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Dame Helena Morrissey: Corporate Warrior & Mother of 9


Dame Helena Morrissey spent 15 years as CEO of Newton Investment Management, taking its assets under management from £20bn to £50bn.  She joined Legal and General Investment Management in 2017, leading a drive to engage the nation to invest more, with a particular focus on improving women’s financial well-being. She has recently left LGIM to explore more ways to impact the world.

Helena is globally renowned for her work on gender equality. In 2010, she founded the 30% Club, a campaign for gender-balanced boards. Since then, the representation of women on FTSE100 boards has risen from 12.5% to 32% and the number of all-male FTSE350 boards has fallen from 173 to just three. Helena has been named one of the World’s 50 Greatest Leaders by Fortune Magazine, and was the Financial Times’ 2017 ‘Person of the Year’.

Her husband Richard is a stay at home father and they have nine children, six girls and three boys aged from 10 to 27 and one grandson. Helena’s first book ‘A Good Time to be a Girl’ was named one of Forbes’ five most empowering books for women in 2018.

We talked about how Helena navigated the corporate world right to the top – and how she managed it with 9 children. She shared tips on leadership, networking and how to pick yourself up after a bad day. We discussed company culture – and how the wrong one can stunt your career. To thrive, you need an environment conducive to finding allies. We talked about how managers are frustrated by a lack of progress on gender parity – and various ways that listeners can break through the fatigue and keep others engaged.

My favorite quote of the episode was “Actions speak louder than words, but results speak louder than actions”. YES!!!! Helena’s book recommendation was: In Extremis: The Life of Marie Colvin and you can find her on Twitter and LinkedIn.

Please do get in touch with the team at When Women Win and let us know what you think of this episode or the show. You can reach us any time via Instagram, LinkedIn or the web contact form. Thank you!

Elissar Farah Antonios – CEO of Citi UAE & Levant


Elissar leads Citi’s largest and most diverse franchise in the Middle East and Africa, where she oversees Corporate, Investment Banking and Wealth Management services. Her banking career started 29 years ago in the London office of the Bank of New York. On her way to Citi, Elissar spent a few years with Credit Agricole Indosuez and ABN AMRO.

Elissar was ranked by Forbes Middle East among the top 100 most powerful and influential Arab businesswomen in 2017 and 2018. She is active in various community service organizations: Elissar is the senior sponsor of Citi’s UAE Women Network and is on the Advisory Board of the Olayan School of Business at the American University of Beirut. She has also been an Advisory Member of the Lebanese Banking Association and helped launch the United Nation Global Compact Network in Lebanon.

Having such a seasoned banker on the show, I had to get some advice on wealth management – an issue that plagues many When Women Win listeners. We then got into the gender pay gap, as the Financial Services industry in general performs badly here. I was surprised to learn that Citi had done a deep dive on this issue – and had made their findings public.

We discussed why women are leaving the corporate world and how to retain them. Spoiler alert: this includes paternity leave! We went deep into challenges that Elissar faced at very stages of her career – from her starting out, to mid-career to much more recently. And finally, we discussed the importance of balance in one’s life – and how to get it. Another spoiler? Nope 🙂

My favorite quote of the episode was: “The position itself doesn’t give you the authority. You EARN the authority and respect with time, as you demonstrate the value”.

You can find Elissar on LinkedIn and Instagram.

Please do get in touch with the team at When Women Win and let us know what you think of this episode or the show in general. You can reach us via InstagramTwitter, LinkedIn – or the contact form on the home page. Thank you!