Kathryn Hume is Vice President Product & Strategy for integrate.ai, a SaaS startup applying AI to drive growth and customer satisfaction for large enterprises, and a Venture Partner at ffVC, a seed- and early-stage technology venture capital firm, where she advises early-stage artificial intelligence companies and sources deal flow. As the former Director of Sales and Marketing at Fast Forward Labs (Cloudera), Kathryn helped Fortune 500 companies accelerate their machine learning and data science capabilities. Prior to that, she was a Principal Consultant in Intapp's Risk Practice, focused on data privacy, security, and compliance. A widely respected speaker and writer on AI, Kathryn excels at communicating how AI and machine learning technologies work in plain language. She has given lectures and taught courses on the intersections of technology, ethics, law, and society at Harvard Business School, Stanford, the MIT Media Lab, and the University of Calgary Faculty of Law. She speaks seven languages, and holds a PhD in comparative literature from Stanford University and a BA in mathematics from the University of Chicago.
WITH GROUPS CREATING PROGRAMS TO ENCOURAGE FEMALES TO CONSIDER STEM, WHAT IS THE BIGGEST BARRIER TO ENTRY THAT IS STILL PREVALENT TODAY?
There's still work to be done to shift diversity from a compliance checklist item to a desired state to promote the best business outcomes possible. While there are more and more women in technology positions, there aren't yet enough in senior leadership and board positions. Young women need role models at the very top to have something to strive towards. This trickles down to their sense of opportunity when they are young, and it's those earlier foundational moments that count most.
WHAT OR WHO INSPIRES YOU?
I'm inspired by so many things but my responsibilities to my younger female colleagues inspires me most. I am so humbled to be in a position where they look to me as a role model, and knowing I can set an example for them inspires me every morning to be my best self. I am also inspired by beauty and by deep connections with individuals, whether that's individuals I sell to or people I meet at conferences. I love making complex technical ideas accessible to everyone so people can learn, grow and embrace innovation and our future with AI. Finally, I am inspired by the stories of intellectual figures I admire: David Hume, Adam Smith, Leibniz and Newton; all of these heavyweights in the Enlightenment never cease to amaze me.
WHAT IS YOUR PROUDEST MOMENT/ACCOMPLISHMENT?
I can't reduce it to one moment. My proudest accomplishment is my gradual journey towards radical candor and self-acceptance, recognizing what I am good at and what I am not, and filling my life with people who can help compensate for my weaknesses. I've been most proud of losing the fear of sharing all the times I've failed or struggled with others, and opening up a path for empathy. It is so empowering to share oneself deeply to the world, and watch how people respond.