Deal Us In is a podcast brought to you by McGuireWoods and 7 Mile Advisors. Deal Us In promotes the advancement of women in private equity and finance through conversations with women leaders and rising stars in the private equity and finance space. These conversations provide both insights and practical takeaways to inform your deal work and enhance the culture of your organization. If you’re ready to drive the industry toward a more inclusive and diverse environment then, it’s time to come to the table.
If you have a recommendation for an inspiring interviewee, a question you’d like us to ask, or topic you would like to hear covered, or if you’d like to tell us about women-focused initiatives in the field, please go to our website at www.dealusinpodcast.com.
This podcast was recorded and is being made available by McGuireWoods and 7 Mile Advisors for informational purposes only. By accessing this podcast, you acknowledge that McGuireWoods and 7 Mile Advisors make no warranty, guarantee or representation as to the accuracy or sufficiency of the information featured in the podcast. The views, information or opinions expressed during this podcast series are solely those of the individuals involved and do not necessarily reflect those of McGuireWoods or 7 Mile Advisors. This podcast should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed professional attorney in your state and should not be construed as an offer to make or consider any investment or course of action.
Navigating Work and Family Life as a Woman During the COVID Pandemic
Women have always faced intense pressure to prove themselves and prioritize the needs of others. While it may be more latent these days, the burden is still very much alive.
“I really do think that it's worth recognizing that we still, in many ways, live in a patriarchal society,” says Blair Bishop, a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. “A lot of us have internalized that we're supposed to be the perfect worker, the perfect caretaker to our aging parents, the perfect housewife, the perfect mom.”
Working mothers can get the brunt of this, but all women feel it to some extent. And the COVID-19 pandemic has only exacerbated long-standing gender-based adversity. Nearly two years into this global event, women continue to navigate increasing demands at work and at home.
Blair joins us on this episode of Deal Us In to discuss how women can tune into their needs and learn to ask for help during this time. She shares advice for handling relationship conflict at home, accepting our imperfections, and expressing personal feelings in the workplace.
On this episode, Blair also talks about knowing when to apologize and gives tangible suggestions for embracing self-compassion.
💡 Featured Guest 💡Name: Blair Bishop
What she does: Blair is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in Los Angeles who specializes in guiding teens and twenty-somethings through the challenges of young adult life.
Company: https://www.blairapy.com/ (Blairapy)
Where to find Blair: https://www.linkedin.com/in/blairbishop/ (LinkedIn)
🗝️ Key Points 🗝️Top takeaways from this episode
Address the problem, not the person — If your relationships have suffered as a result of pandemic-induced stresses, adopt a “me versus the problem” mindset. Whether you’re butting heads with a partner or a colleague, you’ll be more likely to reach a mutual agreement if you stay open-minded and compassionate.
Give yourself permission to mess up (and admit it) — Accepting your mistakes, and owning up to them, are important components of self-empathy. When you let go of the need to be right, you can more easily connect with others and resolve conflicts.
The world still puts extra pressure on women — Cut yourself some slack if you feel anxious about keeping all of your proverbial balls in the air. Most women have internalized the unfair societal message that says we must be perfect in all areas of our lives.
🔆 Episode Highlights 🔆[02:31] Shift your mindset when it comes to conflict: Relationships at home and work can — and will! — result in conflict sometimes. Since parents have been experiencing extra stress during the pandemic, couples with kids may be especially prone to it right now. Blair recommends getting curious about a problem together, rather than resorting to blame.
[06:55] Rupture and repair: Look at your relationship as the balancing of three entities: you, your partner, and the relationship. Things will go off-kilter, but Blair says knowing when to apologize will help you “get it right,” instead of holding onto the need to be right.
[9:45] Prioritize self-care: During such stressful times, Blair says it’s particularly important to pay attention to your own needs. Self-care can look different for everyone, but it’s crucial to figure out what works for you.
[11:22] Try acceptance and commitment: If you’re overwhelmed — a perfectly valid feeling –– use Blair’s mental model of acceptance and commitment. Accept your stressors for what they are, then identify small commitments you can make to yourself each day.
[16:51] Your body informs your mind: Mental health professionals used to think the body and mind were completely separate entities, but it’s now clear that they couldn’t be more connected. Powerful physical techniques — like practicing deep breathing or adopting a power stance — can positively impact your mental health.
[18:05] Be human at work: In a professional setting, some women avoi
Skeletons in the Closet: Arbitration and Conflict Dispute
When you’re a dealmaker, there’s always a risk that you’ll find yourself stuck in a complicated arbitration if things go awry. Regulatory issues can sneak up on you, so watch out!
On this Halloween episode of Deal Us In, McGuireWoods partners and litigation specialists Jodie Lawson and Susan Rodriguez are here to guide you through the haunted maze that is dealing with business disputes.
Jodie and Susan both advise digging into the specifics of your situation before deciding whether to handle it via arbitration or litigation. They say that a lot of clients think arbitration will be the easiest and cheapest way to solve a dispute, but that’s not necessarily the case. Don’t think you’re getting a treat and stumble into a trick!
Jodie and Susan also discuss the nightmares that Form I-9s can give you. If a company you’re working with doesn’t have a workforce that is fully authorized to work in the United States — or it hasn’t made sure its employees filled out their Form I-9s correctly — you might be in for a long, conflict-filled road ahead.
“It can be a real deal-killer: We've actually seen Form I-9 issues kill a deal,” Susan says.
Tune into this spooky special to find out what skeletons may lurk in the arbitration closet, so you can be a better and safer dealmaker. With the right kind of legal support, you can unmask those legal monsters, and see that they aren’t so scary after all.
👻 Featured Ghost 👻Name: https://www.mcguirewoods.com/people/l/jodie-herrmann-lawson (Jodie Lawson)
What she does: Jodie is a partner at McGuireWoods and a high-stakes litigator, representing clients in federal and state court, and arbitrations. She defends Fortune 100 companies and other businesses in cases involving torts, contract disputes, property disputes, and class actions, and fiduciary, energy, and financial services litigation.
Company: https://www.mcguirewoods.com (McGuireWoods)
Where to find Jodie: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jodie-lawson-7a79196/ (LinkedIn)
👻 Featured Ghost 👻Name: https://www.mcguirewoods.com/people/r/susan-c-rodriguez (Susan Rodriguez)
What she does: Susan is a partner at McGuireWoods, and co-leader of the firm’s financial institutions industry team, primarily focusing on government investigations and complex civil litigation. She has defended clients in numerous government enforcement actions by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Department of Justice (DOJ), Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), among others.
Company: https://www.mcguirewoods.com (McGuireWoods)
Where to find Susan: https://www.linkedin.com/in/susan-rodriguez-41768492/ (LinkedIn)
🗝️ Key Points 🗝️Top takeaways from this episode
Beware of the hidden costs of arbitration — Jodie and Susan say that sometimes attorneys think arbitration will always be the cheapest way to solve a dispute. This can be true, and there are other benefits to handling a conflict this way. However, sometimes litigation is the best route, because of all the fees that come with arbitration.
Choose your state cautiously (no ouija boards) — Different states have different provisions that might impact whether you decide to go to court or get an arbitrator involved. If you can choose which state your dispute is addressed in, Jodie recommends picking the one that has substantive laws that fit with your specific agreement. But your business or dispute must be connected to the state or dispute in some way. It’s also a good idea to have legal counsel that is familiar with the specific laws in that state.
Don’t get tricked by this scary form — Dealing with Form I-9, which verifies the employment authorization of people hired to work in the United States, can be tricky. Treat it with care: Susan says making mistakes on this form can be very costly. Make sure any workforces involved in your deal are authorized to work, and have filled out Form I-9 correctly. Or i
The Evolving Role of Business Development in Private Equity - How to Carve Your Own Path
In order to fully cultivate the kinds of business relationships that result in lucrative deals, private equity firms are starting to look at designating a person or a team to source the most fruitful deals.
For Meahgan O’Grady, who joined Palladium Equity Partners as Director of Business Development earlier in 2021, private equity is exciting because of the opportunity to work with founder-owned businesses that can really make waves.
“It's such a special opportunity to speak with business owners in multiple different types of industries and talk about ways we could help them grow their business,” Meahgan says on this episode of Deal Us In.
As the leader of the firm’s business development team, Meahgan works with a range of stakeholders, developing and enriching personal connections. She believes women often have a special talent in this arena, and although private equity firms are increasingly seeking the benefits of diverse teams, there’s still a way to go when it comes to helping women achieve their full potential in private equity.
“Although it has evolved and gotten better by leaps and bounds, there's still room to grow,” she says.
Meahgan thinks that women can continue to carve out their own niche in this industry by pushing through the difficult times and always advocating for themselves and others.
Her advice: “Be the change that you want to see, and be that change from within. That's the best way to do it.”
💡 Featured Guest 💡Name: Meahgan O’Grady
What she does: Meahgan is the Director of Business Development at Palladium Equity Partners where she sources deals primarily with founder-owner businesses for the middle-market private equity firm.
Company: https://www.palladiumequity.com (Palladium Equity Partners)
Where to find Meahgan: https://www.linkedin.com/in/meahganogrady/ (LinkedIn)
🗝️ Key Points 🗝️Top takeaways from this episode
Find the right tools to make networking easier — As a self-professed introvert, Meahgan recognizes that networking can be difficult, especially when you’re first starting your career. But eventually, she says, it’ll get easier — you just have to push through difficult moments and come up with some personalized methods that make business networking easier for you.
Don’t be too shy to advocate for yourself — Women in business can have a particularly hard time talking about their own successes and highlighting all the ways they’ve helped their team. But advocating for yourself is crucial for professional development and seizing all the opportunities you deserve, so try to conquer that fear and highlight your strengths and talents.
Change is best effectuated from within — Women who are involved in private equity leadership need to use their platforms to keep pushing for more diversity — that’s the only way real change will come.
🔆 Episode Highlights 🔆[1:12] Path to private equity: Meaghan discusses her career path and background, which includes early years at Goldman Sachs and an MBA from Duke’s Fuqua School of Business.
[07:52] Allocating time, finding her path: When Meahgan was breaking into private equity and looking into professional organizations to join and passion projects to work on, she threw a lot of different ideas against the wall to see what stuck. Eventually, she says, you’ll find your niche, but it’s okay to try a few different ideas on for size.
[11:20] It’s okay to be an introvert in BD: Meahgan says she is an introvert by nature, so professional networking isn’t always the most comfortable space for her. You don’t have to be a super bubbly extrovert to make great connections in the business space!
[12:30] Step outside your comfort zone: While introverts definitely have a place in private equity and business development, they may have to work a little harder to forge connections. Meahgan says that you’ll probably have to work through some uncomfortable moments when building connections, b
Exploring Employment Law in the Age of COVID-19 (Pt. 2)
Thanks to ongoing vaccination efforts, the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic appears to be over in the United States. That means people are going back to working in person in offices — but that doesn’t mean everything is back to business as usual.
On this episode of Deal Us In, employee benefits and labor attorneys Carolyn Trenda and Dawn Cutlan Stetter continue our two-part conversation about the impacts of the pandemic on the workplace, particularly for women.
Exploring Employment Law in the Age of COVID-19 (Pt. 1)
Over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, employers have had to contend with a host of new labor issues.
For McGuireWoods lawyers Carolyn Trenda and Dawn Cutlan Stetter, who focus on employee benefits topics and general labor law respectively, the pandemic has changed the kinds of questions their clients are asking.
Flying Over the Wall: Black Women in Law and Private Equity
Women of color face pretty intense challenges when it comes to succeeding in the white male dominated fields of law and private equity.
But Mirlande Telfort and Dami Oguntade have constantly hustled for success, and it has paid off with their successful careers at McGuireWoods. Though they have experienced challenges, they’ve both used their unique backgrounds to get a leg up in an intense industry, and now advise people in the same position to continue striving and breaking barriers.
Learn how Mirlande and Dami have made the most of their skills and backgrounds, utilizing the power of strong female mentors and role models and strong will powers to keep moving forward even when the path seems impossible. And if they have to be the trailblazers, they always remember that they’ll be clearing the path for women of color behind them.