Wednesday, January 26, 2022

The Gender Gap in Merger and Acquisition Leadership

Afra Afsharipour, Women and M&A, 12 UC Irvine Law Review (2022 Forthcoming)

Corporations, law firms and investment banks all state that diversity matters. This Article shows that there is a chasm between discourse and action. For the most important decisions undertaken by companies—large merger and acquisition (M&A) transactions—a gender gap persists. This Article provides a holistic examination of the entire network of lead actors involved in M&A, revealing that women’s leadership opportunities continue to be vastly unequal. Using hand-collected data from 700 transactions, this Article reveals that thirty years after women began to account for almost half of all law students, gender parity in M&A leadership lags far behind. To illustrate, over a 7-year period, women make up on average 10.5% of lead legal advisors for buyers in M&A. Moreover, this Article documents the lack of transparency on leadership data for other players in M&A. This Article argues that understanding, documenting, and disclosing the gender gap in M&A leadership is critical for increasing accountability and for determining the solutions that may work to reduce such disparities

https://lawprofessors.typepad.com/gender_law/2022/01/the-gender-gap-in-merger-and-acquisition-leadershipo.html

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