Philip Graden

Reshma Saujani: Be Brave, Not Perfect

In 1995, 37 percent of computer scientists were women. Today, it’s only 24 percent and it will decline to 22 percent by 2022 if nothing is done.

Reshma Saujani, an Indian-American woman, set out to change the male-dominated tech scene developing her own outlet where young girls could be brave and not perfect, and feel comfortable in her own skin pursuing a career within the tech field.

The truth of the matter is that it was and still is an uphill battle for women representation within the tech sector. Computing is where the jobs are and will be in the future, but fewer than 1 in 5 computer science graduates are women.

Reshma’s advocacy for revolutionizing the coding industry stems from the path she sees the tech industry headed toward and her own experiences.

Reshma’s short-lived political career as the first Indian-American woman to run for Congress gave her the inspiration to live out a creed of being brave and not perfect. Reshma may have lost, but rest assured everything happens for a reason. Throughout her campaign, she visited local schools and witnessed firsthand the gender gap in computing classes. She saw a trend of male-dominated classrooms.

So what did she do?

In 2012, she broke ground. Reshma founded Girls Who Code, the international nonprofit organization working to close the gender gap in technology and change the image of what a computer programmer looks like and does.

To say the least, her organization has lived up to the calling of edging young girls to indeed be brave and take chances. Girls Who Code is actively leading the movement to inspire, educate, and equip young women with computing skills to pursue 21st century opportunities.

Girls Who Code offers a variety of programs designed to help expose young girls to coding including after school clubs, summer immersion programs, college loops, books, and free lesson plans. To date, the organization has served more than 185,000 girls with 50 percent of girls coming from historically underrepresented groups.

Reshma’s organization is impacting young girls across every city with Girls Who Code alumni choosing computer science majors at a rate of 15 times the national average. Nevertheless, the girls who do not decide to pursue a computer science major in college after interacting with the organization are still indeed brave, and Reshma knows that this is still a win.

To learn more about Girls Who Code, please visit: