Helena Morrissey, Chief Executive of Newton Investment Management in London, recently sat down with The Telegraph to discuss ways to get more women in the boardroom. To fix the gender problem she said, “We have to change the culture of a boardroom, changing the dynamic of a boardroom and the real sort of energy and challenge that board directors bring to the senior manager of a business. Having more women on the board, having different types of people generally, having different ages, different types of experience will end up with a more effective board. There is a lot of momentum and a lot of people who thought this was just a women’s issue rather than something quite essential for good business are starting to wake up to fact that they don’t wan to be the last all-male board left.”
This is why Helena founded the 30 percent club last year. It is an organization dedicated to the effort of getting more FTSE 100 companies and FTSE 250 companies in Europe to employ that many female directors on their boards. She was inspired to form the effort after becoming frustrated with committees of women just getting together to talk about inequality on boards but not actually do anything. “We set to find an actual quantifier, something measurable instead of just a talking shop where everyone just feels better by talking about it,” said Morrisey. So far she has managed to get over 20 chairman, half from the FTSE 100, to try for 30%. She is meeting with search firms and working with the Professional Boards Forum to help match female candidates with board chairmen.
Besides being extremely successful and not pulling up the ladder behind her, Helena is also a mother of nine. That’s right. Nine children. When she returned to work after her first baby was born she was passed over for a promotion because her boss doubted that she would stay for much longer or would succeed. She proved his assumption wrong by joining Newton where she steadily rose up the ranks to the very top while also managing to have eight more children. She has been dubbed the City Supermum by the British media. Move over Angelina Jolie. She talks about balancing nine children and working in the video as well. Watch below: