Slide 1 of 9
Mergers & Acquisitions' special report celebrates female professionals in lending, including NewSpring Mezzanine partner Anne Vazquez. Vazquez joined NewSpring Mezzanine in 2008 and was promoted to partner in 2016. Prior to NewSpring, she held positions at American Capital and KMPG.

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.

“Private Equity is still a very male-dominated industry, which may create the appearance of a barrier for women to enter into the profession,” Vazquez acknowledges. “It is not unusual for me to be the only women in the room, be it an industry conference, a meeting with the senior management team or a Board meeting for one of our portfolio companies.”

“For someone new to the industry,” she adds, “it might take some time to adjust to the perception that gender is a concern. But I can tell you that fades with time; I personally don’t even notice it anymore.”