Rebecca Stephens MBE

Rebecca Stephens MBE began her career in journalism but is best known for her accomplishments in a completely different field, that of mountaineering. On 17th May 1993, she became the first British woman to climb Everest and the following year went on to climb the highest mountain on each of the seven continents, the so-called Seven Summits – again the first British woman to accomplish this feat.

A combination of her mountaineering accomplishments and communication skills – in the spoken as well as written word – has led to her delivery of inspirational keynote addresses and master classes to business audiences around the world.

Drawing on her experiences in the extreme and at times hostile environment of the mountains, she shares insights into leadership, motivation, teamwork and communication skills that are as pertinent to the business executive as they are the climber. She has been a regular guest lecturer on leadership at Ashridge Management Centre and has shared a stage alongside President Bill Clinton.

In 2007, she established a company Seven Summits Performance Ltd with the sole purpose of delivering effective professional and leadership development. Recent clients include BP, GlaxoSmithKline, Lloyds TSB, Deutsche Bank, and Oxfam. Her clients include companies from an array of sectors: Aerospace, Automobiles, Banks, Business Consultancy, Charity, Construction & Materials, Education, Financial, Health, Housing associations, Media, Mining, Oil & Gas, Pharmaceuticals & Biotech, Public Sector, Recruitment, Retail, Sport, Support Services, Technology, Telecommunications, Theatre, Trade Associations, and Travel & Leisure.

Rebecca takes her master classes to the mountains where people are invited to learn experientially while climbing Kilimanjaro, either with an existing team or with leaders from different sectors to allow for an exchange of thinking and ideas. This leadership in the field has been shown to transform people’s professional lives. She also leads treks to the Himalayas.

Rebecca has written several books: The Seven Summits of Success, a leadership book coauthored with business writer Robert Heller; On Top of the World, an account of her climbing Everest; Everest Eyewitness Guide; and Due South, a pole to pole helicopter odyssey. She continues to writes articles for the nationals, including her old employer The Financial Times as well as The Independent, Telegraph and Mail on Sunday. In 2003 she was a judge for the Man Booker prize for contemporary literature.

She is a trustee for The Himalayan Trust and for the Kathmandu Art Centre, a fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and member of the Alpine Club. Rebecca graduated with honours from London University in 1983.