Suzy Walton: Biography highlights
With a career reaching from the West End to Whitehall and boardrooms beyond, Suzy frequently speaks publicly about her life.
Full biography of Suzy Walton
Suzy Walton’s background
Suzy was originally a West End actress playing the juvenile lead of Lydia the young deaf girl in the award-winning play “Children of a Lesser God.” She then moved into broadcasting enjoying three years as producer presenter and editor of her own travel show – Time Off, on LBC Radio. She was also a news producer with Sky News and a BBC Television reporter.
She then embarked on an academic career and picked up two degrees in science before becoming a Senior Civil Servant. She worked in the Ministry of Defence as a research scientist (from where she obtained a PhD degree for classified research) and the Cabinet Office. She also worked in the Prime Minister’s Strategy Unit for a number of years.
Suzy also has 7 children.
Over the last decade, Suzy has sat on the boards of over 15 major organisations and a number of Government committees.
She currently sits on the board of the Institute of Directors, ACCA (the global regulator for the accountancy profession) and Combat Stress which runs hospitals for veterans with PTSD. She is also serving from Autumn ’19 as the Vice President at the Royal Society of Medicine. She is also a member of the Judicial Conduct Investigations Office (JCIO) which has the power to remove judges and other judicial roles from office. She recently completed six years as a member of the State Honours Committee which makes recommendations for awards to the Prime Minister and the Queen.
Suzy is the former Deputy Chairman of the University of Westminster, the Royal Society of Arts and the Internet Watch foundation. The latter is an organisation seeking to remove child sexual abuse from the electronic world.
Suzy has also sat on the boards of Birmingham Children’s Hospital, the Council for the Registration of Forensic Practitioners, Government’s Science Advisory Council and HEFCE – the former organisation that held the £5 billion budget for distribution to UK universities.
Suzy has also sat on the Ethics Group of the National DNA Database in the Home Office and took responsibility for improving the treatment of children when DNA samples are needed. She also contributed to healthcare policy when she sat on the government’s National Specialist Commission Group which held the national budget for setting up services for rare and specialist conditions.
Suzy is Chartered in three different professions.
Suzy is an expert at juggling complex responsibilities and achieving success in the face of significant barriers. Priding herself on her enviable work-life balance, in her motivational speeches Suzy inspires others to believe that with the right motivation and courage, anything can be achieved. She believes that everyone capable of more than they think.
Through her open and honest speaking style, Suzy inspires and motivates her audience by telling people “how it is” and helping them to learn how to overcome their barriers to success. Suzy offers reflections from the stage, and the nursery to the boardroom about what she sees are the key attributes needed to be successful and how to overcome common barriers
Watch Suzy in action
“Suzy was Chair for the inaugural event in London of the KPMG forum Women in Aerospace, Defence and Intelligence. We had an international audience across government, the military and industry including guests from the U.S.Air Force and the Pentagon. Suzy chaired the event skilfully including sharing her own reflections on key issues in relation to women in leadership.”
Founder of the 30% Club 2015
“Suzy gave a keynote address at a London event of the 30% Club. She spoke about how “you don’t always have to have a plan to succeed.” She shared how she came to prominence in a number of professions, not through setting a strategy but rather through a series of ‘lucky escapes’. Where one door closed another opened and Suzy exploited it. Our audience very much enjoyed Suzy’s keynote and took away a lot of learning. Suzy was engaging, humorous and brutally honest. I can honestly say I’ve never before introduced someone where my opening line is “between us we have 15 children…..!”
House of Commons 2013
“Many thanks for last night. Everyone was impressed by your positive attitude and your determination to succeed: this kind of role-modelling is so important to give people the courage to make the most of their lives and to overcome things that can get in the way. Female role models such as yourself are very important to help us become more equal and more inclusive – particularly at senior levels.”
Institute of Directors (IoD) 2014
“Suzy spoke at our Annual Convention at the Royal Albert Hall as well as chairing a panel of global business leaders. With an audience of two thousand it’s challenging for any speaker. Suzy handled her session with flair and panache. Suzy also spoke at our Women in Business conference in Pall Mall. She gave a compelling outline of her career and the “lucky escapes” which led to her extraordinary success as a director. I know many of those attending found Suzy’s talk to be exceptionally motivating. On both occasions she was terrific.”
London Borough of Barking and Dagenham 2008
“Suzy talked to our women’s network about the barriers she’d overcome in her various careers and on body language techniques that anybody can use anywhere. We found the talk ‘Climbing the Glass Cliff’ inspirational and at the end she had everyone in the room using the techniques in a simulated briefing to 400 bagpipe players – a memorable day!”
North West Ambulance Service
“Suzy delivered a powerful and thought-provoking speech showing that anything is possible if you have courage – an excellent addition to any event programme.”
Institute of Directors (IoD) 2015
“Suzy spoke for a second time at our Annual Convention at the Royal Albert Hall. As before she was a phenomenal success!”
Bank of England, 2014
“Suzy hosted an inspiring session entitled ‘Overcoming Challenges and Building Resilience’ drawing extensively on her own remarkable experiences and insight. We found her incredibly open and approachable. A very enjoyable and unique session.”
University of Hertfordshire 2017
“Thank you very much for coming to the University of Hertfordshire to talk to us. I genuinely felt moved and absolutely inspired by your life and work. You have made my experience on the programme so much more valuable and I hope to have an ounce of the strength you have going forward.”
QEII Conference Centre, Westminster, London 2010
“Suzy was an inspirational voice at a major conference we ran. Her openness and experience make her an articulate role model for women in leadership and those aspiring to be leaders. She was also very approachable, spending time with our delegates, speakers and staff, and being a guest blogger on our website. This is a valuable combination: a member of the boardroom who remembers what it takes to build your career.”
National School of Government 2004
“Many thanks for the session. You were truly a hit. The impact you had was one of awe – for what you had achieved, the amount you had crammed into your life and that you were still human!”
City of London School for Girls 2004
“Thank you so much for coming. The sensitive and analytical way in which you presented gave the girls an extremely clear view of the ways they could improve. Your coverage of technique, public speaking, the cut and thrust of debate etc were all excellent in providing the girls with feedback. To have someone who has achieved so much provides an awe-inspiring role model to have someone who has managed to combine a variety of roles with being a mother of three gives the girls an excellent example of what they too can achieve.”
Suzy's speaking topics
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Women and diversity in the workplace
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