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Thank you to the 1,400 leaders who’ve generously done the 7 questions!
I hope reading

7 Questions with Kate Carruthers

helps you in your leadership.



Jonno White

7 Questions with Kate Carruthers

Name: Kate Carruthers

Current title: Chief Data & Insights Officer

Current organisation: UNSW

Kate Carruthers is Chief Data & Insights Officer for UNSW Sydney and is also an Adjunct Senior Lecturer in the School of Computer Science & Engineering. She is a Certified Information Security Manager and is currently undertaking postgraduate studies in terrorism and security. She is currently working at the intersection of data analytics, AI, ML, privacy, cyber security, and data protection.

7 Questions with Kate Carruthers


1. What have you found most challenging as a CEO or executive of a large enterprise?

Covid hit us pretty hard - we were unable to get our international students onshore and we had to suddenly get all of our teaching online really quickly last year. And there was an increased demand for data and predictive modelling from across our business.

2. How did you become a CEO or executive of a large enterprise? Can you please briefly tell the story?

It was not a straight line. I started in IT after working in stockbroking and investment banking. Loved IT, did a bunch of big data warehouse projects. Did some program and project management, managed a Portfolio & Project Office. Ended up in higher education, working in the Engineering Faculty and then was appointed to this role. This role is all about data across the entire organisation – it includes policy, data management practices, data privacy, data security, and managing our data platforms to provide insights and business intelligence.

3. How do you structure your work days from waking up to going to sleep?

I have coffee in bed while I catch up on emails first thing in the morning. Once I hit the office (these days it is the home office for part of the week), I start the meetings for the day. After work I change out of my work clothes and go for a walk in the evening. Then I study and watch TV and chat with friends online. Then I go to bed at about midnight.

4. What's the most recent significant leadership lesson you've learned?

It is all about people and relationships - if those are not lined up then nothing works properly.

5. What's one book that has had a profound impact on your leadership so far? Can you please briefly tell the story of how that book impacted your leadership?

Heart of Change by John Kotter - it brings home to me how change is personal, and that change is made by bringing people along on a journey.

6. How do you build leadership capacity in a large enterprise?

By asking people to lead and then ensuring that they have support and coaching. If you do not support people on their leadership journey, then they are often not effective in their role and can get discouraged.

7. What is one meaningful story that comes to mind from your time as a CEO or executive of a large enterprise so far?

So many.

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