Reshma Saujani – Founder of Girls Who Code and Marshall Plan for Moms

Episode 203

What is a bravery mindset? Reshma Saujani shares her driving force behind the social movements she created -- Girls Who Code and Marshall Plan for Moms. Her resiliency stems from facing her own adversity as a young girl. And her inspiring story will easily inspire you. Get ready to join the movement and listen to #TheKaraGoldinShow

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Reshma Saujani 0:00
If you do it again, and again, and again, you can’t give up. And that’s bravery,

Kara Goldin 0:05
I am unwilling to give up. That I will start over from scratch as many times as it takes to get where I want to be, I want to just make sure you will get knocked down. But just make sure you don’t get knocked out knocked out. So your only choice should be go focus on what you can control control control. Hi, everyone, and welcome to the Kara golden show, though, join me each week for inspiring conversations with some of the world’s greatest leaders. We’ll talk with founders, entrepreneurs, CEOs, and really some of the most interesting people of our time. Can’t wait to get started. Let’s go. Let’s go. Hi, everyone, its Kara golden from the Kara golden show. And I am so excited to have my next guest, Reshma Saujani, who is a friend of mine, and also a fellow participant in is that what you call it on the list member, member participant Exactly. I’ve talked about the list before. And she’s also the founder of Girls Who Code and Marshall Plan for moms. We’ve been hearing a lot about that lately. And I’m like Mark, I’m like, listen, you’ve got to come on and talk a little bit more about that. So I’m so excited to have her here today. Russia has spent more than a decade working to close the gender gap in the tech sector through the company. She founded Girls Who Code and she’s also an author. And the book is called it’s a best selling book called Brave, not perfect. It was such a good book. And she’s also did an incredible TED Talk. If you have not heard her TED talk, it’s had over 5 million views globally, and is really, really special. So she’s super busy. She’s also a mom has got a couple of young little kids running around, and she made time for us, which is super, super great. She said she worked as a lawyer for over a decade before shifting gears to become the first Indian American woman to run for Congress. And after her campaign finished up Reshma founded Girls Who Code and just this past year, as I mentioned, she started the Marshall Plan for moms, so I can’t wait to have you all meet rushman hear a little bit more about how inspiring she is. And all the great work she’s doing. So welcome, Russia.

Reshma Saujani 2:43
Thank you for having me. It’s great to be here. Absolutely. So

Kara Goldin 2:47
let’s talk a little bit more. I’m going to give some background. But let’s talk a little bit more about your experience growing up. I mean, who was little rushman? How did you? I mean, did you ever think that you were going to be bulldozing and starting a huge initiative in the tech world as well as for moms? I mean, who like who are you?

Reshma Saujani 3:10
Well, so my parents came here as refugees. So I was always an activist, I led my first March when I was 13 years old. You know, there’s something about growing up, and recognizing that like, two generations of my family were uprooted from their home, you know, by a crazy dictator. And that kind of happened because the Indian population in Uganda just wasn’t embedded in the political process. You know, they weren’t engaged. And so, you know, my parents came here with like, you know, no money, they changed their name from like, my dad changed his name from mukuni. to Mike. Even though they were both trained engineers, my dad worked as a machinist in a plant, my mother saw cosmetics. So you know, they came here and uprooted their entire life and to be here. And so for me, I think I was always moved by that struggle. And I always knew that I was going to do something, you know, to make the world a better place. I think what I’ve learned in my career is like all the twists and turns that you fit you take to figure out what what exactly that something is.

Kara Goldin 4:15
Absolutely. So So you you weren’t in India. You weren’t born in? Yeah,

Reshma Saujani 4:20
no, I was. I was born. I was born here in Chicago, Illinois, in Chicago.

Kara Goldin 4:24
Is that where you grew up? Yeah, I

Reshma Saujani 4:26
grew up I went to like shahpur High School University of Illinois, Urbana, you know, grew up in the 80s we were one of the only you know, brown families in our neighborhood. I would you know, my mom would like get made fun of for wearing her salaried her bid the at the local Kmart you know, I grew up wishing that my mother called my mother named me Rachel, instead of Reshma, like I, I it was it was, you know, 1980s was a tough time to be growing up. Asian American and brown, especially in communities in the Midwest, but there just weren’t a lot of us but I think that that experience that’s struggle that like sense of always of reckoning my identity, you know, is really what built, you know, the resiliency that I kind of hold so near and dear that I try to teach, you know, my own children.

Kara Goldin 5:12
One of the things that when we were doing our research, you just mentioned it, but your first protest march was at age 13. And the prejudice reduction, interested students movement. And so how, like, how did this come about? I mean, obviously,

Reshma Saujani 5:28
being companies, right.

Kara Goldin 5:32
I love it. Well, it

Reshma Saujani 5:33
came about because, you know, pretty much the time I was in eighth grade, I was really struggling with being Indian and being brown. You know, I wasn’t comfortable. You know, you know, being a Hindu, I wasn’t comfortable eating, you know, roti and curry. You know, at night, I wasn’t comfortable with the fact that I had a name that nobody could pronounce, you know. And so I was really struggling and fighting my identity. And on the last day of eighth grade, I remember this girl called me a Haji Haji was basically a derogatory name for you know, brown person, and instead of getting on the bus, I agreed to, you know, meet her in the backyard, you know, back school yard for a fight. And I got, basically got beat up terribly, and had to go to like, my, you know, eighth pre graduation with like, a black eye. But that experience made me realize, like, I’m not white, like, I’m never going to be white. And I can’t hide from who I am. And if I live in a community that is not going to accept me, I need to work to get them to accept me and people like me. And so when I got to ninth grade, I started a group called the prism that prejudice reduction, interested students movement, and it’s kind of wild, to think about, you know, but what we didn’t we organized, you know, essentially a school assembly, where all the people of color would come up, and people could ask questions, you know, I’d go up there would be like, so are Indians born with a, you know, red down on their heads? Do you bathe in curry, you know, do you pray to a cat like, I mean, crazy, crazy thing. But in my mind, I was doing, you know, prejudice reduction, you know, like I was, you know, I was that was in the 80s. Right? It was, it was like a different approach that you had to ending racism, I guess. And so, you know, I put myself on a firing squad, really, to ask those questions and stand up in front of folks and like, try to, again, build bridges, I guess. Right. And that was kind of the beginning of my activism and of my advocacy, you know, and of being, you know, a movement builder.

Kara Goldin 7:43
How did your parents view that

Reshma Saujani 7:45
class? You know, my parents were so busy working, I think, I don’t think they really understood what I was doing. No, at all. I met parents, you know, and I say this with love, but they never, it was it was just so tired, and so busy. When I got in that fight, I remember them just being mad at me. They didn’t call the police. Here, they call the school, they were just like, why didn’t you run away? And so you know, so much of like, for them, it was about assimilation, right? So it was about shrinking yourself in not calling attention to yourself. And this was the tax that you paid to be in this country. And so now, you know, years later, of course, my parents or my father in particular is very proud of what I do. And, you know, but I, you know, there’s so much that they didn’t fight. You know, I remember this one day, Kara. You know, our house had been spray painted, you know, with the words go back to your own country. And my father was, you know, up in the morning, and he had this, you know, thing of Clorox. So he was just cleaning the side of the house. And I actually, he was like, humming to himself. And I remember watching him and saying to myself, like, I will never be you. Like, I will never be quiet. And like, for me, it was just this the sense of like, I had to fight against, you know, the outrage I had to fight against, you know, the injustice. Of course, for them. It was that was not how they approached it. And so we had very different strategies. And so, I mean, to this day, again, I think my mother is very nervous when I put myself out there, you know, very nervous when you stand up and fight, you know, because that’s not how they were raised.

Kara Goldin 9:25
Right. Right. And like you said, assimilation was more important, but I think it’s it’s so interesting and kind of hearing from people who are the, you know, the offspring of immigrants and I think your story is very, very common. And I think it’ll be it’ll be interesting to see now, your offspring, right and and being able to take your road and then also your parents road and start to look at all all of that. And I mean, I hear many stories, especially some of my kids. Friends are immigrants. Since and, or they are the children of immigrants, and it’s, it’s really interesting because you can see that they are different that they are going to do a different path. And it’s anyway, it’s really inspiring and also very, very interesting and maybe even somewhat historic as like as you look back on, on children of other immigrants. So that was the thing that when I was reading that research really interesting. So you went on, you went to law law school, Yale Law School, not too shabby for a kid who’s doing protests and high school and tell me a little bit about what did you want to do with your law degree.

Reshma Saujani 10:42
So I saw this movie they accused and Kelly McGillis member remember that movie. Yeah, that’s why I decided I wanted to be a lawyer. Because I was like, oh, that’s how you fight for justice. You go to law school, you become a lawyer. And I was obsessed with going to Yale Law School, because I made my dad take me to the library and look up, you know what the best law school was. Because again, in my mind, like, as somebody from a working class family, if I was going to like, really take it seriously, then I had to go to the best. So I was obsessed with going Yale. I applied over and over and over, got rejected, rejected, rejected, I think, a third try, you know, I finally got waitlist to get in. Or, you know, and so I finally got, I finally get in, you know, I go to law school. And I’m thinking that I’m gonna go work at the DOJ. And then George Bush wins. So I guess like, I’m not working the DOJ. And I’m $300,000 in student loan debt. And so I naively thought I’d go get a job at one of those white shoe law firms in New York City, right, because that’s where every Midwestern girl goes like New York, and I thought I’d pay off my student loans in like a year or two. And that didn’t happen. And 10 years later, almost, I found myself like, in a life I didn’t want in a job I hated. And I kept thinking, like, is this it? Like, is this it? And again, I think, you know, for me, I had a very, when I look back on it, now, I had a very clear path, I pretty much was doing the same thing. From the time I was 13, you know, to the time I graduated law school, and then when I moved, when I graduated law school with all that debt, that’s when I started working in the private sector. And I became very lost in terms of like, professionally, I wasn’t doing what I was meant to be doing. You know, even though I was doing it, you know, I would say, like, my side hustle. You know, I was working on campaigns, I was organizing, I was helping immigrants with pro bono work. But like, on a day to day, I was very lost. And very often

Kara Goldin 12:50
analog were you practice? What kind of law were you practicing?

Reshma Saujani 12:53
And I was working as a corporate lawyer, and then I worked in, you know, in a in a hedge fund. I mean, it was like all I mean, I remember sitting there in 2008 happened in like, on a trading floor, and like watching the world, and then like, why am I here? Like, how, where am I? Why am I here? How did I get here? And, and I talk about this a lot, because I think that like people come from working class families, especially people who are the daughters of immigrants, for me, you don’t get to have choices. You know, I didn’t have a trust fund. I didn’t have people paying off my loans. I didn’t get to go to the ACLU right after school, which is, you know, what I wanted to do, because, you know, I was helping my parents pay for their mortgage. You know, I remember when my I got my first check from Davis, Polk and Wardwell. Like, my dad framed it, because he had never seen so much money before. So, like you said, with your, the, you know, the friends that you have that are that are immigrants or the daughter of children of immigrants, it’s like, there’s a lot of pressure, you know, to do what your parents want you to do, rather than what you know, you want to do.

Kara Goldin 13:55
Yeah, but I love the fact that you actually went and tried something. Sometimes I say that, you know, nothing was ever a waste of time, because you learned what you were ultimately meant to do. Right. And I think that that was kind of, you know, the next thing that I saw in your background, so you, you ran for congress next, and how did you decide to do that?

Reshma Saujani 14:17
Well, I got obsessed working in PA, I worked for Bill Clinton’s 92 campaign, and I love politics. That’s my met Hillary, I just, you know, again, I would like to say we’re gonna It’s March as I was, I was an organizer. And so for me, and I was what I was, you know, in my generation, like, you know, the ultimate democracy or the ultimate was like 1950s, John F. K, you can make a difference and like, politicians were the ones that were going to save us. They were if you wanted to make change, you wanted to be a change maker, you ran for office. And so I always knew that was something that I wanted to do. I just didn’t know how. And, you know, I found myself again, like in this job that I hated. I decided I’m gonna quit. And I sat around for Congress and I naively thought that I could like meet every voter shake every hand that at this point, I’ve been involved in politics. You know, I’ve, you know, raised money for, you know, John Kerry to help him. I’ve been organizing the South Asian, and organizing young people for the DNC. So like, I’m in the mix. But I have no idea how to run a campaign. And at that point, what is that drive think I’m running for an open seat that does not become open, that’s not ever opened. And so I find myself running against, you know, an 18 year incumbent in the Democratic primary. And, you know, I basically did what AOC did, except 10 years old, but when I did it, it was insane. No, there’s not one Democratic primary that entire year, like now this year, there’s like, 50, you know, it’s like, not actually a big deal anymore. But back then it was like, an insane thing to do. And I just, I really didn’t know any better. And I had the best, the best 10 months of my campaign life ever.

Kara Goldin 15:54
What did you learn during that time?

Reshma Saujani 15:57
You know, I learned how to start something from scratch. Like, I never, I didn’t know, I had never raised money before. For myself. I had never built a campaign or built a team. You know, I had never gone into rooms, like senior centers in people who I didn’t know and like, had to make the case about me and why, you know, I had ever been on television before. And my first interview was like, Matthew, it’s like, everything I did, I had net as I was perpetually in fear, but an excitement. Right? It was kind of this amazing experience just being thrown into the deep end. And the thing was, is that because I was as outsider, no one was allowed to work for me. So I got these kind of, you know, ragtag young people that were just excited. And we just figured it out. Everything we did was crappy. You know, and we just kind of figured out, and it’s just, it’s, it’s a good why it’s like, my 2010 congressional campaign is one of the most my fondest memories, because it’s, it’s like, it’s like, you know, when you build something for the first time, and you don’t know, I mean, it’s different when you and I build something now, right? I can pick up the phone and call people, I have resources, I know how to do it. Now. It’s like my fourth or fifth thing I’ve built. But the first time you build something, it’s really like, like, you’re really just in like Dev, that fear. And that excitement of that fear is just as awesome.

Kara Goldin 17:26
Well, and then you look back and appreciate even what you learned along the way, too. And to your point, I think it’s a very different story. If if you’re handed a bunch of contacts, if you’re handed like, this is what you need to go do. And I mean, it’s just so admirable to see that you did what what you did there. So that, so that led you to the next. I mean, really were, I mean, in so many ways, people got to hear more about Russia, and like really taking a position and going and supporting people and sharing a lot more about here’s, you know, what I think we need to be doing so Girls Who Code How did you come up with this idea?

Reshma Saujani 18:11
Yeah, so I run this race, I lose, particularly. But I realized that failure doesn’t break me. And I also realized that I’m not going back to that corporate job, right, like, I’m already broke here. I mean, like, I’ve already failed, like, every, you know, the entire Democratic Party, like, you know, is pissed at me. So I got what do I want to do? And I think was a little embolden, like, alright, if you’re not going to elect me, then like, I’m going to show you that I can make change. And so I started like, really thinking about, alright, in the past 10 months, what are all the things that I saw, that were problems in society that like, I think I want to try to solve, and I kept thinking about these classrooms of boys. So you know, when you run for office, you go to schools, and I would go into schools, and I would, in particular, go into public housing projects, you know, and in the private school, there’d be lines and lines of boys privilege, boys, you know, learning how to code, not a girl on site, and not a person of color in sight. And it wouldn’t go into public housing. You know, there be like one computer in the basement of Bishop Taylor’s church, you know, there was no access, no opportunity. And so that was the thing that I kept thinking about. And I was like, why is that what it is at the same time in 2010? It was the rise of Twitter, and Facebook, and Snapchat, and Instagram. All of these technology companies were again, their first consumer, first customers were girls, but they were all built by men. Right? And so, because I wasn’t a coder, because I wasn’t computer scientist, because I was I didn’t understand it. I was like, Why Why aren’t the girls here? And so I approached it as just again, a problem that I was passionate and the reason why I think I was so passionate about it was the money that you could make, because again, I was the daughter of refugees. I had a job at Baskin Robbins since I was 12 years old. Like in to me, the idea of being able to start the the idea that black and white girls, rich and poor girls are all starting from the same baseline of having zero knowledge that maybe this is the way that we can equalize the country, and equalize opportunity. And so that was why I decided that Girls Who Code was going to be the problem that I wanted to solve. Mm hmm.

Kara Goldin 20:25
And what did you What do you think you learned, like, once you started this entire movement? I mean, how many, like, how many girls did this impact and all of that

Reshma Saujani 20:36
450,000 Girls 450,000 Girls are taught we have 10,000 Girls Who Code clubs across the country, we’ve reached half a billion people through our work, you know, through our campaign

Kara Goldin 20:45
is just on believable. Yeah, that was started by Russia. I mean, right? Like, you ever just sit there and just go, this is crazy.

Reshma Saujani 20:55
Yeah, I guess? Um, no, I don’t let myself I think it’s, I think it’s really important to like, I’m never satisfied. Like, I’m so pissed that like 50% of the people who work at Google are not women and people of color. So I’m not done yet. But yes, I think the thing is, I feel very blessed to work for some work on something that I feel very inspired by, I feel very blessed that I get to be in income. There’s something about girls, that moves me, that gives me hope. And you know, in a moment, we’re feeling like the world is so messed up, you know, to know that there are like these teenage girls, thinking about finding a solution to COVID cancer and climate, you know, as outraged as we are about issues that are thinking about how to fix them. Like that, that gives me hope it fires me up. And that’s good. That gives me pride. Right? That, like I played a piece of that. But you know, what I learned was one, I learned that you don’t have to be an expert, right? To build a company. I think for a lot of us, we think that we don’t, we’re not an expert in biotech, or we’re not an expert in mental health. We’re not an expert expert in, you know, soft drinks, like, I can’t start a company to do that. And that’s just false. Like, you actually just have to have passion, you can build the expertise. And so that’s the one thing, you know, secondly, it’s like you said, I didn’t do this, I had a whole team of people who are smarter than me, better than me, and I built a team. But like, I always found people who, like, were amazing, and marketing are amazing. And programs, amazing in fundraising. Amazing there, and we came together. And, you know, the third thing is, is like, I always told the truth. You know, even at the cost of my own, you know, in the past 10 years, you know, I definitely pissed a lot of people off, because I told the truth, you know, whether it was President Trump, whether it was to a technology company, right. And I think all like there’s no point of building something. There’s no point of accumulating power, if you don’t use it for good.

Kara Goldin 22:57
Yeah, exactly. Well, and, and you live in a country that, you know, sometimes sometimes it’s not such a good thing, but freedom of speech, right. And, and so I think just the idea that you were able to start it from scratch and have the impact that you did, and help so many girls along the way, is just is really, really powerful. And I think also raising awareness for the companies to do better. Right. And I think it’s not just about a hands on teaching, and getting girls to actually go and learn the scale. It’s also you put a lot of pressure on these companies just by doing what you were doing to raise awareness that Yeah, there’s definitely women out there that would be more than happy to come into your training program. So I absolutely love that you talked in your book, which was amazing, brave, not perfect. about just the bravery mindset. Do you want to just give a quick snapshot on that?

Reshma Saujani 23:58
Yeah, I mean, look, I think as as, as girls, we’re raised to be perfect. You know, we’re taught to like, don’t get your dress dirty. You know, does that like, be careful. And you know, oftentimes, when we’re raised, it starts with physical protection, right? We don’t want girls to get hurt, and then extend to emotional protection. So when we go to a gymnastics class, and we can’t do a cartwheel, and we come home crying with our parents, It’s okay, honey. You don’t have to go gymnastics anymore. You can go to soccer. And, you know, we start getting addicted to perfection, we start getting it, you know, we start like learning how to give up before we even try. So you know, in school, if we declare economics as a major and we get a B in a single class will drop out. Whereas men are like, I got a D I’m running for president, right? Different, different, you know, implications for that. You know, we see it in mental health. You know, young women suffer from, you know, anxiety and depression at twice or even you saw this in the Instagram study, like they knew that. They knew that if they Built a like button that they would hook girls in it would destroy their self esteem. Because we were so addicted and socialized to being perfect. Right. And you know, finally seeing leadership, it’s like, you know, women won’t apply for a job unless they meet 100% of qualifications. And so I believe the antidote to perfectionism is bravery. Because bravery teaches you how to be imperfect. And some part of what I’ve been doing over the past couple years, and I think what’s so awesome about coding is coding helps build that bravery mindset. Because when you learn how to code, it’s like, the annoying semicolon is in the wrong place. And you have to iterate if you do it again, and again, and again, you can’t give up. And that’s bravery. And so it’s like really about how do you build that bravery muscle? How do you build, you know, how do you teach women and young women, you know, to be brave, you know, in not like saving a baby from a burning building, but brave enough to raise your hand at a meeting when you don’t know exactly what you’re gonna say, brave enough when you’re walking down the street, and someone bumps into you that you don’t say, Oh, I’m sorry, you know, brave, brave enough to like, fake it till you make it and raise your hand for that promotion, even though you don’t feel like you’re fully qualified. You have the bravery to feel like you belong, and that you are good enough, you know, the kind of bravery that we have to teach.

Kara Goldin 26:21
Well, and the name of my book that came out I can’t even believe a year ago now is called undaunted. And that’s a lot of what I talked about that it’s never going to be perfect. But I think more than anything, you have to just go out and try. So I, I absolutely, definitely follow that and try and teach that too. And so I really, really love that. And as I mentioned earlier in the podcast, Rashmi, if you haven’t heard her TED talk, it’s absolutely amazing. And you did such a terrific job on that as well. And over 5 million views now. I mean, it’s just like, that’s just why.

Reshma Saujani 27:00
Repeat, repeat? Yeah, I

Kara Goldin 27:02
bet. I bet that’s so great. So and your newest project, and and hopefully everybody is, is aware of the Marshall Plan for moms that Russia started. So it’s a movement asking lawmakers to step up for mothers in a way we’ve never done before. And obviously, during the pandemic, there’s so many situations where I hate hearing when people are talking about, you know, well, women are opting out of the workplace, they didn’t opt out, they made less money it made, you know, definitely made sense. For some people, their kids are homeschooled to be staying home, but the using the term OPT is is is a stretch in my mind. So talk to us a little bit about this, this entire movement, rash, man, what what are you trying to achieve?

Reshma Saujani 27:59
Yeah, I mean, the thing is, you know, we’ve lost over the pandemic, you know, almost 3 million women from the workforce. So when we started COVID-19, care, 51% of labor force was female. And now our numbers are back where they were in 1989. So it took nine months to lose all of those jobs. And like you said, Women weren’t opting out, you know, the reason why women left the workforce, you know, in COVID, is because we’re American women do 86% of the domestic labor at home. So when schools shut down, we were the ones that were homeschooling, as we were stuck in our houses, we were doing the laundry, doing the cooking and doing the cleaning. And, you know, all the while we were maintaining our full time job. And you know, when schools shut down, you know, for many working women schools have operated, you know, as childcare. And so, at that time, schools are not open, the vast majority daycare centers were shut, you couldn’t call in your parents took care of your children, because we had a global pandemic. And so women started, you know, leaving their jobs moving into their cars moving in with their parents, taking the third shift, right? downsizing, and diminishing, you know, their dreams, hopes and their potential. And for me, you know, when I saw this happen, you know, last September, and you looked at the December jobs report, where all the jobs lost for women’s jobs, and mostly women of color. You know, I said to myself, Carol, like, where’s the plan? Like, you can’t lose this many jobs without having a plan. And the reason why I think it really resonated with me was that, you know, Girls Who Code the problem that I was trying to get solved was gender parity in the technology workforce. And what people don’t know is that in 1995 40%, of the technology workforce was female. And today, that number is like 22%. But it took so after all this intervention, all this work, all this conversation, all of this, we are still hiding our way to get back to 40. So The fact that we lost 3 million jobs back that we were in 1989, it’s not an on off switch, you literally have to have a women’s jobs are in every single city, state and country who is having their KPIs and say, how many jobs lost? What are the levers? And how do we get back. And so the Marshall Plan for moms is really, you know, an analysis of like, or like, you know, and ideas of like, here’s the five things you got to do, right, you got to give cash payments to mothers, you got to pass paid leave, you got to make childcare affordable, you got to open up the school safely. And you got to retrain all the moms who lost their jobs, because they were in jobs that weren’t pandemic proof. And since then, we’ve just really been pushing government, pushing the corporate sector, you know, pushing culture, to really make sure that we can shorten the economic recovery for women, and make sure that women are able to get back into the workforce and make workplaces finally work for moms, because they never did before.

Kara Goldin 30:54
No, it’s so incredible. And you launched it was at the beginning of the summer, when y’all

Reshma Saujani 30:58
Well, my first op ed in December of 2020. And so this is basically what I’ve been doing. And I didn’t you know, it’s funny care, like, I was the one who was like, pull telling girls to get the corner office, I never thought that I’d be fighting for motherhood, I never thought that motherhood would be so controversial, that we would have such, you know, opinions and whether you’re, you know, whether you should even get paid leave or childcare, whether that because you chose to have a child, so why do you get anything but, you know, since the summer of 2020, this is what I’ve been working on. We’ve gotten two bills introduced. You know, I mean, in Congress, a handful of bills introduced this state, we released a playbook, you know, for companies that have guided them on what they need to do to get root out the motherhood penalty, you know, I spoke to, you know, all the finance ministers at the World Bank, we can have a go about their ideas, because, again, what’s happening in the United States happening across the globe, in towards the shrinking of women participating, you know, in the labor force, you know, we’re in a critical week, this week, you know, pass it, you know, trying to see what we’re going to get passed, and Biden’s bill. But, you know, we just don’t have, you know, martial law for moms, what we’re building is a movement of moms for moms issues. You know, we have movements of moms fighting for, against governments, you know, against, you know, guns, moms fighting, you know, Against Drunk Driving moms, you know, moms fighting for the climate, right for climate change, but we don’t have a movement of moms fighting for moms, because for our true society tells us to be martyrs and that we don’t get nice things.

Kara Goldin 32:30
Mm hmm. No, it’s so it’s so true. And how do people learn more about

Reshma Saujani 32:35
Yes, go to Marshall Plan for, sign our petition, sign up for our list, you know, we are going to be we’ve been, you know, working extensively and like building this movement and making change, you know, and you know, the place that we’re really turning to now is the private sector. You know, more companies Kara freeze your will pay for freezing your eggs, then will subsidize your childcare, you know, much, which is crazy, right? Most families in America pay more for childcare than they pay for their mortgage. It’s too expensive. You know, I was a latchkey kid, because my dad couldn’t afford the $50 a week for childcare. And, you know, we would never get rid of public education. But all studies show that zero to four is critical. So we should be subsidizing childcare, which should be charged before double, you know, should be provided? And if the government’s not going to do it, you know, I definitely think the private sector has to take, you know, take the lead, you know, I think the second thing is really, you know, shifting to convert, you know, we’ve read and, you know, so many HBr articles, I like getting a mentor getting a sponsor, you know, how to get the corner office? Well, you know, all that is just a lie. We had no shot at getting the corner office, if we were still doing 86% of domestic labor at home. And so where’s the movement to get to 5050? You know, how are we pushing, you know, our partners to do more? How are we helping single moms, you know, in Philippines, they have PSAs, about how laundry is love. But you know, globally, they’re really focused on bigger and shifting the gender ratio of work done at home. And we’d certainly tree have to turn to that conversation.

Kara Goldin 34:13
Yeah, it’s so true. So Well, thank you for doing everything that you’re doing. Because it’s it’s incredibly brave. And, and like you’ve talked about before, that things don’t have to be perfect. You have to start right and you have to keep moving. And that’s exactly what you’re doing and doing it for to help women and to help mothers and to help children right create a better life. So I really, really appreciate everything that you’re doing and I know it’s it’s not easy. You’re a mother yourself and have got two young kids and and so I’m sure it’s it’s a it’s taking on a lot but I really really appreciate everything that you’re doing so Marshall Plan for mothers and are for moms Marshall Plan for moms? And where else do people find out more about Russia?

Reshma Saujani 35:06
Yeah, Russia, Australia, calm follow me on Twitter at rash with Johnny or on Instagram and LinkedIn. And, you know, start building this movement, like my hope is to take moms from from, you know, from reach to power. And it’s not just moms, you know, it’s, it’s, it’s dads, it’s men and women who don’t have children yet, you know, 86% of women in the workforce, by the time they’re 40 will be a mother. So at some point, if you choose, you will be one. And I think the thing is right now, I love the young women in my life, they don’t want to have kids, because it’s too expensive. It’s too hard. It’s like you’re not respected. It’s not dignified. And you know, that needs to change. I always say like, you know, care, I took me 10 years to have, you know, fertility treatments to have my first and second child and the title that I am the most proud of his mother, especially after the past two years. You know, and you know, mothers are the bedrock of our country, in our society. And so I think we have a moment to really change things, and I hope people really join this fight.

Kara Goldin 36:09
I love it well, and like you said, My husband always says that if women don’t involve men in the process, then they can’t be a part of it. And they can’t stand up and support women and mothers. So I want to see some men standing up for this as well, because it’s a it’s an important important initiative. So thank you so much Reshma. And thank you everybody for listening. We’re here every Monday and Wednesday talking with amazing people like Russia, about their companies, their journeys, their movements, and hopefully it will inspire you to go out and do great things as well or give you ideas with something great that you’re working on now. And as I briefly mentioned, I have a book called undaunted, overcoming doubts and doubters hopefully you’ll pick up a copy of that and I’m all over social at Kara golden with an eye. And yeah, so subscribe to The Kara golden show and come listen, and hopefully you’ll reach out and tell me what you think. So thanks again, everyone. Thanks, Russia. Thanks, Kara by. Before we sign off, I want to talk to you about fear. People like to talk about fearless leaders. But achieving big goals isn’t about fearlessness. Successful leaders recognize their fears and decide to deal with them head on in order to move forward. This is where my new book undaunted comes in. This book is designed for anyone who wants to succeed in the face of fear, overcome doubts and live a little undaunted. Order your copy today at undaunted, the and learn how to look your doubts and doubters in the eye and achieve your dreams. For a limited time. You’ll also receive a free case of hint water. Do you have a question for me or want to nominate an innovator to spotlight send me a tweet at Kara golden and let me know. And if you liked what you heard, please leave me a review on Apple podcasts. You can also follow along with me on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn at Kara golden thanks for listening