The game of golf has long been considered a door opener and a deal closer. Many middle-market dealmakers agree with P.G. Wodehouse, who said: “To find a man’s true character, play golf with him.” But for many women, the golf course represents the ultimate men’s club. That’s no longer the case for members of the Philadelphia chapter of the Association for Corporate Growth.
The chapter recently hosted Women in Dealmaking: 2016 Golf Outing, Clinic & Reception at the Centennial Golf Course at the Philadelphia Country Club. The event offered attendees a choice between taking a golf clinic run by PGA professionals, or playing nine holes. It was sponsored by OFS Capital Management LLC and was the brainchild of Marsha Zebley, who leads business development for the middle market lending business.
The golf outing is just one of many ways ACG groups are focusing on women. For several years, ACG Global has developed programs for female members, who account for 14 percent of the group’s membership. InterGrowth 2017 will feature a Women’s Networking Lunch & Panel on April 24.
ACG New York’s Women of Leadership committee, founded by Accordion Partners’ director of business development Michelle Van Hellemont in 2008, will host its fourth annual summit on Jan. 19 at Convene Midtown East. The summit features a keynote luncheon, breakout panels and an evening networking cocktail reception.
Companies in the middle market have also launched initiatives. Chicago investment bank William Blair established the Women’s Advisory Council, an internal program that aims to provide leadership development opportunities to female employees. “We have found that it’s critical to have a diverse deal team, including women, in order to provide competitive solutions and creative ideas to our clients,” says William Blair managing director Beth Satterfield. Philadelphia-based law firm Duane Morris has developed a program called Women’s Impact for Success, aimed at helping female lawyers become leaders. “As you increase the size of your practice within a law firm, then you’re able to gain some recognition, and leadership opportunities will become available,” says Duane Morris partner Nanette Heide