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Mergers & Acquisitions' special report celebrates female professionals in investment banking, including Lincoln International managing director Janki Gandhi.

The challenges women face in achieving top-tier status in financial services are particularly acute in the middle market, where women account for approximately 14 percent of all dealmakers and account for only about 11 percent of senior private equity professionals

it is now widely acknowledged that private equity firms with a strong track record of fostering diversity and encouraging women’s participation in the industry have a competitive advantage.

“The finance world is known for its rigorous environment,” Gandhi notes, “and because of that, a lot of women have shied away. But I think more firms are starting to pay attention and figure out how to provide that work-life balance.”