Karina Robinson – Entrepreneur and leading campaigner for increasing the proportion of women on boards

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What motivates you?

Learning something new every day. connecting people and seeing what comes out of those connections.

What has been the biggest learning curve in your career?

Setting up Robinson Hambro. I wasn’t a natural entrepreneur. Everyone should have to set up a business – and virtually everyone would find themselves capable of it.

What matters more: ambition or talent?

Without persistence, those two attributes won’t get you anywhere.

What advice would you give to your 30 year old self?

Get your foot in the door. It is crucial.

Who do you admire?

Those who accomplish great things like Nelson Mandela and those who make the world around them – however small their circle of influence –  a better place.

In what place are you happiest?

As long as there is contrast in my life, everywhere from the ski slope to my desk.

What’s your biggest extravagance?

Travel to places like Bhutan and Malawi.

How would you change government policy to help women in the workplace?

Childcare must be tax deductible.

Do you believe in quotas?

My 20-year-old self abhorred the very idea. My 30-year-old self didn’t believe in them. My 40-year-old self started having doubts. And my 50-year-old self is adamant that without them, progress is too slow.

What is the greatest achievement of your life so far?

Raising a magnificent son, as well as continuing to believe in the innate goodness of humankind.

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