Reshma Saujani: Teach girls bravery, not perfection
Reshma Saujani - Education activist
Through her nonprofit, Girls Who Code, Reshma Saujani initiates young women into the tech world. Her goal: one million women in computer science by 2020. Full bio
safely behind the scenes in politics
had been in my district since 1992.
in a Democratic primary.
told a very different story.
that I was crazy to run,
in a New York City congressional race.
from the New York Daily News,
snapped pictures of me on election day,
races in the country.
an Indian girl was running.
that said I was a rising political star
about the importance of failure.
of how I ran for Congress
in my entire life
that was truly brave,
towards careers and professions
they're going to be great in,
going to be perfect in,
to avoid risk and failure.
and then just jump off headfirst.
or even asking someone out on a date,
to take risk after risk.
unless you've had two failed start-ups.
about our federal deficit,
we're just losing out
our girls to be brave.
women are underrepresented in STEM,
handled an assignment
were quick to give up.
the more likely they were to give up.
to be a challenge.
to redouble their efforts.
in every subject,
and girls approach a challenge.
that men will apply for a job
of the qualifications,
of the qualifications.
as evidence that, well,
to aspire to perfection,
less risks in our careers.
that are open right now
is being left behind
women would solve
to teach girls to code,
is that by teaching them to code
of trial and error,
in the right place,
between success and failure.
to build comes to life.
tells me the same story.
when the girls are learning how to code,
and she'll say,
she'd think that her student
just staring at the screen.
wrote code and then deleted it.
the progress that she made,
are really good at coding,
just to teach them to code.
at the University of Columbia
with computer science students.
with an assignment,
wrong with my code."
wrong with me."
the socialization of perfection,
with building a sisterhood
that they are not alone.
is not going to fix a broken system.
cheering them on,
two of our high school students
for her new country
to help Americans get to the polls.
who built an algorithm
is benign or malignant
that she can save her daddy's life
three examples of thousands,
socialized to be imperfect,
who have learned perseverance.
more important for our country.
for any economy to grow,
half our population.
to be comfortable with imperfection,
to learn how to be brave like I did
to be brave in schools
to impact their lives
that they will be loved and accepted
to tell every young woman you know --
your employee, your colleague --
girls to be imperfect,
of young women who are brave
a better world for themselves
You have a vision.
are involved now in your program?
So in 2012, we taught 20 girls.
in all 50 states.
7,500 women in computer science.
that type of change quickly.
of the companies in this room even,
graduates from your program?
to Pixar to Disney,
I'm going to find you,
classroom in their office.
back from some of those companies
good things happen.
to think about the fact
consumer purchases are made by women.
of 600 percent more than men.
the companies of tomorrow.
have diverse teams,
that are part of their engineering teams,
and we see it every day.
You're doing incredibly important work.
More power to you. Thank you.
About the speaker:Reshma Saujani - Education activist
Through her nonprofit, Girls Who Code, Reshma Saujani initiates young women into the tech world. Her goal: one million women in computer science by 2020.
Why you should listen
Reshma Saujani walked away from a finance career in 2010 to run for the House of Representatives. Although her Congress bid (and a subsequent shot for the office of New York City Public Advocate) was ultimately unsuccessful, Saujani's passion for public service was fired up.
In 2012, Saujani founded Girls Who Code to stoke excitement for computer science among high-school women. She aims to enroll one million women in the program by 2020 -- and tech has stepped in to help: Google and Twitter are backers, and engineers at Facebook, AT&T and others have signed on as mentors.
Reshma Saujani | Speaker | TED.com