Manifesto

I believe in creating profit purposefully and not at the expense of people or the planet

I embrace gender balance because it is a fact that gender balanced organisations and societies outperform

I believe in a balanced approach to decision making that taps into both the rational brain and the emotional wisdom

I reject the view that one must choose between making money and doing good and choose to do both

Blog

About Halla

Halla Tomasdottir was the runner-up in the Presidential Elections in Iceland in 2016

Halla is an experienced leader, entrepreneur, board director and investor who has worked in the US, UK and across the Nordics. She is sought after as an international keynote speaker, thought leader and change catalyst. She has delivered keynotes and participated in panel discussions for international corporations and conferences including TED, Clinton Global Initiative, Women of the World, Skoll Forum, Women's Forum, Rockefeller University, Cisco, Pfizer, GE, Nasdaq, and IESE Business School.

Halla started her career in corporate America working for Mars and Pepsi Cola. She was a member of the founding team of Reykjavík University where she established the Executive Education Department and was an assistant professor at the Business School. She was the first female CEO of the Iceland Chamber of Commerce and has served on for-profit and non-profit boards in education, healthcare, finance and consumer products.

Halla led a successful women entrepreneurship and empowerment initiative (Auður í krafti kvenna), and later founded Auður Capital, an investment firm that focused on incorporating feminine values into finance. Auður Capital survived the infamous financial meltdown in 2008 in tact. Halla was a founding member of the National Assembly held in Iceland in the wake of its collapse, where a random sample of the Icelandic nation discussed its values and vision for the future. She also founded and chaired WE 2015, a global dialogue on closing the gender gap.

In 2016 Halla was a Presidential candidate in Iceland. The elections were held on June 25th 2016 and Halla was the runner-up with nearly a third of the vote. An impressive finish as only 45 days before, the polls had her at 1%. Following the elections, the New Yorker had this to say about her: "Halla was not just sincere-looking for a politician. She was the most sincere-looking human being I have ever seen, a living emoji of sincerity: her head gently tilted to one side, her face a perfect equation of warm smile and worried, caring expression."

Halla was born in Iceland on October 11, 1968. She lives with her husband and two children in Kopavogur, the municipality where she was raised but she travels the world for her work. She has an international MBA degree and speaks five languages. She was chosen business woman of the year in Iceland in 2007 and in 2008 she received the equality award from her hometown. In 2009 she received the Cartier Award for European Women Entrepreneurship and in 2010 Newsweek named her to a list of 150 women who "shake the world".

Videos

Interviews and articles

Frjáls verslun
01. maí 2011

Könnun Frjálsar verslunar á kvennastjórn:
Halla fékk flest atkvæði

Independent.ie
24. október 2015

It's time we had empowered women giving out the orders

Viðskiptablaðið
22. júní 2015

Jafnréttisráðstefnan Inspirally WE2015 fór fram í Hörpu

Frjáls verslun
01. maí 2011

Halla Tómasdóttir stjórnarformaður Auðar Capital
Hugsjónamanneskja og frumkvöðull

The Irish Times
02. mars 2015

Icelandic ‘Sister’ who believes in the power of women in finance

Blaðið
14. september 2006

Fjölbreytni skiptir öllu

BBC News
18. maí 2009

The women who want to save banking

Frjáls verslun
01. maí 2005

Auður lifir enn í hugum og hjörtum kvennanna sem tóku þátt í starfinu

CNBC
14. október 2011

Can Feminine Values Fix Finance?

The Huffington Post
01. júlí 2015

Iceland Is Doing Something Right and Smart!

Mbl
27. janúar 2000

Auður í krafti kvenna

Express UK
30. júlí 2011

If women ran banks would we be in such a mess?

Spiegel
22. apríl 2009

Cleaning Up the Men's Mess: Iceland's Women Reach for Power

This is Money
28. mars 2009

Would we be in this mess if our money was managed by women?

The National
05. október 2013

Smart money is in diversity

Bloomberg
16. janúar 2009

Too Much Testosterone on Wall Street?

Inc.
09. nóvember 2015

Forget Venture Capital. What Silicon Valley Needs Is Emotional Intelligence

Frjáls verslun
01. september 2000

Þekking í þrívídd

El País
19. október 2008

El primero en caer

Kopavogur.is
10. september 2008

Halla Tómasdóttir hlýtur jafnréttisviðurkenninguna 2008

Vísir
28. apríl 2008

Auður Capital hefur fengið starfsleyfi

19. júní
19. júní 2008

Kristín Pétursdóttir og Halla Tómasdóttir hjá Auði Capital eru eldhugar

Viðskiptablaðið
20. júní 2015

Ísland sjöunda besta landið fyrir kvenfrumkvöðla

Vísir
11. maí 2016

Ég trúi á framtíðina

Inc
09. nóvember 2015

Forget Venture Capital. What Silicon Valley Needs is Emotional Capital

Quartz
04. nóvember 2016

The indelible reward of women running for president, even when they lose

Expressen
16. júní 2016

Hon utklassade männen under finanskrisen – nu vill hon göra det igen som Islands president

The New Yorker
11. júlí 2016

Iceland’s Historic Candidate

Report from Santa Fe
10. september 2016

Interview with Halla Tomasdottir

Testimonials

Leslee Udwin, Director/Producer, India's Daughter

Halla is one of the wisest, most thoughtful and clever women I know who has a heart the size of a planet, and the integrity of the truest, most honest human beings imaginable. Her support during the making of India's Daughter meant the world to me.

Amy Cosper, Chief Editor, Entrepreneur Magazine

Halla represents not only great character, radical thought and vision, but the future. Her ideas will lay the foundation for entrepreneurial opportunities to come. There is nothing more important in our lifetime than that very concept.

Karin Forseke, former CEO, Carnegie Investment Bank

Halla Tomasdottir has the values, integrity and leadership that will enrich her surroundings with pride and prosperity and gain credibility. I have known Halla for more than 10 years during that time she has demonstrated her values and integrity by choosing what is right for all in society over personal gain. Halla will do things differently with a strong intellect, experience and heart, she is authentic through and through!

Nancy Calderon, Global Lead Partner, KPMG

The WE 2015 conference that Halla led still ranks as a highlight of my life!  Seeing and understanding the importance of diversity in Iceland and how that has changed the entire country still resonates with me. I love that you, Halla, took the view that it is we – men and women – that need to lead the charge to change our companies, countries and the world! Know that I truly admire you – and your authenticity that will drive the best in global leadership even further.

Rasmus Wiinstedt Tscherning, Managing Director, Creative Business Cup

Halla Tomasdottir was a member of the International Creative Business Cup Jury in 2014 and has since continued to be a valuable member of our Creative Business Cup community. Halla has been a great source of inspiration. She is a great supporter of entrepreneurs, creative startups and new initiatives that stimulate creativity and innovation in society.

Liza Donnelly, Cartoonist, New Yorker & CBS

Halla is endlessly enthusiastic and compassionate; she has a deep intelligence that is also informed by her curiosity. Understanding the complexity of the world as it becomes more global is Halla's strength: we need world leaders like her now, grounded leaders with compassion, foresight, creativity and a global vision. I feel incredibly fortunate to have her as a friend.

Pat Mitchell, Media Executive, former CEO, PBS

I have witnessed Halla's leadership in her country and in the world - a leadership style that is collaborative, strategic, and effective.

Ivy Ross, VP Google

I have seen Halla operate both in the US and Iceland and can tell you that she has a cohesive interconnected vision for the world. She embodies the best of both masculine and feminine principles.

Julie Koch-Beinke, CEO, Alternatives, NYC

Halla has always been an inspiration to me as she vibrantly speaks out about the value, incredible economic potential and ability of society to bring about change through greater diversity, social responsibility and the application of feminine values. In the many situations I’ve had the pleasure to be with Halla, whether visiting lifesaving programs with Save the Children in Guatemala, hearing about the former work in her value-based investment company, or at home with her family, her dedication, compassion for others and passion for doing the right thing always shines through.

Meryl Marshall-Daniels, Former CEO & Chair, Telvision Academy

Halla Tomasdottir is that rare leader who has clear ideas, strong well informed opinions and invites meaningful dialogue. She is thoughtful and collaborative as well as decisive, a unique combination critical to address the issues presented by the complex economic, environmental and technological challenges of our times. She is a smart, authentic and empathetic communicator.

Jacki Zehner, CEO, Women Moving Millions

The world has few authentic, knowledgeable, respected, and trustworthy leaders in financial services, and Halla Tomasdottir is one of them. She is deeply respected around the world as not only an amazing woman leader, but an incredible leader period.

Carla Goldstein, Attorney & Advocate for the Advancement of Women

I met Halla when she came to speak in the United States about applying feminine values to help solve the economic crisis of Iceland. Her outstanding record of leadership is critical not only to the country of Iceland, but to women around the world -- and for anyone who believes our world is in sore hunger for the kind of values based leadership she brings.