Carey Davidson is a managing director and head of capital markets at Monroe Capital. She joined the Chicago-based private debt firm in 2015 and has more than 18 years of experience in middle market investing.

Previously, Davidson worked at the Carlyle Group LP (Nasdaq: CG), where she was responsible for originating, structuring, negotiating, executing and managing middle market loans. Before Carlyle, Davidson was a founding professional and senior vice president at Churchill Financial and an assistant vice president at GE Antares Capital.

All that experience gives Davidson a fair amount of perspective when it comes to the issue of diversity, and how it plays out in the middle market. Recently, she notes, institutional investors such as pensions and endowments, have begun requiring asset management firms to demonstrate diversity in their staffing—including placing women in investment roles. Davidson sees this as an extremely positive development.

“I strongly believe that diversity drives better investment decisions,” she says. “While women are typically in the minority in this industry, we provide a diverse perspective which my firm—and most firms—view as critical to being successful investors.”

And her advice to other women working in M&A? Davidson says, “I tell young women to wear their gender as a badge of honor and to think about their perspective as important, as opposed to trying to be one of the guys.”

A joiner, Davidson is a member of the Association for Corporate Growth (ACG) Chicago, the Women’s Association of Venture & Equity (WAVE) and the National Young Leadership Cabinet of the Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA). Among her professional recognitions, she was named to Mergers & Acquisitions’ 2017’s Most Influential Women in Mid-Market M&A honor roll and the Secured Lender’s 50 Women in Commercial Finance list.

Davidson has a bachelor’s degree in communications with a certificate in business from the University of Wisconsin – Madison and an MBA from the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business.