Founder and CEO of Girls Who Code
Reshma Saujani is the Founder and CEO of Girls Who Code, a national non-profit organization working to close the gender gap in technology and change the image of what a programmer looks like and does.
With their 7-week Summer Immersion Program, 2-week specialized Campus Program, after school Clubs, and a 13-book New York Times best-selling series, Girls Who Code is leading the movement to inspire, educate, and equip young women with the computing skills to pursue 21st century opportunities. During the 2018 academic year, Girls Who Code reached over 90,000 girls in all 50 states and several US territories. Girls Who Code alumni are choosing to major in CS, or related fields, at a rate 15 times the national average; Black and Latina alumni are choosing to major in CS or related fields at a rate 16 times the national average.
Reshma 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, Reshma visited local schools and saw the gender gap in computing classes firsthand, which led her to start Girls Who Code. She has also served as Deputy Public Advocate for New York City and ran a spirited campaign for Public Advocate in 2013.
Reshma’s TED talk, “Teach girls, bravery not perfection,” has more than four million views and has sparked a national conversation about how we’re raising our girls. She is the author of three books, including the forthcoming Brave, Not Perfect - scheduled for release in Winter 2018, New York Times bestseller Girls Who Code: Learn to Code and Change the World, and Women Who Don’t Wait In Line - in which she advocates for a new model of female leadership focused on embracing risk and failure, promoting mentorship and sponsorship, and boldly charting your own course — personally and professionally.
Reshma is a graduate of the University of Illinois, Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, and Yale Law School. She’s been named one of Fortune’s World’s Greatest Leaders, Fortune’s 40 Under 40, a WSJ Magazine Innovator of the Year, a Future Lion of New York by the New York Times, a Harold W. McGraw, Jr. Prize in Education winner, one of the 50 Most Powerful Women in New York by the New York Daily News, CNBC’s Next List, Forbes’s Most Powerful Women Changing the World, Fast Company’s 100 Most Creative People, Crain’s New York 40 Under 40, Ad Age’s Creativity 50, Business Insider’s 50 Women Who Are Changing the World, City & State’s Rising Stars, and an AOL / PBS Next MAKER. Saujani serves on the Board of Overseers for the International Rescue Committee, which provides aid to refugees and those impacted by humanitarian crises, and She Should Run, which seeks to increase the number of women in public leadership.
Reshma 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.