Monash Arts grad Tess Guthrie leads change in not-for-profit sector
Equal parts philosopher, musician and the future of tech, Tess Guthrie is the definition of a multifaceted modern powerhouse. After graduating from Monash University with majors in philosophy and pure maths, Tess created her own data analytics company, WhyHive. When she’s not taking her guitar on the road as a feminist singer-songwriter, Tess works with a team of young gun analysts to provide cutting-edge data analysis to support the aspirations of not-for-profit organisations, including the female-led storytelling platform ‘She’s A Crowd’.
Created by fellow Monash Arts alumna Zoe Condliffe (a Bachelor of Arts and Social Sciences graduate, and current PhD candidate at the Monash University XYX Lab), She’s A Crowd is a website where women share their stories of gender-based violence, which feed into a global data set to inform the design of safer cities and solutions. After winning the International Prize at the City of Melbourne’s Knowledge Week Open Innovation competition for a proposal on female cyclist safety, Zoe and Tess are bringing She’s A Crowd to Indonesia, with the aim of taking the project global.
‘She’s A Crowd was the perfect space for WhyHive,’ said Tess. ‘Zoe collects rich data about women’s stories, and leverages that data to create change. We support the project with tech and software development.’
Tess’ passion for the not-for-profit sector was sparked by her experience working with the International Women’s Agency while studying at Monash Arts. She realised not-for-profits struggled to afford cutting-edge data analysis, and decided she wanted to level the playing field.
‘WhyHive is making a difference in the sector by offering the same services to for-profit and not-for-profits alike. In the not-for-profit sector, there’s a huge need for analytics and tech that’s not being met. The success of She’s A Crowd proves that strong data analytics generate real results. They’re a non-negotiable ingredient for success.’
At WhyHive, Tess provides analysts with the chance to commit to social justice work while using their skills to the highest degree. Importantly, WhyHive seeks to counter the gender imbalance in pure maths and STEM fields by shaping a majority female team.
‘I’m invested in working with grads and youth – super smart people who want to have an impact. Because pure maths and STEM fields are male-dominated, the majority of hires in WhyHive are women. I’m committed to equipping women with more experience in the tech space.’
‘It’s really cool see WhyHive on resumes, and know that we’re helping develop skills for women.’
With her head still spinning from the International Prize win, Tess can’t wait to travel to Indonesia to help Zoe launch She’s A Crowd overseas.
‘It felt so good to win! It’s great the City of Melbourne is valuing the work. It’s an incredible indication of the kind of work we can do, and the kind of change we can create.’
‘To win an international prize is awesome and humbling. It’s a real sign that we can take our work to the next level.’