My name is Audrey Raby, I am Chief Operating Officer at Nash. and Equilibrium in Montreal. Nash. is a consulting firm specialized in technological innovation advising companies on how to use blockchain technology, AI and IoT to disrupt their industries and move towards digitization and smart automation.

Equilibrium is a non-profit research lab focusing on blockchain technology to uncover fascinating new opportunities to change the way value is created and distributed.

Between the techies and the suits

Everything is new and exciting! My role is to bridge the gap between the ‘techies’ and the ‘suits’, so there’s a huge education component.

I like the physician analogy; you don’t need to have a PhD to know where it hurts, and your doctor doesn’t need to give you the details of the lab work done to find out a cure. What’s needed is empathy, expertise, honest communication and the willingness to work together on solving problems.

My way into technology

I studied arts and media technologies in Canada, then started my career as a writer and marketing advisor in Europe. By age 26, I was editor in chief for NATO, in Brussels. I eventually moved back to Canada, and managed marketing consulting firms in Montreal.

I believe one of the biggest lessons I have learned from both the media and the military sector can be resumed by Benjamin Franklin’s quote: “Once you’re finished changing, you’re finished”.

Being an expat and seeing first hand the impact of technologies on society taught me not to resist innovation but rather embrace it. When I was given the opportunity to join the founding team of a consulting firm focusing on the latest technological advances, I couldn’t resist, so I jumped in!

What I like most about working in digital technology

I am a big fan of the saying “if you’re the smartest person in a room, you’re in the wrong room”. I am working with amazing, very bright people committed to making the world a better place and sharing their knowledge with others, which couldn’t make me happier.

Very few of “my kind”

I am the only woman on my team, and I very rarely see other women in my industry. Although I don’t believe much in genders, it still saddens me to see so very few of “my kind” jumping on the opportunity like I did.

My mother was a scientist and my father an engineer, so maybe I was raised with a different mindset than most, but I see STEM fields as essential pillars to foster critical thinking, leadership, innovation and economic growth.