An Act of Leadership

posted May 30th, 2011 by Janet Graham - Leave a Comment

Helena Morrissey is CEO of Newton Investment Management, a UK based money manager owned by Bank of New York Mellon Corp.  She was appointed to the position when she was 35 years old with five children, the youngest of them ages 1, 2 and 3.  Today, she is 45 years old and has nine children ranging in age from 2 to 19, seven of whom still live at home.  At work, she oversees 47.2 billion pounds ( a number which has doubled under her management) and almost 400 employees.


In 2009, she attended a Goldman Sachs luncheon about diversity in London and it gave her an idea. She says she was tired of hearing about diversity and never seeing any progress, so she decided to focus on the boardroom, in part to show other women they can compete at the highest levels.  In November 2010, she formed the 30 Percent Club to press companies to employ that many female directors, up from 12 percent in 2010.   She has persuaded more than 20 chairmen, about half from the FTSE 100 to reach for that target.  Morrissey says she is passionately against quotas because she believes they undermine women with the sense that they can’t get their on their own merit.


(You can read the entire story at this link ï»¿


I found this story incredibly inspiring!! From my perspective, this is a true act of leadership. However, I find the story remarkable because it refutes so many myths about women. Specifically, the ones which say women don’t help other women and women with families can’t handle challenging roles and leadership positions. And it blows up the myth which says one person can’t make a difference which is applied to both men and women!!!  I am inspired by this courageous and inspirational act!! I hope you will find inspiration in it too!!


Fyi, I found this article because I am a member of the Women in Capital Markets Group on LinkedIn and a woman who is also a member of this group shared the article with the group. I would have missed it otherwise.  I mention this because I want to credit my source and I want to highlight one of the benefits of participation in LinkedIn.


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