by Tyler Hale
In December, the founder and CEO of Girls Who Code will deliver a keynote speech as part of the University of Arkansas Distinguished Lecture Series.
Reshma Saujani will present her speech on Wednesday, Dec. 4, at the Fayetteville Town Center, at 7 p.m. The free event will open for students at 6:15 p.m. and for the general public at 6:30 p.m.
Saujani founded Girls Who Code in 2012 as a way to close the gender gap in computer science. In an interview with Amy Poehler’s blog, Amy’s Smart Girls, Saujani said that increasing the number of women in computer science is an initiative that will spur innovation in the long run for companies
“Any industry is most innovative and forward-thinking when it receives input from a variety of perspectives; having a woman on board provides an edge to any team looking to create products that stand out in a marketplace,” she said. “Unfortunately, many companies within the tech industry lack this edge because women are vastly underrepresented. The most important thing we can do to achieve this diversity of perspective is to get more women at the table.”
According to statistics provided by Girls Who Code, only one in five computer science graduates are women, and the gender gap is becoming more pronounced, the organization argues, with only 24 percent of computer scientists being female in 2017 compared to 37 percent in 1995.
Saujani has also written multiple books advocating for gender equality and education, including Women Who Don’t Wait in Line: Break the Mold, Lead the Way (2013), Girls Who Code: Learn to Code and Change the World (2017), and Brave, Not Perfect: Fear Less, Fail More, and Live Bolder (2018).
Admission for the general public and non-fee-paying students is contingent upon seating availability and will be on a first-come, first-served basis after fee-paying students are admitted.