In the latest episode of She Talks Law, I was joined by two amazing women who are leaders in the M&A dealmaking space: Siobhan McCleary, managing director of Ventures & Acquisitions at Accenture, and Amy O'Keefe, a partner in Nixon Peabody's Corporate practice.
Together, we discussed the importance of having women-led teams in all facets of the M&A process, how women bring different perspectives to the table, and how that ultimately leads to better business outcomes.
"Diverse minds create more innovative and creative outcomes." – Siobhan McCleary
Siobhan shared her career journey from Big Law to in-house counsel and how she found her passion and fit in M&A at Accenture. She also talked about some of the initiatives and goals Accenture has to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion both internally and externally.
Amy co-leads Nixon Peabody's Women in Dealmaking initiative, which aims to spotlight and connect women dealmakers from attorneys to bankers to investors to accountants to consultants. She explained how having more women at the dealmaking table is a critical and valuable component to better business outcomes.
"Women assess risk differently, approach negotiations differently, and think about post-M&A integration and culture differently. It's critically important to have all of these different perspectives, and I think women in particular add value in these areas." – Amy O'Keefe
One of the key takeaways from our conversation was the need to be intentional and proactive about networking, both within and outside of your workplace—something that many younger professionals tend to struggle with more in a “post-Covid” world. At 19:40, Siobhan and Amy share some valuable tips and tools on how to do that, includind being intentional about asking for advice, having virtual coffees with colleagues and peers virtually and in person, setting office hours, and attending events. They also emphasized the importance of promoting oneself (Be your own cheerleader!) and not letting perfection be the enemy of the good despite inherent challenges and (sometimes self-imposed) expectations in our personal and professional lives.