Mergers & Acquisitions magazine profiled William Blair’s efforts to strengthen recruiting and career development for female professionals. The article, "Closing the Gender Gap (PDF)," examines the role that William Blair’s Women's Advisory Council has played in helping the firm attract and develop high-caliber female bankers.

"We have found that it's critical to have a diverse deal team, including women, in order to provide competitive solutions and creative ideas to our clients," William Blair managing director Beth Satterfield is quoted as saying in the article. "This year, we're particularly excited that two-thirds of our associates are women, and one-third of all our on-campus recruits are women." Satterfield also noted that William Blair has doubled its number of female investment banking professionals in the past two years.

Brent Gledhill, William Blair's global head of investment banking, is co-chair of the firm’s Women's Advisory Council. Mr. Gledhill believes that increasing gender diversity is both an ethical and a business imperative. "Our clients expect us to find solutions and opportunities that transcend borders, cultures, and genders," Mr. Gledhill said. "Having a diverse team fosters a deeper dialogue internally and results in more innovative thinking on behalf of our clients."

In addition to the Women's Advisory Council, William Blair also promotes career development for its female professionals through the firm’s Women’s Initiative Network (WIN). By providing professional and personal networking opportunities, WIN is focused on creating a stronger culture for all of the firm's employees.

Mergers & Acquisitions' special report on women in deal-making also included a list of the 25 "Most Influential Women in Mid-Market M&A." Beth Pickens, a managing director in William Blair's London office, was named to the list because of her role as sell-side advisor on cross-border transactions involving some of the consumer sector's most promising companies.