Georgie Denis

Georgina Denis is CEO and Co-Founder of PSi, the revolutionary intelligence-gathering platform that uses patented technology to analyse voice discussions – by stakeholders on specific subjects and issues – to generate data and actionable insights.

Tell us a bit about yourself, your background and your current role

I am CEO and Co-Founder of PSi – People Supported Intelligence – which is the revolutionary intelligence-gathering platform using patented technology to analyse voice discussions to generate data and actionable insights.

At PSi we are pioneering collective intelligence to improve decision-making. Collective intelligence is created when people work together, often with the help of technology, to mobilise a wider range of information, ideas, and insights to address a challenge. PSi is a real-time engagement platform, making it easy to host large-scale consultations online that leverage the collective intelligence of thousands of people, using voice technology. We support leaders with market research and employee listening so they make smarter and more equitable decisions – whether it’s for their business, customers, employees, or communities. The data from conversations on PSi provide the stakeholder with the insights needed for companies to stay effective, innovative, and competitive.

In 2014 I joined a ‘fast track to leadership’ training programme with the NHS Leadership Academy after completing my MSc in Brain and Mind Sciences. Since then, my work has focussed on co-creating services and policies with the people that use them. I led focus groups and workshops to understand how different people would tackle a shared problem. I did this when I worked at the Health Foundation to develop the national Q community, when I worked in Boston MA to improve public health services, and when I worked for the female health app, Clue, to develop Clue Birth Control. It is through my experience of facilitating large, diverse groups with the aim of finding ways forward together that led to co-founding PSi. I designed PSi as a way for everyone to be included in the decision-making that impacts them.

Did you ever sit down and plan your career?

After studying for my MSc I decided I didn’t want a career in research. I wanted to move into management, where I would see the impact of my work and have a level of responsibility that would challenge me, so I decided to apply to the NHS Leadership Academy. After I completed my management training, I started to find roles that involved the creation of new things that offer the potential to really impact a lot of people’s lives in a positive way.

What has been your biggest career achievement to date?

One of the most difficult challenges I have faced in my career so far was raising PSi’s seed round, which was completed in July 2022.

What one thing do you believe has been a major factor in you achieving success?

One of the biggest factors in getting me to where I am today has been the fact that I have a sincere and real understanding of the problem to be solved. After leading numerous focus groups and big meetings, where people often have really different points of view, getting angry and getting emotional, I have learned how I can help to bring people together, with the aim of finding a way forward. This has meant that I can succeed at using tech as a tool to solve these problems, while convincing investors and early customers to believe in the power of PSi.

What top tips would you give to an individual who is trying to excel in their career in technology?

Firstly, start by understanding the problem that the technology is aiming to solve. Focus on who is worse off because of the problem and what motivates them. Begin to sketch a solution that will help them feel confident, less stressed, and more connected before thinking about how it’s technically implemented.

Once you have a compelling solution that can solve a problem and the emotions associated, it will become easier to convince people with great technical abilities to help you build it.

Do you believe there are still barriers for success for women working in tech, if so, how can these barriers be overcome?

I find that one of the biggest problems that women working in the tech industry still face is a bias among investors and VCs. Instead of funding women founders who are working in tech, design, or product industries, they are seeking women that work in engineering. While there is nothing wrong with developing this side of the industry, by enabling businesses and startups that are working in other roles and areas of the tech industry, they offer a profound understanding of how tech can solve problems or add value, even if they aren’t engineers.

What do you think companies can do to support and progress the careers of women working in technology?

Young women and girls need to be supported as early as possible in their development and passion for the tech industries. Unfortunately, a person’s career can be determined pretty early on, which means switching has significant costs (time and money etc) and for some women who might be interested, and potentially brilliant in tech, these switching costs are too much in later life.

Also, it is important that parents see tech roles as a potentially brilliant career choice for their daughters, as their insight and input can have the most influence from a young age. I also think more can be done to invest in technology that supports women to live better lives. I find that tech companies with this type of mission can encourage more women to pursue a career in tech.

There is currently only 15% of women working in tech, if you could wave a magic wand, what is the one thing you would do to accelerate the pace of change for women in the industry?

If I could wave a magic wand, with the aim of getting more women into tech, I would target parents, with the goal of helping them to see tech roles as exciting and viable options for their daughters. Role models and teachers are great but even with these figures, it can still be hard for young girls to pursue a career if their parents or guardian has a gender-biased view of a career in tech.

What resources do you recommend for women working in tech?

Great resources are available to support young girls in STEAM like https://site.erandiaprende.com/en/ and for Women Who Tech for support getting investment for women-led tech startups.