Virtual Bristol Distinguished Address Series: Margaret Casely-Hayford, Chair, Shakespeare's Globe

This event has now passed.

Date: 02 February 2022
Venue: Online
Time: 18:30-19:45

Trust and Governance: where to now?

The climate emergency and social inequality are profound and pressing problems, thrown into sharp relief by the COVID crisis, that can only be solved if we harness the enormous potential of entrepreneurs, innovation and enterprise.

The world needs business at its best - creating good jobs, helping to fix pressing problems and adding value to society. But at precisely this point in history, trust in business is low and examples abound of poor governance leading not just to poor business outcomes but harmful damage to communities and the environment. We don't need to accept these outcomes as inevitable, but rather strive to do better in our boardrooms. Voters, consumers and investors expect this now. Research shows that UK voters and consumers want business to do better. Three quarters of the UK public think business has a responsibility to protect the environment and the majority favour brands that do good in the world.

What do we mean by better? This means freeing decision-makers in business to act in everyone's long term interests - combining traditions of good stewardship and responsibility with new ideas to meet the challenges of the 21st century. There is evidence that business in the UK has taken the lead in reforming its practices around purpose, but we need the statutes and policies to ensure these become the norm. Specifically, this means putting purpose at the heart of company law and the fiduciary responsibility of directors.

A small change in the law will make a big change in the world. It will allow businesses to make decisions in all of our long term interests, helping to create a fairer, greener future.

Discuss this event on Twitter using the hashtag #BristolLectures.


  • 18:25 - Join the event online
  • 18:30 - Lecture begins
  • 18:30 – 18:40 - UWE Welcome and Introductions
  • 18:40 – 19:10 - Address
  • 19:10 – 19:45 - Q&A Session

Event Format

This event will take place online only. The University is currently restricting events on campus to help control the spread of the transmission and we must continue to play our role in reducing the spread of the virus. We hope to be back to in person events for the Autumn series, thank you for your understanding.


Register for this event.


Margaret Casely-Hayford was appointed Chair of Shakespeare's Globe in January 2018, the same year in which she was appointed Chancellor of Coventry University. She has been an elected member of the Board of the Co-op Group since 2016.

She was awarded a CBE in the Queen's Honours list, for services to charity and for promoting diversity, in 2018, upon ending her term as trustee and Chair of international development charity ActionAid UK, and was awarded an Honorary Fellowship of her former University college: Somerville, Oxford. In 2021 she was elected a Bencher of Gray's Inn.

She was Director of Legal Services and Company Secretary for the John Lewis Partnership for nine years. Before that she worked for twenty years with City law firm Dentons where she had been a partner and jointly led an award-winning team in planning and development work, she's now retired from executive roles.

Her portfolio includes advising young entrepreneurs, and supporting and advising organisations on governance and advising those, in particular women and BAME or LGTBQ+ people, who wish to embark upon board careers. She is passionate about establishing diversity on boards and is an ambassador of Board Apprentice. Her passion for education sees her also as a Patron of the award-winning Ultra Education, an enterprise which provides teaching of entrepreneurial skills to primary school children; and as Patron of the John Staples Society a body created across the Leathersellers' Federation of Schools, to develop social mobility by providing opportunities and access.

She champions better governance and democratic processes, was appointed to the Institute of Directors' Governance Advisory Board, and made a Fellow of the Institute of Public Impact.

She has been named in the current year's Powerlist of Britain's most influential Black People.

About the Bristol Distinguished Address Series

The Bristol Distinguished Address Series provides a unique opportunity to hear about the challenges, issues and decisions being made at the highest level of strategic leadership.

The series is delivered by the Bristol Business School in partnership with ACCA, Bristol City Council, Bristol Creative Industries, Bristol Junior Chamber, Bristol Law Society, Business West, CBI, CIPD, CIPFA, CMI, FSB, IoD, ICAEW and the West of England Combined Authority.

Event recording

All addresses will be recorded and we will aim to make them available as a video on YouTube one week after the lecture, subject to approval of the speaker and no technical difficulties with the recording. Podcasts from previous series can be viewed on our previous address archive.

Media queries

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UWE Bristol aims to ensure, as much as possible, that all our public events are fully accessible. Early notice of access requirements is much appreciated.

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Cost: Free
Contact: Events Team
Telephone: +44(0)117 32 84517

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