An Interview with Data Scientist Ruby Childs
The path from banking into data science is not exactly one which is considered well trodden, particularly if you are a female. However as one of a growing number of women joining the engineering revolution, this is exactly the career change that Ruby Childs has not only made, but excelled in.
To celebrate National Women in Engineering Day 2016, an International awareness campaign to raise the profile of women in engineering and focus attention on the amazing career opportunities available to girls in this exciting industry, we decided to catch up with Ruby to discuss how and why she made the choice to become and data scientist and find out her views on how more women can join the industry.
Since transitioning from her mathematical background into Data Science, Ruby Childs has worked in a variety of companies and disciplines such as 6Tribes, TheLadders, BAE AI and more recently Pariti, with an unrivalled passion for working on products that are disruptive.
Engineering has not only become part of her professional life, as you will also often find Ruby making something crafty in her spare time, utlizing local makerspaces or even co-organising meetups such as PyData, H&&T London or Data Rave in NY.
Speaking to us in London, Ruby said; “I used to work in banking as an investment banker, which you could say is a bizarre career change to data science.
“But it all started when I became very interested in the makerspace in London. That made me decide that I wanted to start making things and building things, both in a physical sense and software.
“There is a difference in terms of career paths that you are and aren’t expected to take (as a female). Being a maker isn’t necessarily something that is encouraged, however thankfully it is now being seen as more acceptable and more people are moving into it.
“The career step change can be made, I think it’s just a case of perseverance and being brave enough to take that step.”
Ms Childs also previously worked as a part time tutor for Code First: Girls, a scheme designed to equip women with basic programming skills and is extremely keen to see more women continuing to follow her into the industry.
“Right now there are actually a lot of scholarships out there and grants for programming”, she added. “There are makerspaces like FabLab which deal with Open Access days etc. so opportunities exist for more women to get involved and hopefully we continue to see a continued growth in numbers.”
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To celebrate National Women in Engineering Day RS Components has produced a new #RSVoice video focusing on Women in Engineering. This can be viewed below.