DiversityFeb 21 2023

Breaking the bias to support female advisers

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Breaking the bias to support female advisers
M&A activity is still biased against women, according to entrepreneur Claire Trachet. (Carmen Reichman/FTAdviser).
BySimoney Kyriakou

Financial services has become more attractive to women setting up their own advice companies, but the support behind female entrepreneurs is often lacking, a senior M&A adviser has claimed.

Claire Trachet, a merger and acquisition adviser and chief executive of business advisory company Trachet, has helped facilitate approximately £413mn worth of deals in the past three years alone.

But she claims while financial advice has made great strides forward in terms of diversity and inclusivity, she says there is still a gender bias within the M&A market, which can prevent women setting up their own companies and getting the backing they need to become entrepreneurs.

Sectors that are more quantitative, like financial services, tend to be easier for women to prove their talent.

She talks to FTAdviser about her own career and what is needed to help Britain's entrepreneurial women become business success stories - something which has become more urgent as rising numbers of senior women seem to be leaving UK finance.

FTAdviser: What encouraged you to set up Trachet?

Claire Trachet: As a former corporate finance professional and award-winning entrepreneur, I founded my hands-on boutique advisory business in 2016 with a mission to help others accelerate growth.

Over the past six years, my firm has built an impressive track record across a variety of sectors globally, from cybersecurity to other tech-heavy industries.

However, becoming an established business in a predominantly male-dominated finance sector came with its own set of challenges as a female-founded and led advisory.

As I embarked on my entrepreneurial journey, I realised that many startup founders, particularly women, had limited access to appropriate counsel.”

FTA: Are women more cautious when it comes to business and investing? Why?

CT: I wouldn’t say they're more cautious, especially in business. I think they're more conscious of the bias that is often against them.

Therefore, they tend to be more prepared by doing more research to backup decisions becoming more risk aware. 

Claire Trachet of Trachet Advisory. (Carmen Reichman/Pexels)

I have faced my own share of glass ceilings throughout my career.Claire Trachet

For female entrepreneurs, there is a limited amount of capital available, which tethers their growth potential and puts their survival at risk, especially in challenging economic climates such as the one we are currently experiencing.

Despite these challenges, women are resourceful and experienced in tough market conditions, which is a key reason why women-led businesses generate better ROI over time.

FTA: Are there still sectors where it's harder for women to succeed - and what can we do about it?

CT: Sectors that are more quantitative, like financial services, tend to be easier for women to prove their talent, but in more qualitative sectors, the typical attributes of leadership tend to be perceived as masculine, leading to bias.