Partner & Chief Data Officer - Carruthers and Jackson
- How did you get into data and technology, and why?
My interest in technology came before my interest in data. I vividly remember getting a Commodore 64 in my early teens and I was so excited by it. I taught myself how to programme – I’d sit there in a dark room and create my own games and was just hooked on technology from then on. Both of my parents were so supportive and never let me or my sisters think we couldn’t become anything less than we wanted to be.
- How has a setback or obstacle shaped you?
Earlier on in my career, I was trying to pretend to be someone else, and I think a lot of young girls do that. You look at what other people are doing and you think that’s the way you also have to behave. A lot of the setbacks I had were because I didn’t quite fit that mould and my career really took off when I stopped pretending to be something other than who I am.
- How important is it to have other passions in your life?
We talk about having work/life balance but that isn’t complicated for me. We’re all very multi-faceted human beings so I think it’s much more about having the right balance in your life without deciding that there’s only one way or the other. I do spend a lot of time with my family and friends and that charges the batteries back up for me, but I also work in a job that I absolutely love so a lot of the time my interest and energy generates itself. I can happily be cooking dinner, on a conference call, and have my son sat there doing his homework – and feel fulfilled.
- What advice would you give your teenage self?
Be comfortable in your own skin. I started my career as a six-foot woman with ginger hair so it was impossible to blend into the background. Now I don’t care. I wear heels because I have a fascination with shoes and I have no problem sticking out – this is me, take it or leave it! I wouldn’t have worn heels when I was 20 but it’s all about learning how to work it. If I walk into a room full of men my height puts me on an even keel. When I was younger, being so tall felt like a disadvantage because I stood out, but now that’s a good thing.