Double the number of female mergers and acquisitions (M&A) professionals feel burned out compared to men.

This is according to new research by Datasite, which also found that while more UK women are participating M&A roles, especially among Millennials and Generation Z, female M&A professionals have felt less appreciated than their male counterparts in the last year.

Also, 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 M&A professionals.

 

DE&I Initiatives

“Research shows that diversity and inclusion spurs innovation, enhances employee performance, improves retention, and strengthens company and brand valuation. Organizations also need to work harder to ensure that the growing number of women entering the industry also progress to leadership through support, training, and mentorship,” says Chief Revenue Officer for Datasite in Europe, Merlin Piscitelli.

Diversity, Equality and Inclusion was cited by nearly two-thirds (65%) of UK M&A professionals as important to them in the workplace.

More than half said that diversity matters to their mangers, executive leadership, board of directors, and clients.

However, M&A professionals said they are somewhat unsure of how to show allyship with people from diverse backgrounds, with 23 percent in the UK M&A professionals citing fears about how to engage appropriately as the biggest factor holding them back.

“The aspiration to be a more inclusive place of work is very strong, but the conversation needs to quickly move to how best to achieve this,” says Senior Vice President of International Finance at Datasite, Anjali Motiani, “Organizations need to invest more in training and foster a culture that celebrates and rewards diversity.”

 

Why is DE&I within the workplace so important?

Aside from the primary reason of gender equality, how organizations address DE&I can also influence the outcome of a proposed deal.

According to the research by Datasite, more than a fifth (23%) of UK M&A professionals 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.

“It’s clear DE&I can drive deal value,” says Piscitelli. “Given the commercial consequences of not addressing them appropriately or in time proves this is an essential element to consider during due diligence.”

 

Percentage of female M&A professionals are increasing

Despite their reported lack of wellbeing support, the number of female M&A professionals are growing.

Of the UK M&A professionals – 41 percent of whom were women, and 59 percent of whom were male – there were more female (71%) Millennial M&A professionals (born between 1981-1996) than males (58%) and the percentage of female M&A professionals from the next generation, Generation Z, (born between 1997-2012) was nearly double that of their male counterparts.

“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.

“Plenty of research shows that greater diversity significantly improves decision making and could also improve M&A transactions,” he said. “However, when a group that makes up 51 percent of the population isn’t represented as much in key deal decision-making roles, that means there is still room for improvement.”

Developing greater DE&I training programmes within the workplace will ensure that even more women are able to more into senior deal making roles.