The Short Cut:

A quick fire chat about working life with Craig Wallace

Craig Wallace Head - Strategic Offerings & Partnerships, CGI

The Short Cut designed to bring you a snapshot of our members’ working lives. Today we’re speaking to Craig Wallace, Head of  Strategic Offerings & Partnerships, at CGI.

At the heart of the Nurture Network is the power of sharing experiences. And as part of our inaugural Lean In, Lift Up event we are bringing you a series of conversations with our male allies. These men share how they deal with stress, drivers that help them promote women in business and entrepreneurship, plus the women that inspire them the most.

What drives you to make sure women are not held back in the workplace? 

I think it’s got to start with some personal values. And so the first one for me is never judge a book by its cover and that’s because as a child, well as a young adult, I was a punk and I got judged all the time People crossed the road to avoid me, but they didn’t know me, they didn’t know what I was like they just looked at what I looked like. So from that very early stage I always thought never judge a book by it’s cover and therefore that means you are never trying to be judgmental.  So that value runs deep in me.

I think then the second one is a very strong belief in all diversity. I want different people with different experiences because of the brain that they bring, the value that they bring to what ever we are doing.

So I think those things run deep. I wouldn’t say it’s necessarily about women, it’s about anybody. That if you are not judging and if you are valuing the diversity then you are looking to make sure you have those attributes in your teams in who you work with, in how you put things together. I would say it’s got to come from you, and is in you, and in what you value. You can’t be something you create and add on to you because there is a tick box. It’s got to be actually how you feel and how you value your beliefs.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever had?

The more you give away the more powerful you become.

How do you protect your mental health in moments of pressure?

That’s a good question. I think it’s about balance.

It’s about separating work and home. It’s about doing some physical activity. About having a community of friends. So I think community is important. I think also reading, just taking time out to read and learn something just takes your mind away from it all, because you need a distraction. Yes I think a bit of physical activity, friends, community, reading…having that balance in your life all the time helps.

What is your preferred activity in these moments?

It could just be taking the dog for a walk. It doesn’t have to be going to the gym, I mean I go to the gym, I do yoga but actually it doesn’t have to be that, you just need to get out into the fresh air and perhaps have a walk.

The woman who empowers me is…

Well, that’s easy, that’s my wife.

My wife is so inspiring she manages a refuge for domestically abused women. And so she’s kind of helping women, and men actually, who escape domestic abuse and so ever since I met her she’s got me into feeding the homeless in the food kitchens at the weekend and she’s changed me because she’s brought something different out in me.

I wasn’t particularly strong in the community, social, and caring aspect coming from a commercial driven perspective, where the goal is to make money…and so she’s completely brought the other side back into me. Which has been amazing.

I feel energised at work when… 

I’m energised when we are creating something new because we are being curious. I love to create. I love for the team and us to create really fantastic work. You know where it’s maybe new in whatever sense, it might be because it’s designed differently, it might be because it’s a completely new thing.

Whatever it is where we create new stuff it’s where I get energised.

The world would be a better place when…

When  we learn to truly trust and respect each other.

The woman who everyone should know about it…

As I live in Oxford, I would call out Elizabeth Anscombe (1919-2001), she was an analytical philosopher and member of an influential and notable group of female philosophers from Oxford University.  She is best known for her work on action theory , bring the word ‘consequentialism’ into general use.

What is your favourite place in the world?


People are friendly. It’s spiritual. It’s family orientated. You just get this, I don’t know, it’s just special. There is something really special about India.

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My favourite place on earth, India.