Nathalie Crosbie Consulting
Don’t let times when it feels “hard”discourage you. Remember: it’s not you. We all find it hard sometimes.
WHAT DO YOU DO?
I thrive on seeing possibilities where the path forward seems uncertain, unclear or impossible. On supporting others to find that path. And on empowering them to move forward and succeed (or learn from failure and try again until they DO succeed).
Currently, I do this through funding and supporting startups and founders via SheEO (a global community of generous women supporting women + non-binary people helping fund and support women who are working on the UN SDG goals), and as a venture coach and competition judge, speaker, community builder, mentor, and supporter of under-represented groups in tech and beyond. Previously, I applied my strategic, relationship-building, product and tech strengths to a role as Director of Artificial Intelligence Strategy for the enterprise-wide-servicing AI team of the Bank of Montreal (BMO), North America’s 8th largest bank by assets, that has over 45,000 employees serving more than 12 million customers. There I helped our team define and deliver AI solutions that positively impacted customers and businesses in areas of growth, loyalty, productivity, and performance. I also created and built relationships, identified new AI and partnership opportunities, and delivered customer success.
Prior to that, I’ve held roles that involved Product Management, Customer Success, UX Design, Business Development, Account Management, People Leadership and Entrepreneurship for companies ranging from tech startups like Taima (acquired by Convergys), Shopify, professional services companies like Myplanet, and household names like Rogers. I’ve also run my own businesses, and been a consultant and advisor for AI startups in the legaltech, healthtech and fintech industries, like ROSS intelligence and Wave Financial.
I also provide thought leadership through writing, speaking and running workshops on topics like AI, Strategy, Product, User Experience, Leadership, Diversity and Inclusivity. I do this for individuals, teams, high-school and post-secondary students, and non-technical audiences. I also coach leaders and entrepreneurs, including founders through the SVZ Startup Incubator. Contact me for more information.
As a woman, an ‘out’ LGBTQ+ identified person, and a leader in AI and tech I’m committed to showing up authentically and to community-building, outreach, support, and empowerment initiatives, for under-represented groups. I was recently named one of Canada’s Top 25 Most Influential Women 2020, am a leader on the Vision50 team to define and drive the 10 year strategy (including increased age and gender inclusivity) for TSVL, an over 600 member LGBTQ+ Toronto Sports League, and I am a certified workshop Facilitator/Trainer for #IamRemarkable, a Google initiative empowering women and under-represented groups to celebrate their achievements in the workplace and beyond by improving their self promotion motivation and skills, and by challenging the social perception around self promotion. In the past I was also the Director of Lesbians Who Tech Toronto (2016-2018), the local chapter of LWT Global, the largest LGBTQ community of technologists in the world -committed to visibility, intersectionality, and changing the face of technology -with 40,000 non-binary, LGBTQ women, queer women of colour (and allies) in tech and in over 40+ city chapters worldwide. Contact me if you’d like to learn more about any of these initiatives.
WHY DID YOU CHOOSE THIS FIELD?
I studied Interpersonal and Organizational Communications. I chose the tech sector as the place to apply these by focussing on User Experience Design, Product, Strategy, AI and community- and relationship-building. I chose tech and these areas because they're exciting, because they allow us to do work that provides value and meaning for humans, and because tech's power and innovation gives us the ability to reach an incredible number of people and provide more powerful solutions.
HOW DO/DID YOU TACKLE OBSTACLES?
The biggest challenges were frequent feelings of imposter syndome and, once I reached leadership levels, often feeling 'alone' as a woman in leader in tech.
I tackled the imposter syndome in a few ways: First I learned that it's really common and that it's especially common for successful women. So I let myself consider that if I felt it, it might actually mean I was successful rather than that I was a fraud. And reminded myself of all the amazing women whom I knew also feel it even though I know for a fact they are incredible.
I tackled the aloneness, by building and supporting communities of other under-represented groups in tech. I joined and was a director for Lesbians Who Tech Toronto. I helped co-found an LGBTQ ERG at one of the companies I worked for. I helped co-found a community organization for women leaders in tech to share experiences and support each other. And I learned to show up authentically, imperfectly and vulnerably to give myself permission to be supported by others, and to give others permission to do the same.
WHAT DO YOU LOOK AT & THINK, "I WISH YOUNGER ME WOULD HAVE KNOWN THIS WAS POSSIBLE?"
I wish I had realized how much more valuable it is to show up authentically, imperfectly and vulnerably than perfectly-how much more bonding and joyful that is.
And I wish that I had focussed more on work that is aligned with my natural strengths of community-building and empowerment rather than assuming I had to do those only as 'side passions'.
And that I had realized that who you work with and for is the most important decision you will make and affects everything else-if you surround yourself with amazing, positive, collaborative, smart, driven, enthusiastic people, you can't help but accomplish great things.
I'm very happy to say that present me has realized all of these things now and is joyfully living a life aligned with that.
WHY DO YOU LOVE WORKING IN STEM?
I love the incredible, powerful, smart, talented women and women-identified people I've met through this field. Words just can't describe how they've enriched my life-and continue to.
BEST ADVICE FOR NEXT GENERATION?
Don't let times when it feels 'hard' discourage you-whether it's that the subject you are studying feels hard, or the environment feels hard. Remember: It's not YOU. We all find it hard sometimes
Find your tribe.
Give yourself the support you need to succeed.
Follow your bliss. Listen to your inner prompts & pulls-it may sound cheesy but it's so much better than listening to the 'shoulds'. You have incredible wisdom within you. And the more you listen to your inner whispers, the louder and more confidently they will speak to you over time.