Baroness Helena Morrissey DBE
Dame Helena Morrissey DBE is a financier, campaigner, author and the mother of nine. She is an inspirational leader who achieves results – in business, diversity, family life and encouraging others to succeed. As the Evening Standard put it when reviewing her book, ‘A Good Time to Be a Girl’:
‘What supplies extra authority is where Morrissey is coming from — someone who has reached the summit and who did so while being mother to nine children.’
Helena started her City career in New York; when she returned to London she found herself the only woman in a team of 16 fund managers and missed out on a promotion because there was some ‘doubt over her commitment with a baby’.
The experience strengthened her resolve to take control of her own career, to provide for her family and to help other women. She joined Newton Investment Management and was mentored by its founder, Stewart Newton, who taught her the power of true diversity of thought. Seven years later she was appointed the firm’s CEO: over the next 15 years, profits more than trebled and assets grew from £20bn to £50bn.
In 2010 Helena launched the 30% Club to improve the gender balance on UK corporate boards, championed by the chairmen of those boards. Now women represent over 30% FTSE350 directors, up from less than ten percent.
The UK is the only country to have achieved such progress without legislation. There are now eighteen 30% Clubs throughout the world and the initiative has broadened to help with all career stages from schoolroom to boardroom. It includes world’s largest cross-company mentoring scheme.
Helena has been described by Fortune magazine as one of the world’s 50 Greatest Leaders and was the Financial Times Person of the Year in 2017.
On 3 September 2020 she was created Baroness Morrissey, of Chapel Green in the Royal County of Berkshire. As of 2021, Helena was announced as Chair-designate of FTSE250 company AJ Bell.
Her book Style and Substance, a career guide for women who want to win at work will be published in 2021 by Little, Brown Book.
She is a sought-after speaker, offering an exciting vision and practical solutions for both companies and diverse talent.
Posts featuring Baroness Helena Morrissey DBE
“Superwoman” Helena Morrissey Joins Kruger Cowne
"Helena's stage presence encapsulated our audience, whilst engaging them with her story, and making them feel that she was one of them. Empowering, real, and a great story teller. Women in Data were thrilled to have Helena contribute at our event on the empowerment stage and would not hesitate to invite her back again to hear more."
Women in Data UK
"The feedback was fantastic as mentioned and we thought you set a very balanced, constructive and yet encouraging tone during your speech and that was very helpful for both women and men in the discussion as well as across different levels within the firm."
Helena is an inspirational speaker. She delivers her message with clarity and passion in a way that really resonates. Even when discussing complex and challenging issues, her story telling skills and practical advice make it accessible and engaging.
When she spoke before an internal EY audience of over 1000 people she held the room in the palm of her hand. Her open and honest style had an impact on the crowd that was palpable on the day and the feedback from the audience was overwhelmingly positive.
WINN UK had the privilege of welcoming Dame Helena Morrissey as our keynote speaker for the WINN UK annual event 2019 yesterday (20 November).
Helena spoke passionately on the topic of “Why finance needs more women”. A wide audience of women and men from Natixis London Branch and other UK affiliates, as well as external guests, were inspired by the event. We look forward to continuing the positive and effective work WiNN does into 2020 and beyond.