Reshma Saujani founded Girls Who Code in 2012, with a mission to close the gender gap in computer science and educate and prepare girls for careers in the technology industry. While the non-profit grew and the amount of women earning degrees in computer science increased, gender equality continues to lag inside of tech companies. Women are still being denied the same career opportunities as men, regardless of their education level or skill set. Then came the pandemic, dealing a devastating blow to women and their careers. Since the start of Covid-19, more than 2.3 million women have been forced out of the U.S. workforce, undoing over three decades of progress towards gender equality. The lack of leadership on this crisis was the impetus for Reshma’s new initiative, the Marshall Plan for Moms, which calls for “long overdue policies like paid family leave, affordable childcare, and pay equity.” She joins the podcast to talk about solving the cultural and systemic forces that exist inside of tech companies, and across greater society, that hold women back and inhibit the U.S. from realizing its full economic potential.
Listen to this episode to learn:
- Why tech companies should be addressing the problem of “unearned privilege” rather than the myth of the “pipeline problem”
- The cultural problem of toxic masculinity inside tech companies — and how it’s forcing far too many women (especially younger women) to drop out of tech entirely
- How bravery can be the antidote to perfectionism
- How role models like Vice President Kamala Harris inspire women of color — or, as Reshma says, “You cannot be what you cannot see.”
- Why true gender equality needs vocal male allies and advocates — at home and at work
- What’s next for Reshma as she steps down as CEO of Girls Who Code and hands leadership over to Dr. Tarika Barrett