Science. Technology. Engineering. Math.
|Reshma Saujani is the speaker for the |
Cabin Fever luncheon Jan. 24 in Saratoga Springs.
Sign up at soroptimistsaratoga.org.
Combined, they form STEM, an acronym for
what students ought to be studying to fill well-paying jobs in the public and
Many of our local schools, elementary
through post-graduate, are focusing on STEM. More than a million STEM-related
jobs are expected to be open up in the next four years — “but there won’t be enough
qualified graduates to fill them,” according to a federal government website,
Next Saturday, we have an opportunity
to hear firsthand from a woman who has been in the front lines of preparing
young women for jobs in technology. Reshma Saujani, founder of the national nonprofit
organization Girls Who Code, is the speaker at the Cabin Fever Luncheon on
Saturday, Jan. 24, in Saratoga Springs. I’ll be there, for sure, and seats are still
available. (See below for details unabashedly plugging the event.)
Saujani’s interests and experience may
be rooted in STEM, but her reach is much broader. Her website describes her as “a true political entrepreneur (who) has been fearless in her
efforts to disrupt both politics and technology to create positive change.”
It’s not bragging. A graduate of Harvard’s Kennedy School of
Government and Yale Law School, her recognition includes being named one of
Forbes’ Most Powerful Women Changing the World, Fast Company’s 100 Most
Creative People, and Business Insider’s 50 Women Who Are Changing the World.
Her book, “Women Who Don't Wait in Line,” is about female leadership and, as summed
up by the Daily Beast, “talks about
running for public office and having the courage to fail.”
Saujani is an Illinois native of Indian descent, has been
a lawyer, a congressional candidate, and Deputy Public Advocate of New
York City. Her political platform focused on “creating educational and economic
opportunities for women and girls, immigrants, and those who have been
sidelined in the political process.”
Which brings us back to STEM and Girls Who Code.
website succinctly states its mission and vision: “To inspire, educate, and equip girls with the
computing skills to pursue 21st century opportunities.”
Boys ought to have those
skills, too. But as people in the STEM fields will attest, girls have catching
up to do.
“We believe that more girls
exposed to computer science at a young age will lead to more women working in
the technology and engineering fields,” explains GirlsWhoCode.com.
Among the exciting things about
Girls Who Code and Saujani’s other work is her success in bringing together
leaders in the public and private sectors — educators, engineers, and business — and
combining instruction, mentoring, entrepreneuship and civic engagement.
Now, about the Cabin Fever Luncheon. It is
hosted by Soroptimist International of Saratoga County, the local branch of an
international public service organization that I’ve belonged to for more than
Soroptimist efforts address both
local and global issues, such as domestic violence, human trafficking, grants
to local nonprofits, and scholarships to women and girls improving themselves
through education and community service. The group has two big fund-raisers
each year, the Secret Gardens Tour (July 12 this year) and the Cabin Fever
To sign up for the luncheon or
learn more about Soroptimists, visit soroptimistsaratoga.org or call 581-1201