October 28, 2018, 4 p.m. CT
Reshma Saujani is the Founder and CEO of Girls Who Code, a national non-profit organization working to close the gender gap in technology. Through its Summer Immersion Programs and Clubs, Girls Who Code is leading the movement to inspire, educate, and equip young women with the computing skills to pursue 21st century opportunities.
Started in 2012, the organization has grown to reach 40,000 girls, running 80 Summer Immersion Programs and 1,500 Clubs across the US. The results speak for themselves: 93 percent of alumnae have declared or intend to declare a major or minor in computer science. Saujani 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. Saujani has also served as Deputy Public Advocate for New York City and ran a spirited campaign for Public Advocate in 2013.
Saujani’s TED talk, “Teach girls bravery, not perfection”, has more than three million views and has sparked a national conversation about how we’re raising our girls. She is the author of two books, Girls Who Code: Learn to Code and Change the World, the first in a 13-book series about girls and coding, 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.
Saujani 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, 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 directors of 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.
Saujani lives in New York City with her husband, Nihal, their son, Shaan, and their bulldog Stanley.