The sexual harassment scandals that have reeled the venture capital industry recently provide a vivid reminder that women still face significant challenges in achieving top-tier status in the financial services industry. While women have made many strides in financial services, they are still woefully underrepresented; only about 14 percent of all dealmakers in the middle market are female, according to membership data from the Association for Corporate Growth (ACG). Dealmaking is all about forging relationships, and feeling comfortable and connected are essential. Enter Mergers & Acquisitions’ The Most Influential Women in Mid-Market M&A, which identifies the best and the brightest female dealmakers, including: corporate dealmakers, private equity investors, investment bankers, lenders, attorneys and other advisers.

The 2017 special report profiled 35 top female dealmakers, including: Venita Fields, a partner at Pelham S2K Managers LLC; Jeri Harman, the founder of Avante Mezzanine Partners; Kristina Heinze, co-founder of ParkerGale; Pam Hendrickson, the chief operating officer of The Riverside Co.; Hollie Moore Haynes, the founder of Luminate Capital Partners and a former partner at Silver Lake; Astrid Soto, vice president of business development at AUA Private Equity Partners; and Emily Waldorf, Campbell Soup Co. (NYSE: CPB), who was recently named to Campbell’s Leadership Team.

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