Caroline Hermon speaks to us about her role in the technology sector and shares her thoughts on London's Women of Silicon Roundabout, taking place 25-26th June.
Caroline Hermon has spent over 20 years helping organisations to drive value from data and transform processes across all business functions. In her current role at SAS, she helps companies on their journey to having competitive edge through data and advanced analytics and artificial intelligence.
Caroline is interested in the impact AI will have on society and is passionate about AI being used in an ethical way to work alongside humans. She is interested in inspiring the next generation to solve the hardest challenges facing the world today using technology, innovation and entrepreneurship. Caroline is also on the Action for Children Board for the Byte Night Project which helps to prevent youth homelessness in the UK.
Caroline will be sharing her wisdom in a session entitled 'How AI Will Affect Business in the Next Decade?' at 13:30 on 25th June, where Caroline and fellow female innovator Tiffany Carpenter will be sharing their knowledge on this emerging technology. We caught up with Caroline ahead of the conference, here's what she had to say.
How did you get into the field of AI and machine learning?
I joined SAS nearly 5 years ago and it has been part of SAS’s solutions for years – prior to that my background was data, so all very interrelated.
What’s a typical day like for you?
My days are incredibly varied which is partly why I love it – never a dull moment! Typical day– gym at 6:30 am, travel to office – Marlow/London or home office, and get started by 8:30 am. If I am going to a customer’s site this can be anywhere in the UK so, travel, and then meet for an average of 2 hours.
Afterwards, I typically travel to another meeting or to an office (I like to work at home as it's more productive). My day involves communicating with existing customers and prospects and, of course, colleagues.
I aim to work smart so rarely work after hours but prefer to jam in 90-min focused sessions in the day and plan my time carefully. I minimise internal meeting time to maximise customer facing time and “real work”!
Why have you decided to get involved with Women of Silicon Roundabout?
I received an email in 2018 to attend as a visitor, so I registered and encouraged other women at SAS to do the same. I was excited to be asked to speak at the 2019 event and am very much looking forward to engaging with more women in this field.
What are you speaking about at Women of Silicon Roundabout?
How AI Will Affect Business in the Next Decade?
What will people learn from listening to your talk?
People will start to consider the real impact it will have on their own employment opportunities, type of work they do today, and how it will/may change in the coming years. It will give people the opportunity to sit back and review what their world will look like. Where do they want to go in this journey?
What are you most looking forward to at Women of Silicon Roundabout?
Networking with other, similar-minded, people and of course learning – every day is a school day as my old boss says!
Who is your female tech inspiration? What have they done and why do they inspire you?
Tricky one and possibly not the normal answers here! I actually would say Sharon Davies and Rebecca Adlington — both Olympic swimmers — they lead by example and have achieved so much by being determined, talented and are both very down to earth.
Are you working on anything exciting at the moment that you’d like to share with our readers?
Where to start? SAS has just announced a billion investment in AI, so we have many exciting projects on the go. I feel very inspired to be working in a field where analytics is not only helping banks with open banking but it is making a real difference in detecting cancer earlier, helping protect rare species of rhinos, and give visually-impaired people the opportunity to work with our software — we have a program called 'Data for Good' which is fascinating and very inspiring.
What advice would you give to women who want to pursue a career in tech?
Go for it — have no boundaries — don’t stand for lower pay or any sexism in any shape at all. There are plenty of people you can turn to. We are lucky to be female, the sisterhood feeling can really kick in within the workplace and often we have far stronger bonds than any male could imagine, a proper deep understanding and a want to help each other — not just 'beer chat'! So, be grateful you are a woman in tech and go for it. Good luck!
Drive your digital economy at Women of Silicon Roundabout
Join Caroline at London's top women in tech conference. Be inspired by the ecosystem's most influential women in technology, network with like-minded female founders, liaise with top Silicon Roundabout tech companies and enhance your skills portfolio in a passion-charged atmosphere.