Responsible Business & Leadership

Dame Julia has acquired a formidable reputation as a challenging leader and dynamic speaker on business leadership and corporate responsibility. She has been acclaimed for achieving significant innovation and behaviour change in UK boardrooms while Chief Executive of Business in the Community from April 1992 to March 2008.

Under her leadership the business-led organisation grew in turnover from £2 million to £24 million, with 400 staff and 850 member companies committed to improving their positive impact on society. Julia inspired businesses to work together to tackle community need, stem climate change, promote diversity and harness the engagement of business in education.

To engage the hearts and minds of business leaders, Julia worked with HRH the Prince of Wales to establish his Seeing is Believing visits programme as a flagship Business in the Community initiative in 1990. Together they built an alumni network of more than seven thousand senior executives who were inspired to take action following visits to schools, prisons, homeless hostels, community groups and social enterprises in the UK’s most deprived communities.

In her current ambassadorial role as Vice President of Business in the Community, Julia continues to speak authoritatively on responsible business performance and innovation in tough times. In 2009 she led a Building Stronger Communities task force with ten recommendations for companies, government and the voluntary sector. The report can be downloaded here. Her belief in the overriding importance of business as a force for good and the motivational impact of values-driven leadership gives her the passion to inspire and enthuse the business world.

Julia is an external advisor to the Sustainability Advisory Committee of Carillion.

She continues to speak widely for companies, in communities on the role of Responsible Business and at conferences on the importance of private public sector partnerships.