Wisdom From The Women Leading The AI Industry, With Becky Holloway of Malbek

Authority Magazine
Authority Magazine
Published in
7 min readSep 9, 2022


We need to introduce girls and young women to STEM-related fields as early as possible. We need to stop speaking about technology and technology-related professions as though they are for nerdy guys only.

As part of our series about the women leading the Artificial Intelligence industry, I had the pleasure of interviewing Becky Holloway. She is the VP of Marketing at Malbek, a contract management software provider, and the creative voice behind the whimsical brand. She has spent her marketing career working with tech start-ups to help them develop into robust, demand-generating machines that drive revenue growth.

Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Can you share with us the ‘backstory” of how you decided to pursue this career path in AI?

I got into the technology space by answering a job ad years ago that gave me my start in tech. That is when I got really interested in what technology can do to improve the lives of those in business. AI is on the cutting edge of that, and it has been an important part of the evolution of my tech career.

What lessons can others learn from your story?

You don’t have to have a degree in computer science or a STEM-related field to have a successful career in the technology space. My educational background is in English Literature and German. However, I’ve been able to use the skills I developed over my career and through my education to focus on communicating effectively for a technology company.

Can you tell our readers about the most interesting projects you are working on now?

We have a clear roadmap to expand our AI capabilities within the Malbek platform. I am very excited to bring those new features to market to see how they can have a very tangible impact on business users’ experiences with contracts. Many people don’t realize the wealth of strategic information contained within their contracts, and AI is the perfect tool to surface data patterns to professionals who can use that information for a competitive advantage.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

The person who gave me my start in tech. He was a serial entrepreneur who prided himself on finding diamonds in the rough. He saw my talent and knew I could learn the software space. He spent time investing in me so I could learn the software and startup world.

The second person was a product marketing leader who worked with our COO and co-founder. She shared her career experience and vast amounts of technical information with me. Now that I head up marketing at Malbek, I use those skills to explain AI in an understandable and relatable way to our prospects. This is especially important in our space because AI as a buzzword is very misunderstood by the average business person. Part of my job is to help people understand the difference that AI can make in their everyday life. It is not here to replace them, but to improve the work that they are already doing.

What are the 5 things that most excite you about the AI industry? Why?

  • AI is relatively new. There is so much potential ahead of us as this space develops.
  • AI replaces mundane, low-value tasks that can burden workers. It frees up their time to do more meaningful and engaging work.
  • AI has the ability to find patterns quickly to allow us to make better informed decisions.
  • AI is surprising. It can surface things that we otherwise would have never known. The data doesn’t lie.
  • AI is misunderstood. Don’t get me wrong, the fact it’s misunderstood is very frustrating. But, it also provides a storyteller like me a great opportunity to tell the real story behind the buzz.

What are the 5 things that concern you about the AI industry? Why?

  • The first thing that concerns me is also one thing that excites me. AI is often misunderstood, and people will make decisions about AI based on their own misunderstanding.
  • People give it more credit than it deserves. We have a long way to go to develop AI capabilities. People will treat AI as though it is more mature than it really is.
  • Any time you are dealing with new technology, there are regulatory issues that have not yet been addressed. The unknown unknowns that are unregulated can be cause for concern. We have seen this play out in a very public way with the regulation of the internet, for example. People have made up their own rules, and it can have negative implications for many people.
  • People can make bad decisions and blame the data. I always worry about people using technology in a way that can cause harm to other people.
  • The patterns and information that AI returns to us is only as good as the data we’re working with. So, we have to be vigilant that the data is clean and dependable.

As you know, there is an ongoing debate between prominent scientists, (personified as a debate between Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg,) about whether advanced AI has the future potential to pose a danger to humanity. What is your position about this?

AI, like any other tool, has the potential to be used in a way that could cause harm. This is a possibility. However, I believe we can use controls and guardrails to ensure AI is used to help humanity.

What can be done to prevent such concerns from materializing? And what can be done to assure the public that there is nothing to be concerned about?

The things that will protect humanity from bad actors in the AI space are the same things that protect us from other potentially harmful tools. There needs to be understanding of the technological implications of AI so we can put regulations in place, similar to other areas, to protect people.

A simple example is the car. When it was invented, there were no speed limits. There were no seatbelts. Over time, these protections were developed. We’ll have to do the same thing from AI to protect ourselves and others.

How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world? Can you share a story?

Being a woman in tech can feel lonely at times and it has made me very aware of the need for concerted efforts to increase diversity in the tech space. I see myself as a very vocal advocate as an executive at Malbek for women and other marginalized groups.

I’ve been involved in launching our DEI committee at the company and in finding ways that we can increase diversity within our midst at every level of our organization, including at the executive and board level. I took that passion to my local community and government and have become actively involved in reform and social justice initiatives.

As you know, there are not that many women in your industry. Can you share 3 things that you would advise to other women in the AI space to thrive?

  • Don’t let the struggle discourage you. Use it as fuel to energize yourself to make changes for the better for all women.
  • Don’t view women’s issues in AI or tech as just women’s issues. These are people’s issues. We live in a community with others. When men lean into these issues with women, that’s when change happens.
  • Be self-critical of the ways you may be perpetuating sexist stereotypes without realizing it. Be self-reflective and self-aware so you can make an impact in whatever sphere you are in.

Can you advise what is needed to engage more women into the AI industry?

Be expansive when you think about careers in tech.

We need to introduce girls and young women to STEM-related fields as early as possible. We need to stop speaking about technology and technology-related professions as though they are for nerdy guys only.

Organizations that promote early education in AI and tech-related fields should be supported by companies, with company involvement. For example, it’s important for companies to partner with organizations helping educate girls and young women to talk about the various positions that align with their skill sets.

When it comes to working in tech and AI, there are endless possibilities for everyone. There is web development,, there is engineering, but you don’t have to be a coder to be a tech professional. There are advertising, marketing, finance and many other roles, and we need women in all of them.

What is your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share a story of how that had relevance to your own life?

“I am enough.” In a world where women are told in subtle and not-so-subtle ways that they don’t measure up, it’s important that women recognize and acknowledge their hard work and accomplishments. As we see the expertise we bring to the table, we grow and develop even more. It reminds me that I have everything within myself to do this job.

You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. :-)

Normalize mental health treatment and care as a standard part of life. I have family members who have been impacted by mental health issues and have seen the way a lack of availability of care has perpetuated trauma. I acknowledge it’s getting better, but there’s more work to be done. I want it to be seen as just as normal to get treatment with a mental health professional as going for an annual checkup with a primary care doctor.

How can our readers follow you on social media?

LinkedIn Profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/hollowayrebecca/

Podcast: The Heart of the Matter in Black & White: https://podcasts.apple.com/nl/podcast/the-heart-of-the-matter-in-black-and-white/id1527981916


This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for joining us!



Authority Magazine
Authority Magazine

In-depth interviews with authorities in Business, Pop Culture, Wellness, Social Impact, and Tech