Britain lags behind France, Sweden, Australia and Belgium, not to mention Norway (pack leader) in terms of the number of women at the top.Other countries are imposing quotas, fines or barring companies that are too male from government contracts.The problem with interviewing Helena Morrissey is that her private life is so intriguing that it’s hard to stick to the subject under discussion.
While he worked as a financial journalist, she started work on the bond desk at Schroders in 1987, spending a couple of years in their New York offices, before returning to London. When I was passed over for promotion I asked if I was doing anything wrong. So I moved to a junior role at Newton.” At the age of 28, she was running the bond desk.
In 2001, Newton was bought by BNY Mellon asset management.
Few make it to boards because they may have missed a career step.
Morrissey is an exception, which is why it is virtually impossible not to stray from the general problem on to the fascinating topic of how she personally copes with having nine, yes that’s nine, children aged from two to 21. Having five children of my own, I don’t find large families weird, but even so I am aching to ask Morrissey why she and her Buddhist husband, Richard, have such a vast family. Patiently, she shifts from boards, bonds and Newton’s investment policy, to schools, houses and hand-me-downs.
How do the Morrisseys manage childcare, bedrooms, maternity leave and so on? With one child at university, and one at boarding school, during the week seven Morrissey children (plus mum and dad) squeeze into a four-bedroom house in Notting Hill, three beds to a room, but at weekends they spread out in a larger house near Wokingham. We write up everything happening each day on a white board.