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Women’s History Month Spotlight: Reshma Saujani

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at TAMU chapter.

Ranking among Fortune’s World’s Greatist Leaders, Wall Street Journal’s Innovator of the Year, and Forbes’ Most Powerful Women Changing the World, Reshma Saujani is at the forefront of women empowerment. Dedicated to closing the gender gap in the tech sector and advocating for policies that support mothers in the workplace, Saujani’s passion for activism has created a better future for women globally. This Women’s History month, let’s take a look at some of her greatest accomplishments:

Girls Who Code

While female attendance at colleges has surpassed male attendance, there is still a gender gap in computer science programs, where female enrollment has declined 15% from 1995 to 2022. With women only comprising 22% of the computer science field, Saujani realized the need for representation was urgent. In 2012, she founded Girls Who Code, an organization dedicated to teaching girls programming skills, with a mission to close the gender gap in entry-level tech jobs by 2030. The program provides training for any skill level or age group, with programs from beginner to advanced starting as low as 3rd grade up to college. For high schoolers, 2-6 week virtual summer camps allow students to learn skills in game design, cybersecurity, and data science at their own pace, preparing them for college and the tech world. From initially serving just 20 students in the US to over 500,000 in the US, Canada, the UK, and India, Girls Who Code has helped women earn computer science degrees 7x faster than the national average. With nearly half of the students enrolled from underrepresented groups, Girls Who Code emphasizes diversity, equity, and inclusion through public policy measures that fund gender inclusion training and increase exposure to tech careers for women and minorities. With Bravery, Sisterhood, and Activism as core values, Girls Who Code is changing the tech landscape for the better, shaping an equitable future for young women globally.

Moms First

With the pandemic taking a toll on millions of women and families, Saujani started Marshall Plan for Moms, a movement focused on supporting mothers through economic struggles. As the pandemic started to wane, Marshall Plan for Moms became Moms First, with the goal of changing the culture around working mothers. Moms First has taken action to create equity in the household by encouraging fatherly engagement, as well as reinventing the way we talk about women in politics. From advocating for paid parental leave in the Build Back Better Plan, to affordable child care, Moms First aims to provide much-needed relief in the household in addition to fighting for pay equality in the workplace. Additionally, Moms First created a ‘Male Allies Letter’, in which 50 male industry leaders concurred that “as partners and fathers we need to start doing our share at home.” This redefinition of parental dynamics will play a crucial part in changing rigid gender roles to better accommodate working parents. By emphasizing a partnership, rather than the standard ‘caregiver’ method that leaves many mothers burdened, Saujani is taking action to create a more equitable future for mothers everywhere.

Reshma Saujani’s influence on the lives of children and young adults has spread all across the country, as her work has allowed 250,000 underrepresented youth to see new opportunities and growth in tech careers. For working-age women, Saujani is fighting to reverse the decades of unmanageable responsibilities placed upon women and parents by incorporating more reasonable expectations of domestic partnerships in the US. Personally, Saujani’s work helps me to feel a sense of empowerment in my own future, knowing that the fight for equality is making impactful headway. Truly, Reshma Saujani is a hero to women from childhood to adulthood.

Katie is a junior accounting major and second year a staff writer for HerCampus at TAMU. She mainly writes about cultural discourse, local events on campus or in the Bryan-College Station area, and her personal experiences. Beyond HerCampus, Katie served for two years as a peer mentor for the Freshman Business Initiative, helping freshmen through career training activities such as resume workshops and mock interviews. She was also a member of the social committee for Freshman Aggie Ladies Leading where she helped plan social events. This summer, she's excited to start her first internship in audit at a CPA firm in Dallas. After graduating with her Bachelor's in accounting, she hopes to pursue an MBA. In her free time, Katie enjoys listening to pop music, reading, watching movies, and playing Animal Crossing. She is obsessed with smush-faced dogs (especially bulldogs and pugs), the color pink, and collecting Funko Pop dolls. Katie can be spotted at Velvet Taco, Chipotle, or at various thrift shops around College Station.