Girls Who Code founder Reshma Saujani urges women to take risks

After losing a congressional run and founding her own nonprofit, Saujani says women need to be unafraid of their own ambition.

Failure is part of the deal.

Reshma Saujani wants women to fail. Well, not exactly, but in her book “Women Who Don’t Wait in Line,” Saujani makes it clear that women who take risks and fail big are the ones who are going to end up changing the ratio for women in all fields of leadership.

Saujani isn’t a stranger to failure herself. The book opens with an arresting depiction of the day after her unsuccessful run for Congress in New York in 2010. She rolls out of a bed surrounded by unopened celebratory champagne, plagued by her loss. The anecdote aptly sets up the lessons the book imparts about taking risks and embracing failure in order to achieve more.

“I think the thing is, if you haven’t failed enough you haven’t tried anything,” says the Yale Law graduate and founder of the nonprofit Girls Who Code. “It doesn’t mean you’re not going to be sad and question yourself and figure out if there’s another way, but as women we have to be OK with not taking the easy way out.”

Saujani says the book began as an exercise to move on from the loss of her congressional run and became a soothing resource. The advice she gives stresses authenticity and ambition, suggesting that women need to do more than just lean in. She says they need to hire women whenever possible so that professional networks can grow. (With pride, Saujani says that Sheryl Sandberg has been a big supporter of hers.)

“We need some more fairy godmothers, women who are going to create opportunities for each other,” Saujani says. “Men do it all the time — they see it as part of their obligation to figure out who’s going to be the one to take their place.”

For Saujani, her legacy as a public servant isn’t as clear as her intention to enact change for women. Overall, she says she’s optimistic.

“We have this generational divide. You see these young women who are impatient, that are brazen and forward-thinking. How do we continue to embrace that?” she asks, hoping her readers will find the answers.


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Memorial held for Sean Collier, MIT police officer…

More than 1,600 people gathered at MIT on Friday for a memorial service for Sean Collier, the police officer shot to death a year ago in the aftermath of the…

National

Florida man charged with murdering son to play…

A Florida man annoyed that his 16-month-old crying son was preventing him from playing video games suffocated the toddler, police said on Friday.

International

Powerful 7.2 magnitude earthquake rattles Mexico

A powerful earthquake struck Mexico Friday, shaking buildings and sending people running into the street, although there were no reports of major damage.

News

OMG! Exercise can make skin (and butt) look…

A moderate exercise regime can turn back time and actually reverse the skin's aging process, according to new research. The study showed that a minimum…

Entertainment

Whoopi Goldberg makes her debut as marijuana columnist

"It helps my head stop hurting, and with glaucoma your eyes ache, and she takes the ache out. It's wonderful," she said.

The Word

Kate Middleton made fun of Prince William's bald…

Kate Middleton and Prince William are in Sydney, Australia, right now, and it sounds like that brash Aussie sense of humor might be rubbing off.

The Word

Is Tom Cruise dating Laura Prepon?

"Mission: Impossible" star Cruise is said to be dating Laura Prepon, star of "Orange is the New Black."

Television

'Scandal' recap: Season 3, Episode 18, 'The Price…

Sally is Jesus, Olivia caused global warming, and Mellie's still drunk. Let's recap the Scandal finale. A church full of Washington insiders is about to…

MLB

MLB video highlights: Red Sox defeat Orioles, 4-2

Brock Holt the difference in the Red Sox' win

NHL

NHL video highlights & analysis: Red Wings dump…

NHL video highlights & analysis: Red Wings dump Bruins in Game 1

MLB

MLB video highlights: Orioles top Red Sox, 8-4…

John Lackey roughed up for second straight outing

MLB

MLB video highlights: Red Sox score two in…

Lester shines in Red Sox win over White Sox

Parenting

How to parent without gender stereotypes in a…

Christia Spears Brown, Phd. author of "Parenting beyond Pink & Blue" gives advice on raising kids free of gender stereotypes.

Tech

VIDEO: 'Vein-scanning' may become the future of paying

Designed to make transactions quicker and easier, the technology works by scanning the unique vein patterns in each person's palm.

Tech

#FollowFriday: 10 of the smartest Twitter accounts

Spending lots of time on Twitter? You might as well learn something. Here are some of the smartest accounts to follow.

Style

Light-up nail art syncs with phone

This Japanese technology syncs light-up nail art with your phone.