Reshma Saujani is an American lawyer and politician with a passion for sparking change. She’s the founder of the technology organization Girls Who Code, and her work has helped over 500,000 young girls find a place in the STEM world. Reshma’s approach and tireless work has made a profound impact in the tech world, and her story is truly inspiring.
Reshma was born in Illinois and is of Gujarati Indian descent. She was raised by her parents, who were refugees that settled down in Chicago. Reshma saw how America accepted her parents and knew she wanted to help others in the same way. She graduated with degrees from the University of Illinois, Harvard Kennedy School of Government, and Yale Law School.
Reshma Saujani started her career as a lawyer and activist. She joined the political scene as the first Indian American woman to run for Congress. While her efforts were unsuccessful, she did discover a new path to follow. While on her campaign trail, she noticed the lack of women learning computer science technology, and she set out to make change. She founded Girls Who Code in 2012 which is a non-profit organization. It aimed to educate and equip young women with computing skills to pursue careers in technology. Reshma’s journey is a testament to resilience and vision!
Growing up, Reshma experienced racism and sexism in both her education and daily life, but it only pushed her to make more of a difference. In the beginning of her political career, she experienced two public congressional race losses and felt discouraged. She then turned her setback into a triumphant new beginning by founding Girls Who Code. She has also been open about her journey with motherhood and created a company focused on helping mothers impacted by the pandemic. Reshma is a perfect example of determination and resiliency.
Reshma’s advice to young people, especially girls, is to embrace failure as a stepping stone to success. She stresses the importance of taking risks and stepping out of your comfort zone. She encourages people to pursue their passions, even if it seems impossible. Furthermore, she emphasizes that it’s ok to fail as long as you get up and try again. Because for her, it’s not about perfection but progress.
Her impact on the tech industry and society as a whole is undeniable. Through Girls Who Code, she has inspired countless young women to pursue careers in tech, effectively challenging the industry’s gender gap. Her personal journey and ongoing spirit continue to inspire many around the world. Reshma’s work serves not only as a reminder that change is possible, but also that you can do anything you put your mind to!
Food for Thought
What has failure inspired you to do? What can we do to close the gender gap in the tech industry?