Highlights from our Make Your Own Luck! Conference: Part 2

helenaWELCOME TO THE SECOND of our articles sharing some of the highlights from the speaker and panellist sessions that took place earlier this summer at our inaugural “Make Your own Luck!” conference.

Five keynote speakers addressed different aspects of how to progress our careers, and in this article we are focusing on two of them:  Helena Morrissey and Eilidh Milnes.


 What did Helena Morrissey tell us?

Helena Morrissey, CEO of Newton Investment since 2001, told us that “Your Voice Matters!”

She kicked off our day with her own story, relaying how she had been passed over for promotion after her maternity leave.  Making her own luck, she decided not to dwell on the negative and moved to a smaller firm, with less hierarchy, and worked her way up.

Initially there were assumptions made as to the level of her ambition, especially as she had a young family. Despite the obstacles, she persevered and achieved her goal. By the time she became CEO at Newton she had had no formal management experience or training, so she had no alternative but to learn on the job.

The picture that emerged from Helena’s talk was of a gutsy individual who has achieved success through tremendous hard work and determination, but also by not being afraid to grab opportunities and take chances.

She founded the 30% club to increase the number of women on boards. Launched in 2010 the goal was to have 30% women on FTSE-100 boards by the end of 2015. The figure currently stands at 25.4%, more than double the number when they started out.

Helena’s parting message was that it’s a good time to be a woman in business! Let’s make the most of it!

What did we hear from Eilidh Milnes?

Eilidh Milnes’ session was entitled “Confidently Forward!” something she role-modelled to the limit, living up to her reputation as a motivational speaker on confidence, resilience and productivity.

Her talk took place after lunch, at that time when some of us might have been tempted to sit back and have a quiet snooze. With Eilidh in charge there was no fear of that! She strode into the room accompanied by rousing music and proceeded to entertain us with a combination of humour and insightful prompts on how to build our confidence and own our personal brand.

Her instructions to start each day looking in the mirror and saying “Good Morning Gorgeous” and to regularly remind ourselves how great we are with the TGIF catchphrase (Thank Goodness I’m Fabulous!) had a few people squirming with British embarrassment, but for many of us they were a refreshing reminder of the power of positive thinking.

What’s next?

Look out for the next in our series of posts that will focus on more insights from our keynote speakers and panels. And if you’d like to benefit from more support from Voice At The Table, why not take a look at our Training Academy, where we run a wide range of workshops, all aimed at helping you to develop the skills to progress your career. In a couple of weeks’ time we will be launching our Autumn 2015 program.  Email us for a preview, to request our current offering of in-house workshops, or to simply say ‘hello’.  And if you’d like to continue to hear from us, join our newsletter here.


Voice At The Table helps build the company of the future through gender diversity and diversity of thought.  We do this by supporting women in carving their own path to success.  We focus on building CONFIDENCE, RESILIENCE and INITIATIVE.  Follow us on Twitter at @VoiceAtTheTable and let us know what you think about our services and offering.  Your feedback makes us better.