Mergers & Acquisitions names 2021 Top 25 Most Influential Women in Mid-Market M&A, including Pelham S2K Mangers’ Venita Fields.
How are you advancing the state of women?
I believe the way to affect change in the business world is to affect change at the board level, so that more voices are heard. Specifically, the voices of women and people of color must be heard at the board level and in the halls of private and public businesses. This takes a level of courage, and courage is a muscle that is seldom used. I believe that women have to become more accustomed to, and comfortable with, using that muscle, speaking up when necessary and to get allies to speak up for change as well.
How are you a champion for inclusion and equality?
In 2020, I used my positions as corporate board directors to insist upon more diversity and inclusion at the corporate board level but also in corporate management structures. I have worked with and challenged some CEOs on hiring practices and pay equity. Additionally, as an ACG Chicago board member I helped author the chapter’s response to the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery. The chapter committed to more diversity and inclusion in the events that the chapter sponsors as well as to provide relevant content to address inequality in the city and the country.
In 2020, I was a speaker at: A national conference sponsored by Women for Economic Development (WELD) on promoting more diversity in the board room; an event sponsored by Women Corporate Directors (WCD) Chicago Chapter, DEI: A Governance Challenge; a panel sponsored by the Kellogg Executive Women’s Network (KEWN) discussing preparation for board service; and an annual event sponsored by Women on Boards 2020 as a Director-Coach.