Teaching Girls Bravery, Not Perfection

“We’re raising our girls to be perfect, and we’re raising our boys to be brave”, says Reshma Saujani, the founder of Girls Who Code. Saujani has taken up the charge to socialize young girls to take risks and learn to program — two skills they need to move society forward. To truly innovate, we cannot leave behind half of our population, she says. “I need each of you to tell every young woman you know to be comfortable with imperfection.”

Girls Who Code has gone from 20 girls in New York to 40,000 girls in 50 states. That’s the same number of girls who graduate each year with a degree in computer science. They have summer programs, camps, and after-school programs to help foster a culture of female technological innovation. Saujani and her team attempts to close the gender gap in technology – an impressive goal indeed!

“We’re raising our girls to be perfect, and we’re raising our boys to be brave.”

In my classroom, I facilitate the Hour of Code each year, a movement of tens of millions of students all over the world and of all ages in a one-hour coding tutorial. I love engaging in it and promoting it to my students because the program doesn’t even need a computer. Programming without a computer? Hour of Code has created computer-less tutorials to help students without adequate access to technology. 21st Century Teaching at its best!

So what’s a great way to allow a message to resonate? A Ted Talk of course! Saujani’s Ted Talk reinforces the societal pressures felt by both males and females. They are inherently different, but are polarizing and stressful all the same. The gender gap is present and increasingly significant, as Saujani stresses. The answer to this is to not be perfect, but to be brave. Bravery comes in all shapes, sizes, and forms, and this is what females (and everyone in my opinion) should be embracing in their personal ethos.

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