Back to Mentors

Helen Ashton

Helen has 30 years of experience as a leader in industries from retail to business services and financial services as well as a decade of Board experience in Executive Director and Non-Executive Director roles in FTSE 350 businesses.


Starting her career as an accountant, Helen recognised the power of numbers within businesses to support her wider leadership ambitions. She has extensive experience in developing purpose led cultures, nurturing high performance teams and is proud of her straightforward candour.


Helen has a portfolio of Non-Executive and Adviser roles, is a Business Mentor and is a passionate advocate for diversity and inclusion.

Helen brings simplicity to the complex and supports clients through distilling opportunities and challenges down to the key points that will deliver the most value to them. She brings an analytical and pragmatic approach in todays increasingly challenging world. Helen champions a ‘quick-wins’ mentality, testing to fail fast, learn, build agility and confidence over time.

Graduating with a degree in Chemistry from the University of Manchester, Helen then qualified as an accountant whilst working in the manufacturing and aerospace industries. She spent her executive career driving growth and transformation in FTSE100 firms and global corporations such as Asda/Walmart and Lloyds Banking Group. She was Managing Director of Barclaycard International for four years from 2005 and helped steer the company through the global financial crisis.


Helen then worked with a range of fast growth PLCs and private companies including time as COO of Arrow Global Group plc. In 2015 she was appointed Group CFO at ASOS plc, the global online fashion chain where she developed her passion for digital transformation and the business grew to a £6 billion market cap during her tenure. Helen then went on to become CEO of JLA Group, a private equity owned laundry, catering and heating services company.


In 2021 Helen was appointed to the Board of FTSE100 retailer JD Sports as a Non-Executive Director and spent time as Interim Chair during a period of CEO and Board succession.

Helen is married with 5 children, who range in age from teenagers to young adults. Alongside work, she enjoys exercising and spending time with her family either hiking or cycling in the Lake District where she grew up.