Dame Helena Morrissey: Why it's a good time to be a girl

The City high-flyer, mother of nine and founder of the 30% Club on 'unashamedly feminine leadership' and breaking the mould.

by Kate Bassett

On being optimistic:

It's a good time to be a girl. I think we’re on the brink of a new era, where women will be working with men to solve problems, to bring up families, to develop their careers - as partners. It will be a model of collaboration, rather than hierarchy and patriarchy. And of course if we create more opportunities for women, we also create more choices for men who, in many ways, have been straitjacketed by society's expectations, too.

On gender equality initiatives:

Too many gender equality initiatives, while well-intentioned, are still been about training women to be more assertive, to negotiate better, to speak up - in other words, to behave more like men. Most women don’t want to become honorary men. And quite frankly, we’ll never be as good at behaving like men as men.

On the Presidents Club:

That kind of behaviour has been going on for years. The difference now is that it's being exposed, called out and shut down. My worry with these scandals is that they are being misinterpreted as examples of widespread behaviour. We mustn't go back to the ‘gender war’ mentality. Anger doesn't achieve anything.

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