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Women dealmakers gaining ground, according to Datasite survey

While more women are participating in dealmaking, especially among Millennials and Generation Z, women dealmakers have felt less appreciated and supported than their male counterparts in the last year, according to findings from a new survey of 600 global dealmakers across the US, Canada, UK, Australia, France, and Germany by Datasite, an SaaS-based technology provider for global mergers and acquisitions (M&A) professionals.

In a survey of 600 global dealmakers – 55 per cent of whom were women, and 45 per cent of whom were male – there were more female (71 per cent) Millennial dealmakers (born between 1981-1996) than males (58 per cent) and the percentage of female dealmakers from the next generation, Generation Z, (born between 1997-2012) is double that of their male counterparts.

Yet, male dealmakers dominate both Generation X (born 1965-1980) and Baby Boomers (born 1946-1964), and today hold many of the senior roles in the M&A space, such as senior manager, or group head (56 per cent male, 36 per cent female). 

The opposite is true among middle and entry level dealmaking roles, such as manager, non-manager, or associate, with women accounting for 65 per cent compared to 44 per cent for men. 

Two-thirds (63 per cent) of the global dealmakers surveyed said diversity in the workplace is very important to them, and more than half said diversity matters to their managers, executive leadership, board of directors, and clients. 

Yet, dealmakers said they are unsure of how to show allyship with people from diverse backgrounds, with 21 per cent citing fears about how to engage appropriately as the biggest factor holding them back. 

How organisations address DE&I can also influence the outcome of a proposed deal. Twenty-two percent of dealmakers surveyed said they have seen deals fall apart because of DE&I-related issues, including concerns related to culture and a company’s hiring, advancement, and retention policies.

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