Mergers & Acquisitions names 2021 Top 25 Most Influential Women in Mid-Market M&A, including Watermill Group’s Julia Karol.

How are you advancing the state of women?
I am immensely proud to have led Watermill’s 2020 launch of WMX, an initiative that brings private equity access and resources to gender-diverse teams. It could not be clearer that this is the time to participate in gender-conscious investing: Female-focused and led venture capital firms are experiencing a powerful surge, as are index funds and funds of funds focused on women-led businesses; leading investors, such as Goldman Sachs, are insisting on gender diversity in public company boards; and California is mandating gender diversity on all public company boards. The private equity space remains significantly behind. Frankly put, the gap makes no sense. Research from McKinsey, Boston Consulting Group and countless others have confirmed a positive link between diverse teams and a business’ bottom line. Through WMX, we aim to act on this demonstrably better performance of gender-diverse teams and tap into a market few others have the ability or desire to reach.

Tell us more about you.
In 2020, I launched a podcast called Stork’d to celebrate all forms of family and the many diverse paths to family building. Never one to shy away from complicated situations, I found myself exploring a handful of very compelling but non-traditional paths to creating a family. I was learning so much from the people in my life, and in hearing those stories, I was able to expand my own perception of what was possible. What started as an appreciation for these moments of connection turned into a sense of calling to share these conversations more broadly, in hopes that the stories could benefit others in their own journeys.