As part of NGCP's 20th Anniversary celebrations, we will be interviewing influential equity and STEM leaders and partners throughout 2022.
NGCP Board Member Andrea Brooke helps to equip people unreached or displaced by technology with computing and AI skills by building multi-stakeholder, international partnerships at Microsoft Philanthropies. Andrea formerly developed the community development and event program managed at the Microsoft retail stores. She is an active advocate for girls and women in technology, people with dyslexia, and young people early in their career.
What excites you most about your work?
At Microsoft Philanthropies, I have an opportunity to create social impact at scale. I have had the chance to work on various programs, from working with girls on computer science education to workforce development to expanding our employee giving program, most recently working on humanitarian aid. The company moves fast and scales quickly; it provides an opportunity to create meaningful impact in many areas. I see myself as a system enabler. Microsoft is a great place to work to unlock and enable communities globally.
What do you most appreciate in a collaborator?
I look for someone who will challenge my thinking and who has an expansive worldview, so that we might ideate and create together.
Who are your role models?
I admire my parents. My mom was a special needs educator, and my dad was a geologist and tech entrepreneur. I was taught that failure is not a failure if you learn something, and they cultivated my confidence and curiosity.
What advice would you give to the NGCP community?
Collaboration is the key to solving so many problems we face alone. There is no substitution for an open conversation where you share your important work and the challenges you face and brainstorm potential solutions with someone in a similar situation. There is an African proverb that says, “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” Call, text, IM, Skype, FaceTime, meet for coffee, and spark the change you seek.