Mergers & Acquisitions names the 2022 Most Influential Women in Mid-Market M&A, including Atwater’s Vania Schlogel.

How are you a champion of diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI)?

I believe one of the greatest unconscious biases that we as a private equity industry harbor today regarding diversity is the assumption that diversity is a quota. We must acknowledge that if leadership is more diverse, it is less likely to have blind spots, and this will in fact achieve positive commercial results. At Atwater, 60 percent of our most senior executives are women and a majority of our senior advisors are women and people of color. This was not brought about by forced quotas or edicts, but rather is the natural consequence of a place where our culture values diversity.

This approach extends to our portfolio investments. Our commitment to DEI is deeply rooted in our belief that more diverse teams are demonstrably stronger and more effective. For boards where an Atwater representative is a chairperson, female representation on that board has increased by an average of 250 percent over the past 12 months.

How are you advancing the state of women?

As it pertains especially to gender equality, women still bear the brunt of labor that is not recognized in a GDP metric – this includes childcare, home duties, etc. I look forward to a day when we can achieve gender parity in this type of labor. But until we do, we have learned that corporate culture as it currently stands forces many women to choose between family and work. This is unequivocally wrong. At Atwater, five of seven senior executives are women, which is driven by a culture of work flexibility.