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 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 son, Shaan, and their bulldog, Stanley.
- How to Fail First, Fail Hard and Fail Fast
Reshma Saujani is a serial failed politician. Strikingly, it is because of her failures she has built a national movement that is changing the conversation about women and technology. Recounting her personal narrative and lessons learned in this compelling, dynamic and earnest presentation, Saujani also weaves in stories of other accomplished women who have overcome roadblocks and forged new paths—women who have similarly learned to live an authentic life by taking risks and choosing to seek failure rather than fear it. Offering tools to improve resiliency and embark on new ideas, she ignites and inspires audience members to pursue risk and help reshape the country.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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