Women Leading The AI Industry: “Don’t focus on how intimidating the sector is, but more how can your expertise and experience benefit the sector”, With Caroline Petersen, of Gallery Design Studio

Tyler Gallagher
Jul 26, 2020 · 6 min read

Like any other sector, there are so many roles within AI. Don’t focus on how intimidating the sector is, but more how can your expertise and experience benefit the sector.

had the pleasure to interview Caroline Petersen, of Gallery Design Studio. After a decade of experience in marketing and communication design, Caroline’s passion is helping B2B businesses impart their offers to customers and employees. Originally from the UK, Caroline spent the early part of her career working in Europe. Once she crossed the pond, she built a design firm, Gallery Design Studio, from the ground up by walking through (and sometimes nudging open) as many doors as she could. Her strong problem-solving skills and eye for design, help clients transmit complex information clearly, concisely, and in a visually engaging way. Relentlessly curious, she’s inspired by experimentation and always looking for better ways to serve her clients. Caroline knows from experience that pursuing your passion is the best ticket to a career you love — although it’s not the fastest and certainly not the easiest.

Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you share with us the ‘backstory” of how you decided to pursue this career path?

happened rather organically. As a B2B communication design studio, we partner with many software companies and inevitably AI companies. After working with a few AI clients, I realized this sector was a very good fit for our team and the type of work that we do, which is explaining complicated information clearly, concisely, and in a visually engaging way.

What lessons can others learn from your story?

Don’t over-think and go with the flow. You’ll be surprised where the road of not having everything figured we will take you.

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

We design communications for a few AI-based companies in the manufacturing and financial services sectors. Something I find fun is really understanding how their technology adds value to their clients and how we can best explain that value visually. Things like explainer videos, interactive questionnaires, and lots of graphics seem to be working very well for our clients. Recently we built an interactive landing page for Oden Technologies with a questionnaire to quickly help their manufacturing clients evaluate their digital readiness.

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?

There are so many who have helped me from family and friends to mentors and advisors. I was approached by someone on Linkedin who mentioned her firm provides mentorship to small business owners like myself. At the time I didn’t think much of it, I figured it was “just another” LinkedIn connection. When she later suggested we hop on a call, I reluctantly agreed. After a great conversation she referred me to her colleague who is a business advisor for a free session, and we hit it off really well. We were in correspondence for probably 7 months, until I decided to give them a try. Since then our business has grown times-three.

If you have an open mind and are willing to try new things, great things can happen.

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

It helps solve real business problems and helps streamline mundane processes.

It’s an ever-evolving field, there is something new every day!

It’s a growing industry, so there are plenty of opportunities to expand.

AI technology is applicable to many different sectors, not just one sector benefits.

With so many diverse applications — including voice command, polling, and database solutions — it allows a creative firm like ours to really enjoy our work since there is always something new to learn.

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

From a communication design studio lens, I’m concerned about AI companies not properly conveying the value they provide

That AI industry insiders don’t always turn the same kind of design lens on their visual communication materials as they do on their AI technology.

Communicating in a language that is too technical — this might scare talent away since they might think they are not “smart enough”

AI that’s made simply for the sake of AI — technology should always be solving a real challenge

Training and education — since it’s such a fast-paced sector, what sort of preparation and on-boarding are companies offering their employees?

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?

My take on AI technology is that it’s there to problem solve or streamline processes and offer better experiences. Especially in our line of work, many things can be automated, but the soft skills and creativity will always be something that only a human can do. Also, AI presents another set of opportunities, a path to gain skills to adapt to a new future.

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?

Educating. The more people understand the less scared they feel. Also with knowledge comes opportunity. The more you show the public what the benefits of AI are, the more you will understand what the market will require in the future.

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

Well, personally I like to empower women to be leaders. As a relatively shy and introverted person, it was a process to build enough confidence to run a business and then ultimately lead a team.

I have weekly one on ones with my employees. I use these to not only catch up on strictly work matters but also coach our female team members on some of the softer skills like communication, confidence and delegation to help them grow out of their comfort zone and prepare them to be leaders.

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?

Like any other sector, there are so many roles within AI. Don’t focus on how intimidating the sector is, but more how can your expertise and experience benefit the sector.

Really take the time to understand how this technology works and why it’s of value. Personally, as a visual learner, I love to watch our clients’ videos (even if they were not created by us!) and their competitors marketing materials.

Somewhat linked to the previous point. Follow fellow industry peers on social media. Fully immerse yourself in the sector. You’d be surprised how much knowledge you unconsciously gain.

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

Don’t feel intimidated by all the jargon. Get excited about the problems AI-based technology can solve.

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

Messy success is far better than perfect mediocrity.

As a small business owner you wear many hats. One thing in particular I was struggling with was project management and client communication. In order to decrease this burden, our developer built a customer portal whereby key information and project updates could be accessed. Initially though, I thought I’d need months to really flesh out the interface and build it, but we ended up building the portal in just a few weeks. We launched it, and as we heard different challenges from our team and our clients, we just kept adding more features and tweaking design as we went along. I couldn’t be happier, despite the process being messy and not fully fleshed out.

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. :-)

Yes, we’re actually trying to conduct some “purpose-based marketing” by issuing an industry publication every quarter containing marketing and communication design insights for our clients and network. We’re looking to provide a peer-based support system for B2B marketers in software and financial services sectors.

How can our readers follow you on social media?

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/gallery-design-studio/

Instagram: @gallerydesignstudio

Authority Magazine

In-depth Interviews with Authorities in Pop Culture, Business, Tech, Wellness, & Social Impact

Authority Magazine

In-depth Interviews with Authorities in Business, Pop Culture, Wellness, Social Impact, and Tech. We use interviews to draw out stories that are both empowering and actionable.

Tyler Gallagher

Written by

CEO and Founder of Regal Assets

Authority Magazine

In-depth Interviews with Authorities in Business, Pop Culture, Wellness, Social Impact, and Tech. We use interviews to draw out stories that are both empowering and actionable.