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‹ View all leaders Helen Afford

Helen Afford

London, GB

General Counsel – IMI Critical Engineering IMI plc

Making good happen. My vision is a world where people do the right thing even when no-one is looking.

Helen is General Counsel and member of the executive leadership team for the Critical Engineering division of IMI plc, the FTSE 250 specialist engineering group.

With over 20 years’ legal and compliance experience, Helen is a trusted adviser to her colleagues. She leads a strong international team to support, challenge and guide the effective management of legal and compliance risk and commercial affairs. 

Helen is heavily involved in the division’s innovation and foresight agenda to develop and test new ideas which enable the company to diversify into new markets, adapt to changing needs and enhance growth. She’s Chair of the Board for IMI’s first business that’s gone from an initial idea to a product that’s marketable at scale. She sees the company’s people as critical to a sustainable future, leading inclusion and diversity within IMI plc, driving change to build a more dynamic and innovative organisation.

Helen’s vision is a world where people do the right thing, even when no-one is looking. She believes that far too many companies are still involved in scandals where poor decisions have not been challenged. From money laundering to VW ‘dieselgate’, Helen is campaigning for a world where people are not afraid to speak up when something isn’t right, with a more human approach to “compliance” so that we can see an end to such scandals once and for all.   Her talk at the House of Commons in September 2021, “Silence can be deadly.  Why speaking up matters.” called for a change in how we view speak up from being something that we expect people to do but is actually only done by the minority to something that is practised and celebrated and done by the majority to bring positive change.

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