Women would do well to ask for things if they need them, take risks, demand what they think is theirs and develop a personal brand, advise panelists at ACG New York Women of Leadership's recent gathering, Women at the Deal Table: Challenges and Solutions.
The panel featured: Kay Koplovitz, founder of USA Network (now a division of NBCUniversal Inc.) and the current chairman of Fifth & Pacific Cos., which owns lifestyle brands Juicy Couture, Kate Spade and Lucky Brand Jeans; Deborah Farrington, founder and general partner at venture capital firm, Starvest Partners; Beth Bronner, a managing director and operating partner at private equity firm Mistral Equity Partners; and Rosalie Mandel, principal at accounting firm Rothstein Kass. The evening event, held at the sophisticated Union League Club, was moderated by Mergers & Acquisitions editor-in-chief Mary Kathleen Flynn.
The speakers discussed the challenges they faced as well as their strategies for succeeding in male-dominated fields. For example, when Mandel got to Rothstein Kass, there were no women partners. After she had her first child, she took six months off, then went back and told the firm she wanted to work three days per week.
When she had another child and took another six months off, she missed a promotion because people at the firm hadn't seen her around. That, she says, is when she started fighting for women, and started a women's initiative at the firm. This year, Rothstein Kass made it to Working Mother's list of the best 100 companies for working moms.