Q&A with Joanne Morgan, Rolls-Royce plc.

JM pic

FV kick starts the 2018 Q&A series with an interview with Joanne Morgan, Chief Ethics and Compliance Counsel, Rolls-Royce plc.

What will be the biggest challenge for the generation of women behind you?

Realising and accepting that it is ok not to have it all!

What was your dream job as a child and why?

Journalist, because I am relentlessly nosy, ideal for Ethics and Compliance actually.

What is the best and worst decision you’ve ever made?

Best decision was to make the move from general legal into Ethics and Compliance. I have had a very rich and fulfilling career and done some amazing things which just would not have been open to me as a general in-house lawyer, the pinnacle for me was being inside the White House.

Worst decision was putting off having a family for my career. I don’t have a family and won’t have one now and that’s a big regret.

How do you motivate yourself and stay motivated?

I love my job so it’s easy. All human life is in Ethics and Compliance. I am endlessly fascinated by why people do the bad things they do so I can try and prevent similar mistakes in the future. On the days when the pull of the duvet is just too much, I put on some music I like (normally a bit of Tom Jones!) and I play it really loudly and that sorts me out!

If you could tell your younger self one thing you know about business now, what would it be?

Don’t be afraid to ask questions when you don’t understand. Sometimes the most simple question can be the most illuminating, and the more you understand the better your advice will be.

What’s an accomplishment that you are proudest of?

Creating a world class ethics programme at IMI plc. We had global shutdown days with training in the morning and charitable activity in the afternoon. It brought the whole company together and united us in a way that we had never experienced before and ultimately it helped to triple our share price!

Who is your role model, and why?

My Dad. He worked hard to provide for a family whilst studying for the professional qualifications he needed to become a successful Company Secretary. He gave me a great start in life and encouraged me to be the best I can by working hard. He’s still the person I turn to when I need advice.

What would be your advice for women who are building careers in the industry you work in?

Be yourself. Authenticity at work is your best tool. People appreciate consistency and clarity and that only really comes when you are yourself at all times.

What’s your own personal mantra?

This too shall pass…….it helps when I am going through something bad as I know it won’t be forever and it helps me when I am experiencing something fabulous because it reminds me to enjoy the moment!

What do you think makes a successful leader?

Surrounding yourself with people who are better than you are! They lift you up!

Joanne (Jo) Morgan has been an in-house legal adviser for 18 years. Initially she worked as an M&A lawyer for IMI plc (a global industrial engineering company) and then Deputy General Counsel. After IMI had a significant brush with the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (2007-2013), which resulted in a guilty plea and a three-year US Department of Justice appointed Monitor, Jo became Chief Compliance and Ethics Officer for IMI. Jo moved to Rolls-Royce plc, in 2014 to lead its Global Anti-Bribery and Corruption Compliance Team. More recently Jo has also taken responsibility for the Data Protection team (January 2015) and the Ethics team (July 2016). Rolls-Royce reached Deferred Prosecution Agreements with the Serious Fraud Office in the UK and the Department of Justice in the USA and a leniency agreement with the Federal Prosecution Service in Brazil, and Jo is responsible for working with these prosecutors to fulfil the requirements of these various agreements. 

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