What Gives Me Optimism: Girls Who Code Founder Reshma Saujani

“I believe that we can rewire ourselves to be brave, to take more risks.”

As part of an ongoing series, Thrive is asking some of the most interesting people we know to tell us what’s been making them hopeful lately. Here’s what Reshma Saujani, author of Brave, Not Perfect, and founder and CEO of tech organization Girls Who Code, told us:

Bravery gives me hope for the future — specifically, the bravery of girls and women.

For too long, we’ve raised our girls to be perfect and our boys to be brave. Eventually, that perfectionism causes us stress and anxiety and unhappiness when we grow up. It also creates a leadership gap. Women are too afraid to even apply for a job unless they meet 100 percent of the qualifications or to major in computer science because its too difficult or to ask for a promotion because they might not get it. As a result, we are missing out on talent, and we are missing out on economic opportunity.

But I believe things can change. I believe that we can rewire ourselves to be brave, to take more risks. That can mean quitting a job, or asking for a raise, or picking up a hobby we might not even be good at. Even if we might fail. And right now, I think things are changing. We are on the cusp of a bravery revolution. This revolution will bring us closer to gender parity in tech, to more joyful lives, and to a more equal and just world.

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