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Reshma Saujani: Founder, Author, & Activist

Updated: Dec 12, 2023

Reshma Saujani founder of Girls Who Code

Our world and society brings with it many challenges and expectations for women and girls, many of which are biased and unfair, especially in their careers. Even today, in 2023, women only earn 82 cents for every dollar a man makes, and this can be even lower for women of color. Fortunately, there are many inspiring individuals who seek to fight for equality and empower women and girls in their lives and careers, including the founder of Girls Who Code, Reshma Saujani.

Reshma Saujani is an entrepreneur, an author, and an activist who has been fighting for women and girls’ economic empowerment for over 10 years. Her career journey began when she served as an attorney and Democratic organizer, and then she became the first Indian American woman to run for U.S. Congress in 2010. During the political race, Saujani went to visit local schools - this is where she saw the gender gap in computing classes firsthand. With a mission to close this gap, she founded Girls Who Code.

Girls Who Code

Did you know that, in 2022, only 22% of computer scientists were women? Compare this to 37% in 1995, and you can see how much the gap has increased. Non-profit organization Girls Who Code was founded by Reshma Saujani in 2012 to close the gender gap in tech; according to the organization’s research, they plan to close this gap for new entry-level tech jobs by 2030.

During Saujani’s 9 years as CEO of Girls Who Code, she grew the organization to be one of the largest and most reputable non-profits in the U.S. To date, Girls Who Code has served 580,000 girls, women, and nonbinary individuals worldwide. The award for Most Innovative Non-Profit was given to Girls Who Code by Fast Company in 2019.

Bestselling Author

Reshma Saujani is the author of international bestseller Brave, Not Perfect, a book inspired by her widely popular TED Talk, “Teach girls, bravery not perfection,” which has more than five million views globally. Girls are taught from a young age to be polite, quiet, and safe, meanwhile boys are almost expected to speak up, play rough, and take risks. In other words, girls are taught to be perfect, while boys are taught to be brave. In this book, Saujani teaches the reader about letting go of the need to be perfect and instead embracing bravery; she teaches girls and women that it is okay to fail, to live boldly, and to use their voice.

Saujani is also the author of Pay Up: The Future of Women and Work (and Why It's Different Than You Think), a book that addresses corporate feminism as well as the burnout and inequity harming America’s working women today. Her other two books include: Girls Who Code: Learn to Code and Change the World and Women Who Don't Wait in Line: Break the Mold, Lead the Way.

Moms First

Reshma Saujani is the founder of Moms First, previously known as the Marshall Plan for Moms, a movement that advocates for support for America’s moms, in and out of the home. The COVID-19 pandemic affected many people across the country, and mothers were impacted especially hard. During this time, moms balanced work and family responsibilities without support from the government, and child care centers and schools were shut down. This caused many women to leave the workforce, erasing the progress on economic freedom that had been achieved.

Saujani’s passion for achieving true economic freedom and equality for women led her to develop policies and campaigns that will transform workplaces and society to better benefit moms. The goals for Moms First include affordable child care, paid leave, and equal pay. Backed by celebrities, activists, and business leaders, this movement can go a long way in building support systems for moms.

Reshma Saujani’s passion, talents, and innovative approach has earned her great recognition and awards 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. Her display of dedication in her journey and achievements continue to inspire girls and women across the country.

“Never give up. People will always discount you, and you'll always get rejected. But set your sights high. Be boldly ambitious. Be relentless and never give up.” -Reshma Saujani



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