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Honoring your Voice and Why Mentorship Matters
Episode 1623rd January 2022 • Deal Us In • McGuireWoods
00:00:00 00:21:27

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Although women have made big strides in the private equity field, they are still a minority in workplaces dominated by men.

In this episode, Melissa Mounce, Managing Director of Leadership, Talent, and Diversity at GTCR, shares her perspective on the impact and experiences of women in the industry – including some of the obstacles stacked against them.

One of the most powerful ways women can drive change is by sharing their unique backgrounds and experiences with men.

“Your perspective is important, it's valuable, and it may be somebody else's blind spot,” Melissa says.

She also shares her own experience working remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic and how, surprisingly, the forced move away from in-person communications expanded her access to executives and sped up recruitment processes.

Yet, remote work has made office drop-ins and coffee chats with mentors and mentees harder to come by. Melissa provides insight into how female professionals can connect with leaders in the private equity industry virtually.


💡 Featured Guest 💡

Name: Melissa Mounce

What she does: Melissa Mounce is Managing Director of Leadership, Talent, and Diversity at GTCR, where she works to build diverse teams of investment professionals for a portfolio of companies. She is also a co-founder of the Private Equity Network of Operating Women.

Company: GTCR

Where to find Melissa: LinkedIn


🗝️ Key Points 🗝️

Top takeaways from this episode

Be a model of inclusion — Traditions in the workplace can unintentionally exclude women. Companies need to become more inclusive, but women can help bridge the gap by educating male colleagues about their experiences.

Use your voice — Don’t be afraid to speak up. Your perspective, especially as a woman, brings valuable and unique insight to a room full of men.

Lead the way  — Seasoned women in leadership roles should mentor younger women to help pull them up through the ranks. Find organizations outside of work to engage in mentorship and networking.


🔆 Episode Highlights 🔆

[01:44] Chance encounter: Melissa describes how she got into private equity after a coincidental conversation with a venture capital partner on an airplane.

[04:13] Advantages and hurdles: Women bring different perspectives and even investment opportunities to the field of private equity. However, as they aren’t the majority group in these organizations, they can sometimes be unintentionally excluded from male-focused norms.

[11:15] The remote work boost: While working remotely has its advantages for everyone, Melissa describes how it’s specifically helped her gain executives and quicken recruiting processes. Remote work has also presented some challenges in the way of geographical issues and missed in-person meetings.

[16:23] Find mentors outside the office: With many people still working at home, the way we connect with mentors has shifted. Organizations such as the Private Equity Network of Operating Women can help working females build strong connections with like-minded professionals.

[18:50] If you only knew: Melissa shares the priceless advice she would now give to her younger (fresh-out-of-college) self.


🎙️ About Deal Us In 🎙️

✔️ Thank you for joining us at the table for this episode of Deal Us In. We invite you to join the conversation by using our #Dealusinpodcast on Twitter or LinkedIn.

✔️ If you have questions about today’s conversation, please feel free to reach out to Molly White at or Ariail Barker at

✔️ Don’t miss another episode! Subscribe in your preferred podcast app.

✔️ If you have a recommendation for an inspiring interviewee, a question you'd like us to ask, or a topic you would like to hear covered, or if you'd like to tell us about women-focused initiatives in the field, please go to our website. We look forward to hearing from you.


This podcast was recorded and is being made available by McGuireWoods for informational purposes only. By accessing this podcast, you acknowledge that McGuireWoods makes no warranty, guarantee or representation as to the accuracy or sufficiency of the information featured in the podcast. The views, information or opinions expressed during this podcast series are solely those of the individuals involved and do not necessarily reflect those of McGuireWoods. This podcast should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed professional attorney in your state and should not be construed as an offer to make or consider any investment or course of action.




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