Former Askrigg Primary School pupil named one of the top 100 Women to Watch

Jo one of Top 100 Women

By Betsy Everett

A former Askrigg Primary School pupil has been named one of the leading business women of 2017 in the highly prestigious 100 Women to Watch list published by the Cranfield School of Management.

Jo Hallas, business group director of Spectris plc, manufacturers of precision instrumentation and controls, is the daughter of local historian, Dr Christine Hallas, who still lives in Askrigg, and the late George Hallas.

Jo, who is 47, was born in Northallerton and moved with the family to Askrigg in 1974 when George was made assistant officer, and later head, of the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority.
The story continues after the adverts. . .

She joined Spectris plc in 2014 and is responsible for the in-line instrumentation and industrial controls segments. She has extensive management expertise having previously been general manager, residential controls, at Invensys plc, and at the Bosch Group where she held management positions in both the UK and Germany.

In 2012, Jo was appointed non-executive director at Norcros plc where she serves as chairman of the remuneration committee.

The 100 Women to Watch list was introduced by Cranfield in 2009 in a drive to improve female representation at the top of the UK’s biggest companies.

At the coeducational Harrogate Grammar School, now an academy, where she went after leaving Askrigg Primary School, Jo was one of the few girls taking further maths and science at A level. She went on to study electrical engineering at St John’s College, Cambridge, followed by the diploma in computer science. She studied for her MBA at INSEAD in France supported by a Sainsbury Management  Fellowship.

In the foreword to the report which lists Jo among the “women to watch,” Justine Greening, secretary of state for education and minister responsible for equality, says the benefits of helping women to “unlock their talents” are huge.

“Eliminating work-related gender gaps could add £150 billion to our annual GDP by 2025. That is an opportunity  neither the government nor business can afford to ignore,” she says.

Full details at