When Reshma Saujani lost the Democratic primary for the U.S. House of Representatives in New York in 2010, she found a surge of inspiration for her next project — closing the gender gap in tech. The founder and CEO of Girls Who Code recently sat down with Arianna Huffington for The Thrive Global Podcast, in partnership with iHeartRadio and Sleep Number, where she talked about the enormous gender divide she saw in classrooms while campaigning around New York City.
As a working mom, angel investor, author, and founder of her groundbreaking nonprofit, Saujani has paved her own path to success, and by founding Girls Who Code, she is committed to bringing girls into the tech space and changing the way people think about female programmers.
“I’ve had a job since I was twelve,” Saujani explained to Huffington. “I’ve always been very committed to creating opportunity for other girls and for other people who don’t have it. When I looked at all of these jobs that were open…I thought to myself, ‘We can’t leave girls behind. Why are we leaving girls behind?’”
Saujani’s original question —one that first occurred to her while speaking at school districts across the city, ignited a fire within her to find what else was missing in the field. She recalls asking herself, “Were there programs for girls? Were there gender specific classrooms? What were we teaching them? What did they look like?” Saujani noticed a change that needed to be made, and decided to take action.
In just six years, Girls Who Code has reached over 90,000 students, and the organization is on track to achieve gender equality in computer science by 2027. Saujani has single-handedly spearheaded a movement that is bringing girls across the country together to make a significant change in gender parity, and she’s just getting started.