Reshma Jaujani Fireside Talk

For the last 10 years, the nonprofit organization, Girls Who Code, has ignited a movement of women in the field of technology.

On Feb 10, Dickinson held a fireside chat with the Girls Who Code founder and former CEO, Reshma Saujani. The event was presented at the Stern Center via zoom to students, faculty, and President John E. Jones III.

Reshma Saujani is a Harvard and Yale educated lawyer, entrepreneur, and activist who founded Girls Who Code in 2012, following an unsuccessful congressional run as the first South Asian woman to run for congress. 

“I found myself working as a corporate lawyer in a job I hated, in a life that I didn’t want,” said Saujani on her decision to run for congress.

Although her campaign for congress was unsuccessful, through her strength and perseverance, she was able to channel her passion to serve others in order to start Girls Who Code which began a growing movement.

“I had thought for so long that if I did something and I failed at it, that the failure would literally break me,” said Saujani. “When I was a candidate running for office, I would go into I would see lines and lines of boys, trying to be the next Steve Jobs or Mark Zuckerberg and I remember thinking to myself, where are all the girls?” 

Saujani finds that women are frequently put down for making even the most miniscule errors. “You’re not crazy to think that there’s a higher penalty for failure for a woman, because there is,” and that “We as women need to start changing the way that we evaluate failure,” said Saujani.

Throughout her speech she painted a poignant picture of what being a woman feels like in these times especially during the ongoing pandemic due to which “11 million women left the workforce” and the “labor participation is back to where it was in 1989” said Saujani.

As a result, Saujani says that she recently stepped down as CEO of Girls Who Code and founded Marshall Plan for Moms “to help mothers and working women recover from the pandemic which has decimated our careers and lives.”