S2 E5. Woman and Change: Activism with Reshma Saujani, Founder of Girls Who Code and Moms First

S2 E5. Woman and Change: Activism with Reshma Saujani, Founder of Girls Who Code and Moms First

Reshma SaujaniReshma SaujaniGuest

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In this episode, I speak with Reshma Saujani – a leading activist, lawyer, politician, and the founder of Girls Who Code and Moms First (previously Marshall Plan for Moms).

Reshma has spent more than a decade building movements to fight for women and girls’ economic empowerment, working to close the gender gap in the tech sector, and most recently advocating for policies to support moms impacted by the pandemic.

In our conversation today we focus on her most recent work with Moms First, a national movement to center mothers in the economic recovery from the pandemic and value their labor. They advocate for public and private sector changes to expand choices for women and to remove barriers to equality.

Some topics we cover include:

  • What it takes to be an activist driving change, and Reshma’s own journey as a changemaker
  • The current lack of infrastructure for women to both work and be mothers – from unaffordable childcare to non-existent maternity (and paternity) leave
  • How this lack of infrastructure in a post-Roe America is forcing women into poverty
  • The absurdity of new moms breastfeeding in closets at work
  • How, since World War II, workplaces were never built with women in mind
  • Why the key to the fight for gender equality is in the ways society does - or doesn’t - support its mothers
  • All the ways moms have been gaslit into thinking these issues are personal for them to solve alone, and how the pandemic exposed this myth, shining a light on the broken system
  • Why it’s time for moms to demand more from their governments and employers

And more!

Reshma’s books:

Transcription is available here

This episode was sponsored by BetterHelp. Visit betterhelp.com/storyofwoman for 10% off your first month of online therapy.

Changemakers: How women make change happen

This is the first episode of the new Changemakers series which explores how women make change happen from those at the top helping to drive it. Each episode, we look at where we are on this long march to equality, what lies ahead, and how important you are in the fight.

In this 14-episode series, we’ll hear from Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Tawakkol Karman, Girls Who Code founder Reshma Saujani, Olympic gold medalist Lindsey Vonn, and Afghanistan's youngest ever female mayor Zarifa Ghafari, among others. Guest host Asha Dahya speaks with co-founder of the Black Lives Matter Movement Alicia Garza.

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