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.
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.
Where to find Melissa: LinkedIn
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.
[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.
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