MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. – March 31, 2022 – While more women are participating in dealmaking, especially among Millennials and Generation Z, female 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, a leading SaaS-based technology provider for global mergers and acquisitions (M&A) professionals.
In a survey of 600 global dealmakers – 45% of whom were women, and 55% of whom were male – there were more female (71%) Millennial dealmakers (born between 1981-1996) than males (58%) 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% male, 36% female). The opposite is true among middle and entry level dealmaking roles, such as manager, non-manager, or associate, with women accounting for 65% compared to 44% for men.
“It's great to see more women involved in dealmaking as diversity in M&A matters to achieving successful outcomes,” said Rusty Wiley, CEO of Datasite. “M&A transactions are often among the most significant decisions a corporation and its leaders take, and plenty of research shows that greater diversity significantly improves decision making and could also improve M&A transactions. However, when a group that makes up 51% of the population isn’t represented as much in key deal decision-making roles, that means there is still room for improvement.”
To keep more women moving into more senior dealmaking roles, one area of focus for organizations that employ M&A professionals might include recognition and more diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I) training. While both male and female dealmakers felt consistently engaged at work over the last year, female dealmakers felt less appreciated and supported than their male counterparts and double the number of women compared to men felt burned out. Additionally, more women reported that they were interrupted and that others took credit for their ideas, when compared to their male counterparts. However, when asked whether they had experienced others questioning their judgement, ignoring their ideas, or others commenting on their emotional state, there were no substantial differences between responses from male and female dealmakers.
Dealmaker Support for DE&I Initiatives
Two-thirds (63%) 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% citing fears about how to engage appropriately as the biggest factor holding them back.
How organizations 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.
“The pandemic revealed several system and institutional weaknesses, including issues affecting women and minorities,” said Deb LaMere, Datasite Chief Human Resources Officer. “As dealmaking organizations consider how best to find and foster M&A talent, managers need to understand the dynamics at play, including the continued need to have more conversations and actions focused on DE&I to ensure leaders are creating an inclusive environment for all employees.”
Powering Through the ‘Great Resignation’
Despite record-breaking levels of dealmaking activity which led to stretched resources last year, three-quarters of dealmakers (72%) said they are not actively seeking another job. Some of this may be due to how dealmakers are being managed and compensated: 34% of global dealmakers said their managers had checked in on their wellbeing or made sure their workloads were manageable, while more than half (57%) also said that they received a pay increase of 7% or more, in the last year.
Notes for editors
Results from the survey are based on responses from 600 dealmakers across the US, UK, Canada, France, Germany and Australia, director level and above, involved in corporate development, banking, private equity, and legal professions. The survey was conducted in February 2022.
Datasite is a leading SaaS (software as a service) provider for the M&A industry, empowering dealmakers around the world with the tools they need to succeed across the entire deal lifecycle. For more information, visit www.datasite.com
5W Public Relations