11. Dame Helena Morrissey; Nine Children, Executive Travel, Gender Equality and George Ezra - The Big Travel Podcast

Episode 11
April 3 , 2018

11. Dame Helena Morrissey; Nine Children, Executive Travel, Gender Equality and George Ezra


Nine children to organise take some, well, organisation, but whom better to negotiate such a feat than City superstar Dame Helena Morrissey. One of only a few women to have been CEO of an investment bank, she’s a champion of gender equality and author of ‘A Good Time To Be A Girl’ a book about how women and men can succeed in work and indeed life by changing the culture they’re leaning in to. Awarded Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire it’s the fascinating Dame Helena Morrissey.


On this episode we cover:

Mother of nine

Small-town background

Happy childhood

Big family, big jobs

Working on gender equality in male dominated areas

Her book ‘A Good Time to Be A Girl’

Sheryl Sandberg’s ‘Lean In’

Lack of progress

Changing the system we lean in to

Harvey Weinstein

Me too

Wanting a different way of life

Treating work as an activity rather than a place

Being a CEO

Four day weeks

Flexible working

Culture of presentee-ism

Rigid and narrow careers

Seeking out more flexible, creative industries

Young people in the workplace

Starting a family young

Women overanalysing things

When is the right time to have a baby

Her husband’s redundancy

Becoming the main breadwinner

Hungry for success at work

Making it work

Dealing with the hand you’re given

How success gives more autonomy

Success isn’t a straight line

How we need to embrace failure

Nothing worth fighting for or worth doing comes easy

How disillusioned with diversity led to the ‘The 30% Club’

Improving business results with diversity

Getting more women on the board

Gender equality on boards

Getting men involved

Combining career and family

The financial crisis

Seizing the moment

Class diversity

Travelling with children

Travelling with nine children

Large family logistics

Nervous about travelling with kids

Holidays on the Isle of Wight

The south of France

Taking the train

Nerves about flying


School trips

Airport logistics with nine children

Watching people counting the kids!

Not having twins

Flo Morrissey – her oldest daughter

Becoming a grandmother

The beauty of Crete

Sun, sand and sea

Not going on huge adventures

The Italian island of Elba


Meeting the locals

Relaxing on holiday

Not taking much time off

Maternity leave

How senior positions mean more autonomy

How technology is freeing the workplace

Her husband staying home with the kids

Being religious




Church of England

Teaching Sunday School

Not going to Church


Benefitting from the UK’s mix of cultures and religions

Growing up in a village in Hampshire

Beachside trips as a child

Childhood visits to the Isle of Wight

Walking in the mountains with her Dad

Her Yorkshire father

First family holidays to France


Travelling through work


The Middle East


The Far East

Not having much time to explore when travelling for work

Spending time in LA with her daughter Flo

Business Class to Bangkok

Her ‘I’ve made it’ moments

Working in New York

Working Girl the movie!

The tedious side of travel

Cultural differences in New York

New York’s art and museums

Exploring further in the USA

Differences between working in America and the UK

Work-life balance

Treating work as a ‘dimension of life’

Working for an American company

The globalisation of work

Working online



Social media

Millennials wanting an ‘odyssey’ rather than a career

How work is changing through technology

Developing ones own work

Finding ones own niche

Encouraging women to invest in their own financial independence

How travelling is investing in your wellbeing

Culture shocks in Tokyo

Struggling as a working mother in Tokyo

Japan’s efforts to improve gender equality

A recent family holiday in Morocco

The absence of women in Morocco

Women’s rights in the Middle East

Celebrating our rights in the UK

Working with men who want gender equality

Her support of Brexit

Reasons to be cheerful about Brexit

Europe’s swing to the right

How the UK should concentrate on the domestic agenda

The need for greater distribution of wealth

The need for more North/South equality in the UK

Travelling for work without children

Missing children’s birthdays

Missing the children when away

Working in Melbourne

Being a role model for her 6 girls and 3 boys

Flo Morrissey’s rising fame as a musician

Teaching a class at Harvard

Her motto of ‘leap before you look’

The importance of mentors

The importance of a counter-balance

How we are not islands

George Ezra’s Budapest helping her feel less far from home