The Short Cut:

A quick fire chat about working life with Marissa Ellis

Marissa Ellis, Founder & CEO at Diversily

At the heart of the Nurture Network is the power of sharing experiences. From breakthrough career moments, to best ever advice, how to deal with stress and the women that inspire them.

The Short Cut designed to bring you a snapshot of our members’ working lives. Today we’re speaking to Marissa Ellis, Founder & CEO at

Tell us about your breakthrough career moment

Taking the leap to found Diversily to do my bit to inspire more inclusive innovation and business leaders to take a more human centred purpose led approach.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever had?

Focus on optimising your energy not your time.

Have you ever felt held back as a women?

Countless photos of executive teams filled only with white, middle aged men definitely made me feel that I would have to work extra hard to prove myself.

My personal response has always been to rise to the challenge and exceed exceptions. Now through my work at Diversily I am doing my bit to change the mindsets, systems and practices to drive diversity and empower more women in the future.

How do you protect your mental health in moments of pressure?

I am constantly developing my mindset through a practice I teach called ‘belief shifting’. This enables me to have a much deeper self awareness to shift limiting beliefs into empowering beliefs which equip me to better handle moments of pressure. I also turn up my inner cheerleader and turn down my inner critic.

Both are useful internal voices but you have to learn how to use them. I break things down to achieve small wins, always look for the silver lining, give myself a break and don’t take things too seriously.

Do you have any hobbies to keep you busy in your spare time?

Not sure I can count my children as hobbies! I love tennis. It has taught me so much about life and business. I am always up for an outdoor adventure and am an unofficial board games advisor due to my obsession with games.

I feel empowered when…

… I am helping others.

The world would be a better place when…

… we can accept each other for who we are. 

The woman everyone should know about is…

The woman who empowers me the most is…

… my mum (sadly she passed away when I was younger but she will always be an inspiration to me) 

Where is your favourite place in the world? 

Cape Town. I emigrated to the UK when I was a child but my country of birth will always have a special place in my heart.

One of Marissa's favourite places Cape Town