Security Buyer has the pleasure of sitting down with AI veteran and inspirational woman, Pauline Norstrom to discover the future landscape of security
Please introduce yourself and tell us what you do?
I’m the CEO of Anekanta Consulting an AI innovation and strategic advisory company for the ethical application of AI technology in defence, security, manufacturing and smart cities.
I am also an advisor to boards and organisations focused on the ethical development of AI including the Digital Catapult Machine Intelligence Garage and Archangel Imaging. I am a Former Chair, honorary member and voluntary strategic advisor to the British Security Industry Association (BSIA) on ethical high-risk AI (automated facial recognition) policy. As well as a fellow and board member of several other organisations including IoD, ERP/Digital and SIA USA.
I also engage in a wide range of other activities including contributing to the standards and regulation needed to ensure AI is developed and used safely.
How did you start out in the industry?
With over 10 years prior technology and business experience, I joined a video surveillance system manufacturer which was developing new digital recording products. I developed my career through commitment and 70-hour weeks, in strategic and international roles including on the board, and COO of a group company with multiple entities innovating in video and analytics.
In addition, I shaped the acceptance of digital evidence in court which developed industry relationships leading to becoming Chair of the BSIA in 2014.
What were some of the challenges that came with being a woman in a male-dominated industry?
At times, it has been difficult to ignore evidence that my gender is an issue for some. Issues such as blocking, or sabotage are rare, and more common are barely detectable behaviours and minimising language.
Sadly some women work against other women. Social conditioning and segregation of roles may play their part in fuelling this behaviour. These factors, if not addressed, can conspire to diminish the value of women’s contributions, which reduces access to opportunities.
To counter the behaviour, I have understood the motivation and called it out directly.
Those who cause inertia specifically for women are in the minority, and overall, the industry is full of professionals who are a pleasure to work with, and many of whom have been extremely supportive over the years.
All my business mentors have been male, and I have learned a great deal from them at every stage of my career. I believe role models are very important. Someone can imagine themselves in a particular job because they see someone like them doing it.
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Rebecca Morpeth Spayne,
Editor, Security Portfolio
Tel: +44 (0) 1622 823 922