“The programme gave me a chance to openly reflect on the issues we face as female leaders.”

Amy Green

Commercial Director, Foresight Group


Amy Green has risen through the ranks of UK-listed sustainable infrastructure and private equity investment manager Foresight Group achieving a Director role after just four years. She’s built strong relationships across the entire organisation and secured a key commercial leadership position.

Wanting to fully embrace her identity as a leader and continue to build her confidence, Amy enrolled on the Women in Leadership programme. Today, she reflects on her experiences on the programme and her next ambition: becoming a COO. 

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 My background

After graduating with an Accounting & Finance degree, I worked in a number of commercial finance roles before joining Foresight Group as a Finance Manager, working across our Environmental Funds. This role quickly developed into a commercially focused role with Profit & Loss oversight for the division after I identified, and successfully pitched, the potential business benefits of having dedicated resource overseeing this activity for the division – freeing up capacity within the senior management team while improving decision making through the provision of quality performance analytics. This opportunity enabled me to show what I was capable of and started me off on a journey of rapid progression through the organisation.

My role at Foresight has evolved since I joined in 2017. I predominantly oversee the Infrastructure team but as my role grows I’m working more comprehensively across the entire organisation. We listed on the London Stock Exchange in February 2021, and this has created challenges but also presented significant opportunities, particularly in the work I do on our corporate strategy, including mergers and acquisitions (M&A) and three-year planning. One of my strengths is spotting potential problems and understanding how and where we can make processes more efficient and effective.

Essentially my role is to constantly explore new commercial avenues for the business – be that organic or through Mergers & Acquisitions – and integrate new people. I’m overseeing the integration of our acquisitions, but I’m also working with our CFO and Executive Committee to plan for the long-term future of the business through the three-year planning process. There are a lot of plates to juggle during phases of rapid growth – both in terms of my personal journey and what’s happening in our organisation.

Is sensitivity a superpower?

One of my biggest strengths is that I’m good with people. Not everybody works in the same way or has the same goals and aspirations, and I appreciate that. I’m very conscious that when I come to somebody with an issue, I need to tailor the conversation to their experiences and how they might be feeling. It doesn’t matter if you’re working to improve an aspect of your business or trying to establish where a problem stems from, you’ll never succeed if you don’t understand the routines and frustrations of everyone in your organisation.

I believe that this sensitivity has been my secret weapon. I’m able to use this emotional intelligence within different areas of the business and through it form lasting relationships.  This enables me to bring colleagues with me/us on our journey whilst reminding them that they’re valued members of the team.

It might have been different if I’d come in as a Director but joining as a Manager and working my way up caught people’s attention. People’s reactions were broadly very positive, but there’s always one or two who might find something negative to say.

Back to school

I got to where I am at Foresight by forever being on the lookout for problems that needed solving and trying to drive a positive outcome to each one. In doing so I feel like in many ways I built my own opportunities from the ground up.  This became noticeable over time and was evidenced by my inclusion in regular meetings with our Executive Committee. I was receiving positive feedback, but I didn’t feel 100% happy and secure in my new role. It was, in many ways, a classic case of imposter syndrome.  

These feelings coupled with my awareness of other people’s perceptions of my journey to Director were difficult to manage at times.
I wanted to excel in my new role, and to be able to facilitate difficult conversations with confidence. In the end it was my line manager, Nigel, (who co-heads our Infrastructure team and sits on our Executive Committee), who suggested I might benefit from more leadership training and he identified the Women in Leadership programme at London Business School for me.

My learning journey

“Whether we’re consciously aware of it or not, many of us do modify our behaviour in a male-dominated work environment. Being able to recognise that and to step outside of that was enlightening.”

"While I was applying for the programme, I realised that Nigel had been my sponsor all along."

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While I was applying for the programme, I realised that Nigel had been my key sponsor all along. We might not have called it that, but he had always believed in me and he enabled me to put forward my ideas and solutions in a manner which gave me exposure to senior management. When Nigel suggested the Women in Leadership programme I was immediately intrigued.

My programme experience

Going into the programme with what was on reflection a mature and existing sponsorship relationship helped me to get the most out of my experience. I realised that a successful sponsorship needs time to evolve – you have to build the trust. After all, your sponsor needs to know you’re ready for new opportunities and that you’ll work hard. It’s their professional reputation that’s on the line. Having that support from Nigel was the boost I needed; he’s always believed in me and my abilities. 

Joining a cohort of other senior women was extremely cathartic, it was brilliant to be able to be honest about how challenging being a leader can be sometimes. Hearing other women share their own reflections was comforting too; it sounds cheesy but realising you’re not alone in having these doubts is the first step to overcoming them. Especially when you meet a group of super impressive, capable professionals who often suffer from the same setbacks or worries.  

As leaders, we’re the ones who have to put on a strong front, which often means there aren’t many people we can confide in. Gaining an independent group to do just that with has been an invaluable experience. I’ve stayed in touch with many of the women from my cohort and we still talk all the time. They’re always there for a coffee and a chat.   

I’ve always been interested in leadership strategies and read lots of business literature, so I was actually already familiar with some of Professor Herminia Ibarra’s work. Being in the room with her and being able to ask all the questions that had sprung to mind when reading her book, Act Like a Leader, Think Like a Leader, was the icing on the cake.   

Our guest speaker, Jill McCullough, was a force of nature. She encouraged all of us to embrace a ‘who cares?’ approach. Really, who cares if someone is being rude, or projecting insecurities about their own role onto you? Why should you let it hold you back? She forced us out of our comfort zones, she was just fantastic.    

The impact of Women in Leadership

“The programme supplied me with the tools to tackle the next stage of my leadership journey.”

"Right now, I’m working towards a COO position. It’s where I’ve wanted to be for a while and I know that when I do get there, it will be the result of many years spent listening and learning."

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The programme has helped me to accept that I’ve got to where I am today through my own hard work and because I’ve squeezed everything possible out of every opportunity that came my way. It’s not a fluke, it’s been a blend of spotting the opportunities, working hard, and being helped along the way by supportive colleagues. We discussed imposter syndrome a lot on the programme, it was comforting to know that I wasn’t the only person who had experienced that. 

I’m also trying to add some balance into my life. I’m naturally a very go, go, go type of person but the last few years have made me realise how important it is to take care of our mental and physical health, whilst still pushing hard at work to progress your career and make a positive impact. I’ll take time in the morning or during lunch to get outside for a walk or do some exercise – something I never would have done pre-2020. I’ve always got my eye on the next goal, but I’m learning that in order to perform well I have to look after myself. 

The Women in Leadership programme was enlightening, allowing a group of female leaders to talk openly about their experiences whilst learning new skills to grow as leaders and influence change.  

Women in Leadership

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