Reshma Saujani

Teaches girls to be brave over perfect

I always say if you’re not failing, you’re not trying.

Ms. Saujani doesn't just talk about being brave over perfect, she lives it. At the age of 33, she ran for Congress without having any prior experience. She ultimately lost the race, but she retells the story not to highlight how she handled defeat and launched a successful venture afterwards, she tells the story to highlight that it was the first time in her life she did something truly brave. Bravery and courage are hard and aren't common, but so worth the journey!


Born: November 18, 1975

Country: Illinois, US

Profession: Lawyer, Business Woman

Best known for: CEO of Girls Who Code

Contribution to success: Perseverance. Embracing failure and learning from it has made Ms. Suajani stronger, more confident and more resilient

Interesting fact: Ms. Suajani is an avid advocate for differentiation between perfection and excellence; as well as understanding the difference between striving for success and striving for perfection. She encourages to practice bravery through imperfection, like sending an email with a typo in it

Why we chose her: She dares. She dares to dream, try and fail, get up and dream bigger. She is a successful lawyer, she ran for Congress and when she lost, she didn’t give up on her dream of making impact! She found Girls Who Code

Our favorite quotes by Ms. Saujani:

“I think there's a lot of women who learn to code but then still don't raise their hand, or still  don't ask for what they're worth, or still don't quit the job that they absolutely hate.”

“ It wasn’t until I did something that totally terrified me — quitting my cushy job and running for office — that I realized that bravery (and sometimes failing!) really was the secret to living my best life.”

“One small thing that has totally been a game-changer for me is the word “yet.” Sometimes I get stuck in a rut of negativity, thinking “I’m not good at building my son’s toys,” “I can’t fix the broken setting on my computer,” or even “I’m just not good at saying no.” Tack on the word yet — and it’s a whole new mindset. Psychologist and motivational pioneer Carol Dweck referred to this as embracing the “power of yet” as opposed to “the tyranny of now.”

“From a young age we teach them to smile, to be nice and say their thank you’s, while we allow young boys to just crawl atop the monkey bars and jump right off.”

Video: Teach girls bravery, not perfection

Article: Girls Who Code's Reshma Saujani: The First Time I Did Something Truly Brave

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Karina Salfeld