Melissa Sawyer Talks to Diversity & the Bar Magazine About Early Inspiration, Brand Building and Competing Responsibilities as a Woman in M&A

April 2018

Melissa Sawyer discussed her early inspiration to work in corporate law and being a woman in the field in the article “This Is a Man's World Yet Women Are Getting the Deal Done,” published in the Minority Corporate Counsel Association's spring 2018 issue of Diversity & the Bar Magazine. On how she picked M&A as her focus, Melissa said, “It offers a lot of opportunities for creativity. I liked the people – they were really dynamic and informal but professional at the same time. When I first started at Sullivan & Cromwell, the first transaction I worked on was Diageo's acquisition of Seagrams. I got shipped off to London for six weeks to work on the deal, and it was the most exciting thing that had ever happened to me, and I was completely sold on M&A from that point forward.”

The article continued to discuss navigating the balance between different life goals and professional goals, among other topics. On the “boys club” mentality, Melissa said, “I may be spoiled as we are in a sphere of the M&A world where it is very analytical and collaborative with a lot of repeat players, but the macho banging on the table is viewed negatively in this world. Sullivan has always been a safe space, where I can just be a smart lawyer.”