Gender diversity among M&A experts

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    Veronica R

    In much of my research, the books and case studies around M&A best practices have been primarily written and men. Certainly in this course I noticed there were no videos from women on any of the topics for the CPMI certifications. For those of you who have been working as an MA& practitioner or who work in an organization with M&A advisory expertise, do you see more diversity in the field? If so, would you say that there’s diversity across the phases and roles within a DD or integration team? And if not, why do you think that is?

    Anita Davis

    In my experience, I have seen diversity among the genders in certain work streams such as, HR and Finance. I don’t see such diversity in the IT work stream though.
    I rarely see diversity among different races though in the M&A field in general. I think a lot of it has do with exposure to fields like M&A. It is a field that is specialized and not generalized like say Accounting. In addition, M&A tend to be thought of in a business, Investment Banking sense, which is not a field that has much diversity across the board either.

    Amy S

    I agree. I have found that in functions like HR where there already is more gender diversity, the diversity in M&A is representative. However for those who putting the deals together from a finance or banking perspective, I have found those to be primarily male. However I have not done much research to see actual data. I do think it also depends on the company that is participating in the M&A and whether they have a real focus on diversity or not.

    Jamie Morgan

    I would agree with Amy’s point, that the functions and company involved plays a large part in the diversity within the M&A process. I think therefore that this topic is one which varies very much dependent on personal experience. I can certainly confirm, having not long graduated, that many of the textbooks involved in the fields learnt to transition into M&A (I think back to books read in University finance and economics), are fairly non-diverse. This may be a barrier to additional diversity in the M&A field, in that there is a lack of diversity in the training and learning stages before potential future M&A professionals even reach the industry.

    Pedro Garibi

    Hi Veronica,

    I was quite involded in acquisitions in late 1990s and beginning of 2000 and mainly it was a male driven business, except for some specific fields like Human Resources and Legal. Throughout the years I have found that diversity and gender is changing and I have found more women in charge of M&A and Private Equity transactions and due diligence process.

    In terms of Research and Academia, it seems that there is still a long way to go, not only in M&A but also in fields like valuation.

    Best regards

    Ilze Skadina

    I would assume we are still having the impact on tradition, as finance and M&A have traditionally been male-dominated industries. However, thinking about diversity (and this opinon might not be popular), the demanding nature of M&A work, with long hours and frequent travel, can be a deterrent for women, particularly if they perceive challenges in maintaining a healthy work-life balance. i.e. it is not always a one-sided topic of women being underrepresented due to discrimination or cultural stereotypes.

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