Meet Dr Catriona Wallace
Name: Dr Catriona Wallace
Work: CEO & Founder, Flamingo AI (ASX:CR8), AI & Bot Strategist, Customer Experience Futurist & Entrepreneur
University: University of New South Wales
Lives: Sydney, Australia & New York, USA
Award: 2017 Advance Global Australian Technology Innovation Award, supported by OFX
Describe what you do and why it’s important in one sentence.
I run a high tech AI company that will free up humans to do higher order things.
Describe how your career has evolved.
There is no predictable path. You may be the opposite of what you think you are going to be. You are not going to be a farmer in North West NSW, you will be a high tech entrepreneur with an office in NYC.
What do you think women are collectively excelling at in 2017?
Supporting each other. Gaining momentum by backing each other and not competing anymore.
What is the biggest challenge you face being a female CEO and how do you overcome it?
I believe I have to work 150% harder than a male counterpart. That’s ok because it makes me stronger, fitter, and more resilient, which is an excellent skill set when running a Listed Company.
What was the most difficult point in your career? How did you overcome it?
Most difficult times have been when we have been running out of money/capital in a high profile startup. It’s gut-churning and soul-draining. I have overcome it to date by having multiple contingencies in place and making sure I am highly respectful and attentive to key relationships. I also have a very supportive female Chair, Cathie Reid, who has been instrumental to my business success.
Why do you think it’s so important for Australians abroad to remain connected to each other and Australia as a country?
Australians are excellent workers. Particularly expats as we have things to prove and results to achieve. So it’s important that we do this together and support each other. It’s not easy and Aussies are great with Aussies. It’s an Aussie thing.
What does winning the 2017 Advance Global Australian Technology Innovation Award mean to you?
This award is a huge, huge privilege. This is a great platform for me to be able to tell the story of women-led businesses.
What’s one book everyone should read?
The Most Human Human: What AI Teaches Us about Being Alive, by Brian Christian.
What’s the first thing you do after returning to Australia after a period of time away?
Hug my children for 48 hours constantly, until they are super creeped out.
Meet Dr Catriona Wallace, the 2017 Advance Global Australian Technology Innovation Award Winner and check out her acceptance speech from the Awards ceremony below.