EVERYDAY SUPERSTARS

Celebrating women who have a passion for technology and digital, inspiring the next generation to dream bigger.

Imaginify was a ... Participation Manager for Code Club UK

Sarah is Participation Manager at Code Club UK, a nationwide network of volunteers and educators who run free coding clubs for young people aged 9-13, part of the Raspberry Pi foundation. Code Club UK has supported 85,000 children in the UK to build the skills, confidence, and opportunity to change their world, Sarah is currently working on a community resources platform, working with a team to ensure the volunteer training is the best it can be. 

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FACTFILE

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I'm going to Antarctica this year. Once I'll have been there, I will have visited all the continents.

2

I have visited cat cafes in both Japan and London.

3

I'm about to run my first-ever 10k race for charity, after taking up running less than a year ago.

WHAT DO YOU DO?

The best thing about my job is that I get to be involved in such a wide variety of different things! 

Broadly speaking, I lead on a range of projects that assist the UK-wide creation and ongoing support of Code Clubs, which are volunteer- or educator-led coding clubs. 
Amongst other things, I develop new resources for face-to-face and online volunteer training, I produce film content, and I work with surveys and data to find the best ways to support the people who run Code Clubs. At the moment, I'm helping to roll out a new resources platform for our community, and I'm devising new competitions for our clubs to get involved in.

What made you decide to do this?

The need to constantly challenge myself! I wasn't working on anything tech-related when I saw the job advert, but I thought it sounded really exciting. I decided to apply and see if I could transfer my education and project management experience to something totally new.

How did you get into that?

I started on a 6-month contract and totally fell in love with the job and with working in a tech education environment — I've been in the role ever since.

How long have you been doing it?

3 years.

Do you have a mentor or anyone who supports you?

I don't have a mentor, but I love talking with friends who work in different industries to get a fresh perspective on what I do. I have a particular friend who I often book in for a career chat! Her job is totally different to mine, so talking to her always gives me new ideas and helps me to approach things in new ways.

WHO INSPIRES YOU?

I'm inspired by anyone who is unashamedly intelligent. I love Mary Beard for that reason — I met her once and was totally in awe.

What do you wish you'd known 10 years ago? What difference would knowing that have made?

You don't always have to wait for someone to give you permission to do things. Just give yourself permission, and off you go! 

If I'd known this earlier, I think I would have been much braver with my career choices, but I'm really happy with my journey and with where I've got to.

What are the best things about being a woman in an industry dominated by men?

One of the great things about working for the Raspberry Pi Foundation is that I don't feel I am. We have an awesome and diverse team.

What advice do you have for girls or women considering a tech role?

It's the same piece of advice I would give to anyone looking to take up any sort of job. Research — look at job descriptions of the kind of role you want to be in and work back from there. Talk — find people who do what you want to do and ask them questions. Volunteer — volunteering opened so many doors for me which would otherwise have been closed. It's a great way to diversify your skill set whilst at the same time doing something for your community.

And most importantly, don't be afraid to take a – calculated – risk. 

What is your favourite quote?

The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity. — Ellen Parr