Opening General Session

Friday, June 23, 2017 - 4:00pm to 5:15pm
Reshma Saujani

Reshma Saujani 

Since 2012, Girls Who Code has taught computing skills to and inspired more than10,000 girls across America--and they're just at the beginning of their mission to close the gender gap in tech. Reshma Saujani, the Founder and CEO of the national non-profit organization, is also the author of the groundbreaking book Women Who Don't Wait In Line, in which she advocates for a new model of female leadership focused on embracing risk and failure, promoting mentorship and sponsorship, and boldly charting your own course.

Girls Who Code is growing fast, with a goal of reaching one million young women by 2020 (by when 1.4 million jobs will be open in computing related fields in the US, but we are only on pace to fill 29% of them with computing graduates, and a mere 3% of those will be women). The organization has been featured in more than 100 publications and media outlets, from The New York Times to The Today Show, and has more than 105,000 Twitter followers—likely including some of your patrons and students. The forthcoming book Girls Who Code: Learn to Code and Change the World (August 2017, ages 10 and up), will show girls how coding skills are relevant to their lives and will get them excited about creating their own apps, games, and robots. With dynamic artwork, down-to-earth explanations of coding principles, and real-life stories of girls and women working at places like Pixar and NASA, it sets out to prove that coding is truly for everyone, no matter their interests. “The world is advancing in technology and women and girls need to educate ourselves on computer science to catch up. I don't know how to code but this book has inspired me to learn,” says Malala Yousafzai, Student, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate and Co-Founder of the Malala Fund. The Friendship Code, a fictional title, will be published at the same time as Girls Who Code.

Saujani has been named one of Fortune's 40 under 40, a WSJ Magazine Innovator of the Year, one of the 50 Most Powerful Women in New York by the New York Daily News, Forbes's Most Powerful Women Changing the World, Business Insider's 50 Women Who Are Changing the World, and an AOL/PBS Next MAKER. Listen to her TED Talk “Teach girls bravery, not perfection” to learn more about her passions and philosophy. Get details and add to your schedule.


Penguin Young Readers


*This session is open to full conference or Friday pass registrants of the 2017 ALA Annual Conference.