Browse Category: Inspiring Story

Helane Morrison Fostering Change With Hall Capital

In this day and age where feminism is finally getting the credit it deserves, it is heartening to see companies like Hall Capital effecting change in the best way possible – from within. The firm is so successful that big names like John Fisher and Warren Hellman are in its client list. Bay Area’s most successful money managing company boasts of $24 billion assets and if all this wasn’t an effective marker for the company’s success, it is the three women at the helm of Hall Capital who are pushing for diversity in education, background, and gender.

CEO Kathryn Hall is also the co-chief investment officer at Hall Capital and she is supported by two brilliant and successful women – Sarah Stein, the President, and Helane Morrison, the MD, CCO, and General Counsel of the firm. There are many firms that preach gender diversity but to see an organization doing that effectively by putting its vision and goals right at the top for all to see is a welcome change that other companies can truly learn from.

Speaking about the diversity, Morrison mentions an interesting point that both young and experienced women in the corporate world would relate to – when the high levels of an organization, including the CEO herself, are staffed by women of note, it becomes more attractive for women to come to the firm. Helane Morrison previously worked for the SEC and was also a South Florida reporter before that. Her experience as a reporter is evident with hard-hitting quotes like the one below that call out those who try to find ways around the law.

She added that her friends who were working at other firms had to take part in special meetings aimed at women as the gender gap in the industry is so large that women tend to feel isolated. Her educational and professional background have enabled her to make quite a difference in Hall Capital in the half decade that she has worked at the firm. President Stein said that female leadership is becoming rarer by the day and despite the equitable distribution in the world and business schools, when it comes to actual positions, the world is still not fair to women.

The three architects behind the success of Hall Capital also offered some advice to young women who were hoping to make a mark in the industry, saying that the key to success was to be flexible and resilient. It also helps that the firm actively looks for diversity in their recruitment efforts and promotes a culture where independent perspective is highly valued.

The Tale Of North Korean Defector

Yeonmi Park People decide that they must leave their birth nation for many reasons. Some people leave in order to seek adventure. Others leave in order to have better job opportunities. In a significant number of instances, people leave in order to escape governments that are less than ideal for their needs. In all too many parts of the world it is common to have a government that is not good at governing and meeting the needs of locals. A bad government of this sort can make it very hard for the people living there to have their needs. In many instances, a bad government may even make it hard for natives to get access to enough food and adequate shelter. One such government is that of North Korea. In the aftermath of a war conducted last century, the peninsula of North Korea was divided between the north and the south. The northern part of the peninsula has been governed since then by a small group of tyrants dedicated to the communist system of government. Natives of this land such as Yeonmi Park who grew up here are relentlessly forced to live in a state that is dedicated to an extremist form of this type of government. She and her fellow North Koreans must endure hardships that almost unimaginable. In many instances, their every moves are closely supervised both by their fellow North Koreans and by the government. Government officials expect that people living here will give the natives of this country their full attention, loyalty and devotion at all times. This means that criticism of the government is not allowed. As Park recounts to the world after she left, living in contemporary North Korea means that one must struggle each day to find food, escape the supervision of the nation’s system and function somehow. Before Park made her daring escape from this part of the world, she was also forced to listen to the nation’s leaders each day at school. Her teachers wove a tale on NYTimes of the nation as the world’s best even as she and her fellow students often did not get enough to eat and had to supplement their meager diet with insects and grass. They told her that the US was the enemy of all mankind. Failure to obey the teachings of the nation’s leaders and even voice any sort of frustration often had dire consequences. Such consequences included being shipped off to one of the nation’s many terrible forced labor camps. Here, North Koreans of all backgrounds are forced to labor under terrible conditions as Park’s father was. It is such fear that lead many of Park’s countrymen to attempt to leave the nation. However, doing so can result in being killed by the government or shipped off to such camps. It was only with a stroke of luck and hard planning that Park and her mother were able to manage to leave this nation and make their way across the Yalu river into refuge in China.