Helene Speight, HR director, ABB FIA Formula E Championship
Paul Creber, September 17, 2018
Helene Speight is HR director for the ABB FIA Formula E Championship: the world’s first fully-electric international single-seater motorsport series
Now its in fifth season, Speight has built the team and led the people strategy from the first race, championing diversity as a strength in team performance. The Formula E team (or FE family as it’s known) has grown to 130 people with 50% female representation and 20+ nationalities. Speight describes the culture as a place where people can openly be themselves and with the support of the ‘can-do’ attitude of the CEO there is autonomy as well as opportunity at all levels.
Speight started her career in finance before joining global giant General Electric, where she spent nine years in a number of senior commercial roles including general manager of an industrial operations division, overseeing and leading the management of 11 sites worldwide. Speight was also a key member of the GE Women’s network and enjoyed opportunities to speak at conferences around the world.
She is also very passionate about supporting the younger generations and was appointed an ambassador of The Prince's Trust in 2010 in recognition of her charity work. She is now a trusted host of its national Celebrate Success Awards.
In 2009 Speight embarked on an executive MBA at Henley Business School and through this personal development discovered her next move had to be in HR. She made the leap and after holding several key positions she landed the role at Formula E. As an influential member of the senior management team Speight has implemented bespoke performance management processes and employee engagement events.
In addition to handling the day-to-day duties of HR Speight also drives the sustainability strategy, which is in the DNA of Formula E. She leads a team of high-performing sustainability professionals to deliver world-leading authentic projects. Most recently Formula E became the first category in motorsport to earn highly-acclaimed ISO 20121 certification - the highest award in sustainable events. Speight is also partnering with leaders from the World Bank on several global challenges such as Road Safety. In 2017 she moderated a heavyweight panel at the annual meeting in Washington DC on sustainable mobility.