Helen Young Hayes is the founder and CEO of ActivateWork, whose mission is to help diverse individuals achieve their fullest potential through the dignity of work. By providing access to and training for successful careers, ActivateWork moves individuals to economic flourishing, creating triple wins for employers, placements, and the community. ActivateWork’s employer partners benefit from highly skilled employees who become next-level performers. ActivateWork’s clients experience more than a doubling in average annual income upon placement.
In 2020 Helen launched ActivateWork’s tuition-free IT program powered by Per Scholas. Through rigorous training, professional development, and robust employer connections, ActivateWork prepares individuals traditionally underrepresented in technology for high-growth careers in the industry. ActivateWork was founded as a collaboration with Per Scholas, a national organization that has trained and placed over 16,000 individuals from underserved communities into 1000+ employers in 20 cities.
Also in 2020, Helen founded and launched the Colorado Inclusive Economy Movement, a CEO-led movement of design, action, and accountability to build the nation’s most racially diverse and inclusive economy. Comprising 150 leaders from business, nonprofits, education and government, CIE commits to creating change: change in self, change for others, and change in recruiting, hiring, retention, and promotion practices to build multicultural organizations from the top-down, bottom-up and inside-out.
Helen is a 20-year veteran of the financial industry. She was Managing Director of Investments and Portfolio Manager of the flagship Janus Worldwide and Janus Overseas Funds at Janus Henderson Investors, an asset management company headquartered in Denver, Colorado.
In 2018, Helen was selected as a Denver Business Journal’s Outstanding Women in Business and a 2019 Girl Scouts of Colorado Woman of Distinction. Helen was also a 2020 Colorado Technology Association Talent Champion of the Year, a 2020 GlobalMindED Inclusive Leader and a 2021 Colorado Women’s Chamber of Commerce Top 25 Most Powerful Women in Business.
Helen is a member of the American Enterprise Institute’s Leadership Network and is also a member of the Colorado Forum and Colorado Concern. She is a director of MalarVx, an advisor to Q Advisors and an Advisor and former Board Chair to Mile High Ministries. Helen is a graduate of Yale University.