Reshma Saujani is the Founder and CEO of Girls Who Code, the nonprofit organization working to close the gender gap in technology while teaching girls confidence and bravery through coding. A lifelong activist, Saujani was the first Indian American woman to run for U.S. Congress. She is the author of three books, including the International Bestseller Brave, Not Perfect, Women Who Don’t Wait In Line and the New York Times Bestseller Girls Who Code: Learn to Code and Change the World. Reshma lives in New York City with her husband, Nihal, their son, Shaan, and their bulldog, Stanley.
1. Best piece of advice you’ve been given?
“Just start” So often we think we need the perfect resume or business plan to pursue something but that’s just not true. We’ll never be 100% ready to do anything, so we might as well just do it
2. Worst piece of advice you’ve been given
“You shouldn’t start Girls Who Code because girls just can’t code.” … and here we are 185,000 girl coders later and expanding internationally.
3. What would you tell your younger self?
The “perfect” life won’t make you happy. You don’t need to go to the “right schools” or get the “perfect job” to be happy. (Spoiler from the future: it will actually end up making you miserable.) You will live a more joyful life when you live bravely and authentically. #bravenotperfect
4. What excites you most about the future of your industry?
My girls. They’re going to solve the world’s biggest problems with code
5. Who or what is your biggest inspiration?
When I was younger, my dad used to read me stories of Mahatma Gandhi, MLK, Eleanor Roosevelt, their stories made me realize from a young age that public service is where I needed to be. They were brave and unafraid to make mistakes to lead the change they wanted to see.