Carrie Anne Philbin | Director, Raspberry Pi FoundationWeAreTechWomen speaks to Carrie Anne Philbin, Director, Raspberry Pi Foundation, about her career.

Carrie is also one of our speakers at our upcoming WeAreTechWomen: The Future World of Work conference on 22 November. Carrie is holding one of our elective sessions on learning to code. This is a beginner’s session and you will learn how to code Python, creating your very own virtual pixel pet and animate it with code.

Carrie Anne Philbin is a teacher, author and a YouTuber focusing on computer science education at the Raspberry Pi Foundation. Author of ‘Adventures in Raspberry Pi’ and host of the YouTube ‘Crash Course Computer Science’ Series. Named Computer Weekly’s third most influential woman in IT 2017 and FDM Group’s Every Woman Digital Star 2018.

WeAreTechWomen, the Technology arm of WeAreTheCity, is hosting its fourth full-day conference in London, aimed at over 400 women who are wanting to broaden their technology horizons, learn new skills and build their tech networks.

Our unique conference will include the opportunity for our delegates to learn about a variety of technical topics and get involved in Q&A’s, hands-on activities and interactive workshops. Our aim is to provide an environment where our delegates can upskill and grow their skills/networks for the future.

Can you tell us a little about your background? Where you’ve come from, where you’ve worked, how you got to where you are today?

I’m a computing educator from a town on the East London and Essex border called Dagenham in the UK. I’m passionate about giving every child the opportunity to become creators of technology by providing a great computing education in and outside of school. In 2014 I left the classroom and joined the Raspberry Pi Foundation towards this goal. I’m Director of Educator Support working on resources and training for teachers. I’m also Chair of the Computing At School (CAS) diversity and inclusion group, CAS Include, author of the computing book Adventures in Raspberry Pi, and the host of Crash Course Computer Science on YouTube.

Did you ever sit down and plan your career?

No, never. I once took a computer quiz to help guide me to a suitable profession and after some careful deliberation it suggested I become a Royal Marine.

What inspired you to get involved with in motivational speaking?

I am very passionate and enthusiastic about computer science, and love to share my subject knowledge by teaching children and adults to create with code. Audiences seem to enjoy it and learn something, so I’ll keep doing it.

What do you think WeAreTechWomen guests will gain from your talk?

Guests of my session will learn more about digital making and the current work both in England and beyond to support young people to become creators of technology. They’ll also learn how to code in Python!

What are your top three tips for success?

  1. Be brave.
  2. Be your most authentic self.
  3. Be kind to yourself.

What has been your biggest challenge during your career?

My biggest challenge has been having time out to start a family and then returning to work. No one can prepare for the emotional turmoil that motherhood can bring. We’re not very good at talking about it. I lost my confidence and sense of purpose when I returned and it has taken a while to build back up.

Which female role models are you most inspired by?

Claire Williams, OBE, deputy team principal of the Williams Formula One racing team. Working in a male dominated technological field, she is a leader, a mother, and an inspiration.

In your opinion, what is the biggest obstacle for women at work and how can it be overcome?

Our biggest obstacle is ourselves. We need to be the change we want to see in the industry. Let’s not try to act like men in a culture they’ve designed. Let’s talk to one another, let’s be open about our challenges and successes. Let’s hold the door open for women coming through behind us.

If you could change one thing to accelerate the pace of change for Gender Parity, what would it be?

Create a statutory family leave policy in place of paternity leave and maternity leave.

What piece of advice would you give to your younger self?

Hey 14 year old me, guess what, you CAN get paid for building computers and software! Keep at it.


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