Community//

Women Leading the AI Industry: “Whether we are male or female, we need to stand back and watch another woman accomplish greatness, through the mentorship and guidance passed down to her.” with Colleen Glaeser and Tyler Gallagher

There is so much opportunity for women to take ownership in the workforce, particularly in security. We need to take one step at a time and be collectively mindful of empowerment. Whether we are male or female, we need to stand back and watch another woman accomplish greatness, through the mentorship and guidance passed down […]


There is so much opportunity for women to take ownership in the workforce, particularly in security. We need to take one step at a time and be collectively mindful of empowerment. Whether we are male or female, we need to stand back and watch another woman accomplish greatness, through the mentorship and guidance passed down to her. We are responsible for that. From respecting and celebrating our peers in all they do, to paving the way for a new generation of women who will take our place, imparting with one’s knowledge and wisdom is one of the greatest gifts we can ever give others.

Colleen Glaeser, Global Marketing Director for AxxonSoft, started her first company at the age of twenty-two. Today, Colleen is not only a self-made millionaire and owns three companies, but she is the only female to serve on the board of international directors for Software Company — AxxonSoft. This entrepreneur is known for her dynamic personality, beautiful compassion and strong leadership skills. With a positive outlook and willpower Colleen Glaeser has applied her entrepreneurial skills and sales framework to create her award-winning businesses in the telecoms, security and hospitality industries,all of which she still manages. She holds the role of Global Marketing Director for AxxonSoft, CEO of DCSS South Africa and Managing Director for Karkloof Safari Villas & Spa. She is also the Managing Member for CG Telecoms & Data. AxxonSoft is a leading global security and surveillance company which has specially designed groundbreaking technology called Deep Learning. This incorporates artificial intelligence to provide proactive surveillance in identifying poaching threats across Southern Africa. Entrepreneur Coleen holds this initiative very close to her heart and she has worked closely as the only female on the board of one the largest global tech security companies to develop state-of-the-art surveillance technology that specifically targets poaching. Glaeser is from South Africa and as poaching over the past decade has become more and more distressing, she knew she had to do something to help prevent the catastrophe from growing.


Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you share with us the ‘backstory” of how you decided to pursue this career path?

I started my career in my early twenties. I knew that I was always destined to own my own company and become my own boss. Further to this, I was passionate about the telecommunications industry and there were many opportunities in the sector during that period in my life. As I was in my early twenties, there was a lot more room for me to take risk and forge new pathways.

As surveillance and telecommunications work together, the next step for me was to create a surveillance company, with the main goal of meeting the needs of the local market with high performing surveillance technology, as had been seen and implemented around the world. I saw the opportunity for intelligent and tailormade surveillance solutions in Southern Africa, and so, AxxonSoft SADC was born.

A few years back, I helped bring AxxonSoft into the Southern African region. Today, AxxonSoft Southern Africa is considered one of the top surveillance and security companies in the region. The next step was to join the international board of directors as the first female director. It is a role I am privileged and honoured to hold. It was from there that I moved into the role as Global Marketing Director. Over the past two years, we have seen the need to transform the company’s global marketing initiatives as we hurtle through the digital era. Creating this role has enabled myself and my team to take the brand to new heights through various digital strategies.

It is through AxxonSoft that I came across Karkloof Safari Villas & Spa. I had a meeting with the previous owner about incorporating our deep learning technology within the reserve. I immediately fell in love the property and all it had to offer. It truly is a magical place. I soon took over management of the villas, and last year, I became the owner of the property. Karkloof Safari Villas & Spa is a passion of mine, and I thoroughly the environment and its unique offerings. It has become home, and my sanctuary, and I have a superb team of staff who make Karkloof extraordinary.

What lessons can others learn from your story?

Resilience and confidence. As much as we love instant gratification, endurance and resilience are the names of the game, with a touch of confidence of course. To truly see ourselves grow and mature, we need to slowly but surely build ourselves up through life experiences. They shape who we become. I am so grateful for the beautiful journey I have walked over the past two decades. It has made me a better business woman, mother and wife. Stand tall and know that, despite the highs and lows, you are getting to where you need to be.

Can you tell our readers about the most interesting projects you are working on now?

Together with AxxonSoft, I am busy building the first safe park in the world. I believe that through the implementation of technologically advanced solutions, parks and reserves across South Africa and the rest of Africa can justly become safe sanctuaries, alleviating massive threats such as poaching, a disturbing trend that will soon see the extinction of animals such as rhinos and elephants if anti-poaching initiatives are not successful.

AxxonSoft’s Deep Learning technology has been instrumental in assisting the war against poaching in Africa. This state-of-the-art technology, using artificial neural networks, has been adapted to tell the difference between humans and animals. When applied to image analysis, neural networking methods help overcome the limitations of traditional video analytics. They can solve certain complex problems for which an implementation of a traditional algorithm would be too expensive or impractical. At the learning stage, the neural network analyses many images containing pre-tagged objects and learns to “recognize” them by extracting specified characteristics.

We look forward to providing a holistic surveillance and security solution to parks across the continent. I truly believe that by integrating all of these intelligent solutions in a park, we can really make an impact and drastically change the poaching statistics

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

The support and love of my mother. She is my biggest inspiration and has been there for me through it all. I am also very lucky to have wonderful people to surround myself with. They are my inspiration and drive my aspirations. Whether it is my husband and beautiful daughter who bring so much joy to my life, or my incredible team of staff across all my companies, they are all my support system and help keep me motivated in everything I do.

What are the 5 things that most excite you about the AI industry? Why?

I think it is an exciting industry, with new innovations coming to the forefront every day.

It has been wonderful to be part of something so extraordinary. AI in security and surveillance has played such an integral role in taking our technology to the next level. With neural networking and its ability to teach itself, we can provide a more proactive approach to threats as they arise. This artificially intelligent technology employs powerful machine learning-based techniques, which emulate how the human brain operates. These neural networks are trained on a huge dataset with labelled faces to map a face to a numerical vector representation. Once the network has been trained, it can compare any faces, even ones it has never seen before.

What are the 5 things that concern you about the AI industry? Why?

There are always concerns that arise with any new technological developments. The debate around how artificial intelligence will affect the human race is not a new one. This long-standing fear grows as the years pass, and as we edge closer and closer to the inclusion of AI in our daily lives, and as it becomes a reality, public concern grows. As we are not able to tell the future, we fear the worst will happen. There are pros and cons to everything in life. We are constantly evolving and adapting to our environment. Artificial intelligence will form a big part of the next revolution. We can only hope for the best.

As you know, there is an ongoing debate between prominent scientists, (personified as a debate between Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg,) about whether advanced AI has the future potential to pose a danger to humanity. What is your position about this?

I believe every person is entitled to their opinion and how they perceive the future to be based on what role artificial intelligence will play. In understanding this highly-sensitive subject, I see how fear of what the future holds is a cause for concern. In society, and as history has repeatedly shown, we always fear the unknown and what may come about. Both sides of the argument are justified. As much as AI is and will continue to assist us, it will also continue to worry us.

How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world? Can you share a story?

I resolve myself to not only impart knowledge and wisdom based on my experiences and successes but to inspire other women to pursue their dreams as well. It is something I constantly endeavour to do and be cognisant of daily. To see women, grow from strength-to-strength in this industry is powerful, it is an exciting thing to witness.

As you know, there are not that many women in your industry. Can you share 3 things that you would you advise to other women in the AI space to thrive?

1) In an ever-changing and fast-paced environment, which sees women try and juggle the day-to-day balance between personal and business life, it is so important to uplift up those women who stand beside us, above us and below us. We have come so far, let us look forward to how we can grow a tribe of influential women who can support each other, grow each other and make the world a better place.

2) Let’s support each other. Whether we are in the same industry or not, there are always valuable lessons we can learn from each other as we navigate through the corporate and business world.

3) Become a mentor to those young women who are breaking through in your industry. Wisdom, while imparting knowledge is invaluable. We don’t need to feel threatened by younger generations looking to make their mark on the business world or the world in general. They are our future. We are paving the way forward for them as our predecessors did before us. Let us share our knowledge and wisdom with these women, empowering them to go forth and conquer.

Can you advise what is needed to engage more women into the AI industry?

There is so much opportunity for women to take ownership in the workforce, particularly in security. We need to take one step at a time and be collectively mindful of empowerment. Whether we are male or female, we need to stand back and watch another woman accomplish greatness, through the mentorship and guidance passed down to her. We are responsible for that. From respecting and celebrating our peers in all they do, to paving the way for a new generation of women who will take our place, imparting with one’s knowledge and wisdom is one of the greatest gifts we can ever give others.

What is your favourite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share a story of how that had relevance to your own life?

“Nothing is possible without confidence.” This is my daily mantra. I apply it to all aspects of my life, whether it be personal, or business related. This little phrase has help me achieve so much in life and it something I encourage every woman to live by.

Confidence is the foundation from which you take ownership. Confidence has been instrumental to my success in business. I believed I could create the life I wanted for myself, so I went out and conquered it based on this belief. We all have something special and unique to bring to the boardroom table. It’s whether or not we have the confidence to take the step and pursue our dreams and make them a reality. Take small steps every day to build up your confidence and remember, we all deserve to be heard and we all have something to offer this world.

You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

I honestly would like to begin a movement aimed at empowering women in the workplace. While there are initiatives taking place all over the world. I really would like the thought of us all rallying together. I believe I believe there is no greater success for us as women, than to help other women achieve their successes in their own right.

To stand back and watch another woman accomplish greatness, through the mentorship and guidance you have given her, is an extraordinary experience and something I highly value. From respecting and celebrating our peers in all they do, to paving the way for a new generation of women who will take our place, imparting with one’s knowledge and wisdom is one of the greatest gifts we can ever give others.

How can our readers follow you on social media?

Facebook — ladycolleenglaeser

Instagram — ladycolleenglaeser

LinkedIn — colleenglaeser

Thank you for joining us!


About the Author:

Tyler Gallagher is the CEO and Founder of Regal Assets, a “Bitcoin IRA” company. Regal Assets is an international alternative assets firm with offices in the United States, Canada, London and United Arab Emirates focused on helping private and institutional wealth procure alternative assets for their investment portfolios. Regal Assets is an Inc. 500 company and has been featured in many publications such as Forbes, Bloomberg, Market Watch and Reuters. With offices in multiple countries, Regal Assets is uniquely positioned as an international leader in the alternative assets industry and was awarded the first ever crypto-commodities license by the DMCC in late 2017. Regal Assets is currently the only firm in the world that holds a license to legally buy and sell cryptos within the Middle East and works closely with the DMCC to help evolve and grow the understanding and application of blockchain technology. Prior to founding Regal Assets, Tyler worked for a Microsoft startup led by legendary tech giant Karl Jacob who was an executive at Microsoft, and an original Facebook board member.

The Thrive Global Community welcomes voices from many spheres. We publish pieces written by outside contributors with a wide range of opinions, which don’t necessarily reflect our own. Learn more or join us as a community member!
Share your comments below. Please read our commenting guidelines before posting. If you have a concern about a comment, report it here.

You might also like...

Community//

C-Suite Moms: “I remind myself daily that I would not be where I am today, if I had not constantly motivated myself to move forward, to achieve success, both professionally and personally.” with Colleen Glaeser and Jessica Abo

by Jessica Abo
Community//

Kroger President Colleen Lindholz: I truly believe that “Food is Medicine”

by Yitzi Weiner

Sign up for the Thrive Global newsletter

Will be used in accordance with our privacy policy.

Thrive Global
People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.

- MARCUS AURELIUS

We use cookies on our site to give you the best experience possible. By continuing to browse the site, you agree to this use. For more information on how we use cookies, see our Privacy Policy.