Colette Bowe, c2006.
Listen: Colette Bowe speaks about:
- Coming to QMC: 'my kind of place',
- Discovering Economics at QMC
- Doing a PhD at a time of 'great political unrest',
- My PhD viva: 'a very long road',
- Working for Michael Heseltine,
- The first alumna to be Chairman of QMUL College Council,
- Women working in The City and for Government,
- Equality, and the challenges of parenthood and career,
- Women at QM, honouring Westfield and women's education, and
- Women have come to feel 'completely entitled' to an education.
Colette Bowe is the first woman and the first College alumna to hold the position of Chair of the Queen Mary College Council.
Bowe was born in Liverpool in 1946 and went to a grammar school. She came up to Queen Mary College to read French in 1965. During her first year, she discovered an interest in economics and switched her course of study. She graduated with her degree in economics in 1969. She returned to QMC in 1973 to pursue a PhD under the supervision of Professor Bernard Corry.
In 1975, Bowe began work as a government economist and worked for the Government in a variety of different roles until 1987. She then went into regulation, and after spending some time at the Securities and Investments Board, she became chief executive of the Personal Investment Authority (one of the forerunners of today’s FSA). From 1998 until 2001, Bowe was executive chairman of Robert Fleming’s European Asset Management business.
Since 2001, she has pursued a career as a non executive, and has sat on number of commercial boards. She is currently on the boards of Axa Framlington, Morgan Stanley Bank International, Goldfish Bank and Electra private Equity plc.
In the public sector, she chairs the Consumer Panel of Ofcom and is a member of the Statistics Commission. Pro bono, she is a member of the board of management of the National Institute for Economic and Social research, of Camden Peoples’ Theatre and a trustee of the Wincott foundation, which promotes excellence in business journalism.
Colette Bowe came up with the idea for the Women at Queen Mary Project, which blossomed into a large project engaging alumnae from all four colleges and involving events including the Exhibition and the Roundtable.