- Gender Equality
- Personal Growth and Achievement
Audience & Industry
- Women's Events
- The Technology Industry
Reshma Saujani is the Founder and CEO of Girls Who Code, the international nonprofit organization working to close the gender gap in technology and change the image of what a computer programmer looks like and does.
Reshma Saujani is the author of the international bestseller Brave, Not Perfect and the New York Times bestseller Girls Who Code: Learn to Code and Change the World. Saujani’s TED Talk, “Teach girls bravery, not perfection,” has more than four and a half million views and has sparked a worldwide conversation about how we’re raising our girls. She is the host of the award-winning podcast “Brave, Not Perfect.”
Saujani began her career as an attorney and activist. In 2010, she surged onto the political scene as the first Indian American woman to run for U.S. Congress. During the race, Saujani visited local schools and saw the gender gap in computing classes firsthand, which led her to start Girls Who Code.
Girls Who Code is leading the movement to inspire, educate, and equip young women with the computing skills to pursue 21st century opportunities. By the end of the 2019 academic year, Girls Who Code will have reached over 185,000 girls across all 50 states, Canada, and the United Kingdom. In 2019, Girls Who Code was awarded Most Innovative Non-Profit by Fast Company.
Saujani is a graduate of the University of Illinois, Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, and Yale Law School. Her work on behalf of young women has earned her broad recognition on lists including: Fortune World’s Greatest Leaders; Fortune 40 Under 40; WSJ Magazine Innovator of the Year; Forbes Most Powerful Women Changing the World; and Fast Company 100 Most Creative People, among others. She is the winner of the Harold W. McGraw, Jr. Prize in Education.
Saujani serves on the Board of Overseers for Harvard University and on the Board of Overseers for the International Rescue Committee, which provides aid to refugees and those impacted by humanitarian crises. In addition, she serves as an ex-officio Trustee of the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA).
Saujani lives in New York City with her husband, Nihal, their sons Shaan and Sai, and their bulldog, Stanley.
TEDxGotham: Girls Who Code
TED2016: Teach Girls Bravery, Not Perfection
You Cannot Be What You Cannot See
Innovation, Pay Equity, and the Importance of Getting Girls to Learn How to Code
Reshma Saujani: Good Morning America - Bridging The Technology Gender Gap
Women: The Answers to Tech's Talent Shortage 1
Women: The Answers to Tech's Talent Shortage 2
How to Fail First, Fail Hard, and Fail Fast 1
Teach Girls Bravery, Not Perfection
You Cannot Be What You Cannot See
A Conversation with Reshma Saujani
HGSE Convocation Speaker: Reshma Saujani
The Female Lead: Interview
How Do You Define Yourself?
Brave, Not Perfect
Do you run yourself ragged trying to not just do it all, but do it all flawlessly? Do you lose sleep ruminating over small mistakes or worrying that something you said or did might have offended someone? Have you ever passed up a big opportunity - a relationship, job, or a personal challenge - for fear you wouldn't nail it right away or look foolish trying? For you, is failure simply not an option?
You're not alone. As women, we've been taught from an early age to play it safe. Well-meaning parents and teachers rewarded us for being quiet and polite, urged us to be careful so we didn't get hurt, and steered us to activities at which we could shine. Meanwhile, boys were encouraged to speak up, get dirty, take risks and get right back up again if they fell. In short, boys are taught to be brave, while girls are taught to be perfect.
In a moderated Q&A, drawing from her book, Brave, Not Perfect, Saujani shares powerful insights and practices to make bravery a lifelong habit. Key takeaways include:
- The distinction between bravery, perfection and excellence
- Understanding whether or not this phenomenon is gendered
- Tangible actions both male and female leaders can take to enable women’s success
- Strategies to start undoing some of that perfection training
- How you can be part of the Bravery Revolution
Women and Leadership
By 2020, there will be 1.4 million new jobs available in computing related fields. U.S. graduates are on track to fill 29% of those jobs. Women are on track to fill just 3%.
Join Reshma Saujani, founder and CEO of Girls Who Code and author of Women Who Don't Wait in Line, as she talks about embracing the challenge to close the gender gap in technology, and why embracing risk and failure is key to success. Saujani will share how she has boldly charted her own course personally and professionally as a woman in leadership.
Closing the Gender Gap in Technology
It’s no secret that the tech industry has a serious gender imbalance. We live in an era in which girls are told they can do anything, so why aren’t there more women in leadership roles to look up to? In 2012, Reshma Saujani founded Girls Who Code with the mission of correcting this disparity. Since then, she has sparked a national conversation about increasing the number of women in tech, and Girls Who Code has reached nearly 40,000 young girls, 90 percent of whom have declared or intend to declare a major or minor in computer science. With Google and Twitter as backers, and Facebook and AT&T (among others) signed on as mentors, the program aims to enroll 1 million women by 2020.
Drawing from her book, Women Who Don’t Wait in Line, Saujani will advocate a new model of female leadership focused on embracing risk and failure, promoting mentorship and sponsorship, and boldly charting your own course, both personally and professionally.
How to Fail First, Fail Hard and Fail Fast
We had a phenomenal event yesterday and Reshma was a DREAM to work with. She gave an engaging and powerful speech, was so gracious, made our student speaker feel comfortable and less nervous, and had a conversation with students from a local high school’s Girls Who Code club….she was just amazing!AchieveMpls
She was empowering and engaging. Several audience members approached our team after the event saying she was the best speaker yet. Her talk aligned with our mission, and she did it in a relatable, personal way. It was an honor to meet and work with Reshma!United Way of Salt Lake City
Girls Who Code: Learn to Code and Change the World (opens in a new tab)