Sydney — Australia
What’s a moment in your professional life you’ll never forget?
I joined Uber while at university, shortly after their launch in Queensland. I spent almost six years working in various operations and strategy teams in Australia and abroad. Three moments I’ll always remember are:
Heading over to Hyderabad in India to develop the first offshore analytics team for the Uber APAC Rides team. Really grateful to the analysts I worked with for being so awesome, being patient with me as I grew professionally and for sharing their culture with me.
Developing a brand new business model and strategy for Uber’s Korea business after the introduction of new regulations. At Square Peg, we’ve spoken about what it means to “be in your A-game”; in this project and in the time I spent working in Amsterdam I felt I was closer than ever to the best version of myself professionally.
And of course, finishing up an incredible journey at Uber and joining Square Peg! A turning point for me, bringing me back into the world of startups and hopefully enabling me to play my own small part in advancing the world towards a better future.
What’s your greatest frustration?
I hate bureaucracy and institutions that keep us stuck in the past. That’s one of the reasons I love startups: they disrupt the status quo and propel us into the future faster, often (at least more often than not) bringing about a better world in the process.
I see a bigger, greater future than the one we live in and I’m often saddened and frustrated by the barriers that prevent us from getting there collectively - especially when that lack of progress is to the detriment of millions of people.
What piece of entertainment do you wish you could erase from your mind so that you could experience for the first time again?
Ubik by Philip K Dick. It’s not as popular as some of the author’s other writing (for example, he wrote the novels that inspired Total Recall, Bladerunner and Minority Report), but it overtook 1984 by George Orwell as my favourite fiction. Also, the Westworld series. If it’s not obvious: I love Science Fiction.
You hail from rural Queensland and yet you're an avid sailor, how did that come about?
I don’t think I had stepped on a sailboat prior to university, so I jumped at the opportunity to attend a learn to sail day held by my university's sailing club.
That day very quickly spawned a love of sailing and I became as involved as I could manage (eventually trying to juggle my studies, working at Uber and helping run the rapidly-growing club – not a recommended strategy for those who value their sleep). Over ~12 months we grew the club from a small handful of members into the largest university sailing club in Australia. It became a community that, I think, really made sailing feel much more accessible and be seen as a sport for everyone – not just those from sailing families.
What advice do you live by?
“Reading, studying and learning have the power to liberate us from the effects of prejudice and oppression so often built into the structures of work and wealth.” - Zena Hitz
I only came across the quote above recently, but I think it reflects how much I value having a growth mindset and how important being a lifelong learner is to me.
Also, a saying you would often hear at Uber that I’ve used to steel myself in times of ambiguity is: “the only constant is change.”
What one thing inspires you every day at Square Peg?
The genuine, pure integrity of the team and how authentically they live the Square Peg values. In my eyes they are the real deal: it’s not marketing speak, they are exactly who they say they are.
What has surprised you most about moving over from Uber to venture capital?
At Uber, a big part of your community was your colleagues and at Square Peg that is true too, but what I didn’t expect was how intertwined the Australian VC community is. Venture capital has a reputation for being unfriendly and unapproachable, but it has been awesome how willing the broader community has been to get in touch and share what they’ve learnt with me.
I’m particularly happy about how many other women investors I’ve already come across in the space. It’s great to see such a diverse pool of really talented, smart women.