Girls Who Code Event


Pictured are Jackie Shannon ’18 (left), Ms. Reshma Saujani (middle), and Juliette Guice ’17 (right) after the student journalist question and answer session.

Over 50 student journalists from Convent of the Sacred Heart, Greenwich Country Day School, Greenwich High School, Stanwich School, Whitby School and Greenwich Academy gathered in Second Congregational Church September 30 to hear Ms. Reshma Saujani, CEO and founder of Girls Who Code, talk about the importance of teaching bravery rather than perfection.
The Parity Partnership, a non-partisan organization in Greenwich hosted the event and member Dita Bharvaga, introduced her friend, Ms. Saujani. The event was co-hosted by YWCA Greenwich, India Cultural Center of Greenwich (ICC), Urban League Southern CT, Second Congregational Church Greenwich, Stanwich School, Whitby School, and Greenwich Academy.
Ms. Dita Bharvaga of The Parity Partnership introduced Ms. Reshma Saujani, CEO and founder of Girls Who Code.
Ms. Dita Bharvaga of The Parity Partnership introduces Ms. Reshma Saujani, CEO and founder of Girls Who Code.

Ms. Saujani pursued multiple career paths before establishing the organization. She initially pursued a legal path and received a Master of Public Policy from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. From there, she continued her education at Yale Law School.
In 2010, Ms. Saujani transitioned into politics and became the first Indian-American woman to run for Congress. She told the audience that she was confident that she would win the election. To Ms. Saujani’s surprise, she only received 19 percent of the vote.
Although she lost the election, she gained a valuable insight on her campaign trail. While campaigning, Ms. Saujani visited local schools and recognized the lack of girls’ participation in technology classes. She asked, “where are the girls?” 
This realization inspired Ms. Saujani to start her non-profit organization Girls Who Code in 2012. According to, their mission is to simply “close the gender gap in technology”.
According to, “Tech jobs are among the fastest growing in the country, yet girls are being left behind. While [girls’] interest in computer science ebbs over time, the biggest drop off happens between the ages of 13-17.”
To solve this problem, Girls Who Code is, “building the largest pipeline of future female engineers in the United States.” The non-profit teaches girls computer and programming skills through summer programs across all fifty states.
Ms. Saujani highlights the difference between excellence and perfection, in relation with her TED Talk, Teach Girls Bravery, Not Perfection.
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Student journalist Juliette Guice ’17 asks Ms. Reshma Saujani a question about how educators can take action to instill bravery in students.

“Most girls are taught to avoid risk and failure. We’re taught to smile pretty, play it safe, get all A’s. Boys, on the other hand, are taught to play rough, swing high, crawl to the top of the monkey bars and then just jump off headfirst. And by the time they’re adults, whether they’re negotiating a raise or even asking someone out on a date, they’re habituated to take risk after risk. They’re rewarded for it,” Ms. Saujani said according to the TED Talk. 
In order to solve the problem, Ms. Saujani believes parents and educators must teach girls to be brave and be comfortable with imperfection.
“Because when we teach girls to be imperfect, and we help them leverage it, we will build a movement of young women who are brave and who will build a better world for themselves and for each and every one of us,” Ms. Saujani said. 
Ms. Saujani left the audience with three important points to remember. First, failure is healthy and should be harvested to work towards something greater. Second, teach girls to take more risks. Third, value the importance of sisterhood.
“We have to begin to undo the socialization of perfection, but we’ve got to combine it with building a sisterhood that lets girls know that they are not alone. Because trying harder is not going to fix a broken system,” Ms. Saujani said. 
– Juliette Guice, Managing Editor and Video Content Editor and Jackie Shannon, Staff Writer