TA’s portfolio companies in their diversity evolution. Diana Martz, who leads human capital initiatives for TA’s portfolio as Vice President of Human Capital in TA’s Strategic Resource Group, will partner with Mr. Masse, TA’s investment staff and TA’s portfolio company management teams in these efforts.
Direct access to a network of world-class talent
The partnership between Athena Alliance and TA Associates is expected to enhance TA’s network of board candidates by providing direct access to a broad network of talented female executives across a range of industries and geographies well in advance of opportunity and need. This proactive, relationship-driven approach to sourcing talented senior leadership means that TA has the opportunity to accelerate its efforts to assist its portfolio companies in building diverse and highly strategic boards.
“We are thrilled to be partnering with TA Associates as they make this profound commitment to diversifying their portfolio company boards,” said Coco Brown, Founder and CEO of Athena Alliance. “TA is once again taking a pioneering role in their industry, addressing stakeholders’ desire for more diverse boards designed to address the unique challenges of doing business in today’s tech-driven, highly connected world.”
An investment in senior women executives at TA’s portfolio companies
Beyond accessing Athena Alliance’s top-tier network of talent, TA Associates also will promote the development of the senior women leaders across its portfolio companies. The companies and executives who choose to participate will have access to Athena Alliance’s personal, high-touch executive development program. These senior female leaders offer coveted experience in a variety of industries and roles that companies increasingly rely on to help navigate the complexities of business innovation and increasing customer demands.
Athena Alliance will guide these women on their journey to board readiness, a personal journey designed to help them build their reputations with companies outside of their primary employer, and one that may take two to three years to achieve. The opportunity for female executives in TA’s portfolio companies to gain recognition for their personal leadership and expertise, and carve out a niche as a thought leader, is a game-changing development experience.
“TA Associates has long been conscious of the importance of diversity within leadership teams and I believe our partnership with Athena Alliance positions TA to create real and more immediate change across our portfolio,” said Brian Conway, Chairman and Managing Partner of TA Associates. “We look forward to expanding TA’s network with additional talented executives and to providing tools to enhance the role of female leaders in our portfolio, something we also believe is critical to helping build additional value for our portfolio companies and shareholders.”
About Athena Alliance
Athena Alliance is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing gender diversity in the boardroom. Athena Alliance extends board networks across a range of industries and executives by helping women advance at senior levels and achieve board director positions and by guiding companies on their journey to enhance their boards with diverse, modern roles. Empowering women to contribute at their highest level of impact, Athena Alliance has a network of more than 800 C-level women, venture capitalists and CEOs from more than 100 companies. Sponsors and partners include TA Associates, Autodesk, Intuit, Microsoft, OpenView Venture Partners and others. Founded in 2016, Athena Alliance is headquartered in Half Moon Bay, California. For more information, visit http://athenaalliance.org.
About TA Associates
Now in its 50th year, TA Associates is one of the largest and most experienced global growth private equity firms. Focused on five target industries – technology, healthcare, financial services, consumer and business services – TA invests in profitable, growing companies with opportunities for sustained growth, and has invested in nearly 500 companies around the world. Investing as either a majority or minority investor, TA employs a long-term approach, utilizing its strategic resources to help management teams build lasting value in growth companies. TA has raised $24 billion in capital since its founding in 1968 and is committing to new investments at the pace of $1.5 to $2 billion per year. The firm’s more than 85 investment professionals are based in Boston, Menlo Park, London, Mumbai and Hong Kong. More information about TA Associates can be found at www.ta.com.