Powerful women give us a peek into their agendas. Each woman embodies the no one ever slows her agenda motto in her industry.

Reshma Saujani

“Fail fast, fail hard, fail often.”


former NYC Deputy Public Advocate, founder Girls Who Code


A Peek Inside Her Agenda: Reshma Saujani

“My life has been one big failure in the sense that every mistake led me to another career opportunity or to push me into the next level of my dreams,” that’s the response from Former New York City Deputy Public Advocate Reshma Saujani, the first Indian American woman to run for Congress, when asked to reflect upon her best career advice.

Recently named one of Forbes’ Most Powerful Women Changing the World, she’s written a book appropriately titled, “Women Who Don’t Wait in Line: Break the Mold, Lead the Way.” When she ran for Congress, some said it was ‘too soon’ for her to run and said she needed to ‘wait her turn.’ Nonetheless, she chose to run anyway and the lessons she learned from that experience are among those she shares in her book.

In between her law career and running for various public offices she found time to build her non-profit organization, Girls Who Code— an initiative to motivate more young women to pursue computer science.

During our interview the lawyer and politician gave insight on how millennial woman can better their work ethic and enhance their vision. Most importantly, she shared why failure is instrumental in any woman’s career journey.

Her Agenda: What did you learn from practicing litigation law?

Reshma Saujani: Practicing litigation law helped me find my niche in doing numerous things. By growing my skill sets, I was able to give people who could not afford what they deserved to access. There are many in New York City who do not have the finances get the proper justice they need. I believe it was my duty to give back to the communities represented in those people.

Her Agenda: You launched Girls Who Code, what inspired you to create the non-profit?

Reshma Saujani: I launched my non-profit because there is a high need of women in the computer science field. I find it important to equip young women with the skills they need for the vastly changing job market. I want the next generation to be prepared.

HA: What can millennial women learn from your book “Women Who Don’t Wait In Line“?

Reshma: Millennial women can learn not to take no for an answer. It is important for them to be passionate about what they are interested in rather than be focused on an end result. My book allows young women to really own the skills they have by creating their own career and revenue.


HA: How will you change the image of women in politics?

RS: My purpose in changing the image of women in politics is to create a space where women who were not initially represented in the political arena are present. Therefore, it will show women and girls it is possible to take the risk and fight for their issues because their voices are being heard.

HA: What’s the best piece of career advice you’ve gotten?

RS: The best advice I received was to put myself first and take risks. It helps you to prioritize what is most important for you to achieve without becoming overwhelmed.  My life has been one big failure in the sense that every mistake led me to another career opportunity or to push me into the next level of my dreams.

HA: What’s your motto?

RS: Fail fast, fail hard, fail often.

You can win a copy of Reshma’s book, “Women Who Don’t Wait In Line” by telling us about a time you had the courage to fail in our comments section below. 



Lauren R.D. Fox

About Lauren R.D. Fox

Lauren R.D. Fox is a first-generation Guyanese American residing in New York City. After graduating from her alma mater SUNY Geneseo with a dual concentration in American and Black Studies, she became an independent blogger. Her blog, Monah and BK focuses on urban trends, love and of course the events that happen after you take your heels off. When she is not writing Lauren R.D. can be found volunteering, giggling with her little cousins or discussing current events at Magnolia Bakery. Follow her @LOLOTheFox .
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8 Responses to A Peek Inside Her Agenda: Reshma Saujani

  1. NatashaM says:

    The time when I quit my job looking for a better opportunity and I ended up in a sales position that only paid commission. It seemed like a good idea. Through the bumps and bruises, I learned a lot about myself as well as sales. Even though it didn’t work out, I still use some of the skills I learned today.

    • HerAgenda says:

      NatashaM, thank you for submitting an entry! Quitting a comfortable job or position for a risky venture is always tough, and it takes skill and determination to turn it into a lasting learning experience!

  2. Charity says:

    I can’t wait to read this book.

    I’m a student at a pretty prestigious school where THE THING to do is go into investment banking and financial consulting. My major is Environmental Science but I have a pretty big interest in Real Estate Development. So, last semester, there was a career fair in real estate at school, and of course all the business school kids were dressed up in their power suits and were spitting out all this real estate jargon that I still hardly know. The only real estate I know is what I have learned from my dad and I felt pretty intimated. I decided to go to the career fair all the same; fake it till I made it. I knew that I was probably not going to come out with an internship offer like the other kids and would probably humiliate myself, but I just wanted to get a feel for the real estate industry in the U.S. The epic failure that was going to be my experience at that fair was scary but I still went. Of course as soon as I opened my mouth I received a lot of, “You’re not really what we’re looking for” answer. After about the 12th rejection, I decided to go for the 13th. Turns out the guy recognized my nationality from my name, and we bonded over the real estate industry in Kenya. He ended up connecting me to a friend of his who runs one of the major real estate firms in Kenya and the rest is history. In retrospect, those 12 failures were the best thing that ever happened to me.

    • HerAgenda says:

      Charity, thanks for submitting an entry! Kudos to you for not only dabbling in an interest outside of your major but pursuing it with full force! Your story of the 12 rejections was really inspiring– so often, the best opportunity is the last one we end up pursuing, no? Thanks again!

  3. stellaristic says:

    Love this!

    My senior year of high school, I decided to throw a benefit concert to raise awareness about suicide prevention. Except, I didn’t just want a small concert. I decided to go big and rent a coliseum, book a big name band, and do tons of marketing. My budget was $18,000. For a senior in high school, that was a huge risk. It ended up going well in the end. I raised just enough money and even had some left over for the non-profit I did it for.

    • HerAgenda says:

      Stellartistic, many thanks for submitting an entry into this contest. Planning and pulling off a big event is tricky, especially at such a young age! It’s really admirable that you were willing to take such a risk and it’s great that it worked out in your favor. Good luck on future philanthropic efforts!

  4. Maya Shah says:

    In my senior year of college, I was asked to volunteer in Port-au-Prince Haiti at an international high school to help facilitate anti-bullying workshops to the students. It was a wonderful opportunity but those most important to me, my family, highly disapproved my going to a country that they have been hearing so many negative things about. Not knowing much about the country myself, I still went. My time in Haiti was life-changing, the kids that I was able to work with were so appreciative and open to talk about their life that it made me realize that I hope to incorporate working with children in my career.

    • HerAgenda says:

      Maya Shah, thank you for your entry into this contest. College is definitely a time of transition and growth; Kudos for being willing and able to stand up for and seek your desires, especially in the face of those that you care the most about. It’s great that having the courage to fail can usually provide the most direction in our careers. Keep us posted on your future career advances!

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