Last week, Lenny Letter published an inspiring interview with Girls Who Code founder Reshma Saujani.
Meena Harris: You started Girls Who Code in 2012, while you were running for office for the second time, to be the New York City public advocate. Why did you start the organization?
Reshma Saujani: In 2010, I lost my race for Congress, and I was broke and humiliated, with no contingency plan. The biggest thing for me was that I had met all these girls on the campaign trail, and I didn’t want to let them down. I was thinking about how I could make the most impact. I knew I wasn’t going to go back to the private sector; I hated it. I knew I wanted to be in service, and so as I thought about how I could give back, there was this issue of girls and technology that kept coming back to me.
In 2010, the tech boom in New York was resurging again. Facebook was here, Google was here, we were starting to build incubators. You were really feeling this kind of tech community that was growing. The fact that women were absent from that growth — at a time when we were the majority in college and in our labor force, and 40 percent of breadwinners — didn’t make sense to me.
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