July 2023 | Resource

How West Monroe’s Women in Mergers & Acquisitions Group is Breaking Industry Barriers

The Women of Mergers and Acquisitions at West Monroe tell their stories of working in the male-dominated financial sector and what they do to attract more female talent

How West Monroe’s Women in Mergers & Acquisitions Group is Breaking Industry Barriers

West Monroe has built a distinctive market reputation for merger and acquisition services ranging from diligence to complex carveout transactions—making us a trusted partner to some of the largest private equity investors. Despite being part of a growing practice, Madeline Verbeten, Kirsten Lentz, and Maddie Bessinger found themselves among only a few women. It’s why they founded our Women in Mergers & Acquisitions (WIMA) group in 2020. 

In three years, WIMA has grown by five times, ranging from new consultants to partners. Members participate in delivering WIMA’s agenda by working in teams of both women and men to address three areas: recruiting, leadership and internal relationship building, and external relationship building with women in the M&A and private equity community. 

This has been a wonderful opportunity to take on leadership responsibility for something that I feel passionate about and to give back to a community that has been of tremendous benefit to me so far in my career at West Monroe. —Kristin Vargas, Manager, WIMA Co-Lead


One area where WIMA has had an impact is campus recruiting. WIMA members have established relationships at more than a dozen universities across the country, and the group hosts other activities such as a virtual roundtable for undergraduates.

WIMA also facilitates introductions and networking for new members. For example, all new members have a woman as a career advisor or coach, ensuring an instant relationship from the time they walk in the door. 

WIMA has put a lot of thoughtful effort into making sure new hires feel welcome and connected to the community right away. This was extraordinarily helpful for getting settled in a new environment and feeling confident in my role from day one. —Miranda Rockhold, Senior Consultant 


Professional development is a significant focus—whether through regular panel discussions on topics such as promotion readiness or informal coffee chats. WIMA members also gain exposure to female leaders in the industry through participation in networking groups and events, such as the March 2023 Women's Private Equity Summit. 

Check out current M&A openings on our careers site

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