Women in STEM - Reshma Saujani
Reshma Saujani’s parents came to the United States in the 1970s. They were fleeing from Uganda as political refugees, when it was announced on television that Indians living there had 90 days to leave the country.
Reshma was born a few years later in Chicago, Illinois, and ended up graduating with degrees in political science and speech communications from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She then went on to receive her Master of Public Policy from Harvard, and after that, received her Juris Doctor from Yale.
She worked as a lawyer for about a decade, and in 2010, inspired by Hilary Clinton, Reshma became the first Indian-American Woman to run for United States Congress. She lost her race, but used that loss as a catalyst to do something even greater.
Through her campaigning across New York City, Reshma heard about the gender gap in technology, and set out to do something about it. She quickly realized that the lack of women’s representation in tech was not an aptitude problem, but one related to not having good examples of women succeeding in tech. When girls thought of a computer scientist, they regularly thought of a male computer scientist. She also realized that girls seemed to be more focused on “changing the world” and solving community problems, and that those motivators were not being addressed by other programs working to bridge the gender gap in tech. So in 2012, she founded Girls Who Code.
Reshma has built Girls Who Code into a global empire, dedicated to empowering young girls (and boys) to know and understand that female computer scientists exist, and are to be celebrated. She also instills the lessons of not being afraid to fail and that we should all aim to be “brave, not perfect.”
She has authored a number of women's leadership and empowerment books, focused around those same concepts.
To learn more about Reshma and the incredible work she does, please visit her Wikipedia page:
And then watch this TedTalk she gave about teaching girls bravery, not perfection.
Girls Who Code and Code Savvy recently partnered up to provide access to even more curricula and resources for students throughout Minnesota. If you’d like to learn more, please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org!