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. Nine years later 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 fourteen 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.
She is a sought-after speaker, offering an exciting vision and practical solutions for both companies and diverse talent.