March 9 2016

Inspiring TED Talk About Teaching Girls to Be Brave

If you have a few moments today, may I suggest watching this TED talk about teaching girls to be brave. In February, at a TEDx event in Vancouver, Reshma Saujani took to the stage to give a rousing speech that ended in a standing ovation. Saujani is the founder of Girls Who Code, a nonprofit that aims to initiate young women into the tech world and to close the gender gap in tech. This year, her nonprofit will teach 40,000 girls in all 50 states how to learn to code.

She began her speech by talking about her own failed attempt at running for Congress. Pollsters warned that she didn’t have a chance to win but she tried anyway. In the end, she only received 19% of the votes. She ends that story by saying that “this is not a talk about the importance of failure. Nor is it about leaning in. I tell you the story of how I ran for Congress because I was 33 years old and it was the first time in my entire life that I had done something that was truly brave, where I didn’t worry about being perfect.”

Then, she talks about how we’re teaching our girls to be perfect and we’re raising our boys to be brave. There’s a bravery deficit among women, and it needs to be fixed for women—and our country—to reach their full potential. She ends her speech by saying, “And so I need each of you to tell every young woman you know — your sister, your niece, your employee, your colleague — to be comfortable with imperfection, because when we teach girls to be imperfect, and we help them leverage it, we will build a movement of young women who are brave and who will build a better world for themselves and for each and every one of us.”

Though I’m not directly working in tech, coding that is, I took from Saujani’s speech that I need to be more brave.

For months, I’ve been working in the dark, telling only my siblings, a few friends and my husband about this new site I’ve created. After leaving My Modern Met, I decided I wanted to be the next Cup of Jo or the new Oh Joy! What I learned, however, is that my true calling is to be a fine art photographer of my family. They say to shoot what you love and I couldn’t love my husband or two sons more. I know it’ll take a long time to refine my skills but showing my first photos of “Appa” and “Baby, Don’t Cry” is a huge step for me on the path to being more brave and showing my work.

Some day I’ll announce to all of my friends that I’ve started this new site and that I’m beginning a new career. Until then, however, I’ll keep watch inspiring videos like this to help propel me forward. Let’s be brave!


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