Mergers & Acquisitions names the 2022 Most Influential Women in Mid-Market M&A, including Sperry Mitchel & Co.’s Beatrice Mitchell.

How did you further your firm’s ESG goals?

With my partner Paul Sperry, I co-own Percival Manufacturing, a leading Iowa-based designer and manufacturer of biological incubators and plant growth chambers. In 2021, we added 35,000 square feet to our current facility, and were adamant about following very stringent guidelines to make the addition as green as possible, including using appropriate, locally-sourced building materials and relying on natural light as much as possible. We have had windmills on our campus for a number of years.

How are you advancing the state of women?

I have long been discouraged by the lack of women in senior positions the M&A/PE field. When I started my finance career over 35 years ago, I was generally the only woman in the room. Sadly, this is still too often the case. I simply cannot understand why so many other fields, like accounting, consulting and the law, have developed clear career paths for women to ascend the ladder, but the M&A/PE sector has not. There has certainly been improvement in terms of recruitment of women for junior ranks, but too few women make it to the partner or managing director level. The dearth of women leaders is not for a lack of talent or drive. Rather, I believe it is because too many firms are simply not intentional about providing a career path for women.

Rather than wait for the field to change, my solution was to start my own firm. And that is the advice I often impart to young women in finance: make your own future by starting your own business.