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We told women that to break glass ceilings and succeed in their careers, all they needed to do is dream big, raise their hands, and lean in. But data tells a different story. Historic numbers of women left their jobs in 2021, resulting in their lowest workforce participation since 1988. Women’s unemployment rose to nearly fifteen percent, and globally women lost over $800 billion in wages. Fifty-one percent of women say that their mental health has declined, while anxiety and depression rates have skyrocketed.

In this urgent and rousing call to arms, Reshma Saujani dismantles the myth of “having it all” and lifts the burden we place on individual women to be primary caregivers, and to work around a system built for and by men. The time has come, she argues, for innovative corporate leadership, government intervention, and sweeping culture shift; it’s time to Pay Up.

Through powerful data and personal narrative, Saujani shows that the cost of inaction—for families, for our nation’s economy, and for women themselves—is too great to ignore. She lays out four key steps for creating lasting change: empower working women, educate corporate leaders, revise our narratives about what it means to be successful, and advocate for policy reform.

Both a direct call to action for business leaders and a pragmatic set of tools for women themselves, Pay Up offers a bold vision for change as America defines the future of work.

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Do you ever feel crushed under the weight of your own expectations? Do you often lose sleep ruminating over a tiny mistake or worrying about what someone else thinks of you? Do you run yourself ragged trying to do it all at home and at work, with a smile and not a hair out of place? Have you ever passed up an opportunity – a new relationship, new job, or new challenge – because you’re afraid you won’t immediately excel at it? For you, is failure simply not an option?

You’re not alone. As women, we’ve been taught from an early age to play it safe. Well-meaning parents and teachers rewarded us for being quiet and polite, urged us to be careful so we don’t get hurt, and steered us to activities at which we could shine. Meanwhile, boys were expected to speak up, get dirty, play rough, and climb to the top of the monkey bars. In short, boys are taught to be brave, while girls are taught to be perfect.

As a result, we grow up to be women who are afraid to fail. So terrified of not doing everything perfectly, we tamp down our dreams and narrow our world, along with our opportunities for happiness. As too many of us eventually learn, being afraid to take risks, to use our voice to take a stand or ask for what we want, even to make mistakes, leads to a lot of disappointment and regret. But it doesn’t have to be this way. In a book inspired by her hugely popular TED Talk, Reshma Saujani shows us how to end our love affair with perfection and rewire ourselves for bravery.

Drawing on hundreds of interviews with girls and women from around the country, stories of women changing the world one brave act at a time, and her own personal journey, Saujani shares an array of powerful insights and practices to make bravery a lifelong habit and enable us to be the authors of our biggest, boldest, and most joyful life.

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

Part how-to, part girl-empowerment, and all fun, from the leader of the movement championed by Sheryl Sandberg, Malala Yousafzai, and John Legend.

Since 2012, the organization Girls Who Code has taught computing skills to and inspired over 90,000 girls across America. Now its founder, Reshma Saujani, wants to inspire you to be a girl who codes! Bursting with dynamic artwork, down-to-earth explanations of coding principles, and real-life stories of girls and women working at places like Pixar and NASA, this graphically animated book shows what a huge role computer science plays in our lives and how much fun it can be. No matter your interest—sports, the arts, baking, student government, social justice—coding can help you do what you love and make your dreams come true. Whether you’re a girl who’s never coded before, a girl who codes, or a parent raising one, this entertaining book, printed in bold two-color and featuring art on every page, will have you itching to create your own apps, games, and robots to make the world a better place.

There’s never been a better time to be a woman. We live in an era when girls are told they can do anything. So why aren’t we seeing more women rising to the top ranks of corporations and the government? Why don’t our girls have more women in leadership roles to look up to?

The former New York City Deputy Public Advocate and founder of the national nonprofit Girls Who Code argues that aversion to risk and failure is the final hurdle holding women back in the workplace. Saujani advocates a new model of female leadership based on sponsorship — where women encourage each other to compete, take risks, embrace failure, and lift each other up personally and professionally.