Celebrity Cruises has announced Reshma Saujani, founder and CEO of international non-profit Girls Who Code and author of international bestseller, ‘Brave, Not Perfect’, as the Godmother for Celebrity Apex, the first Celebrity Cruises ship to be launched in the UK in over a decade. Saujani will name the new ship at the official inaugural ceremony in Southampton on 30 March 2020.
Traditionally, the Godmother is the spiritual embodiment of a vessel and she inspires, protects and touches the lives of everyone who sails onboard. With its revolutionary Edge Series ships, Celebrity is selecting Godmothers who are breaking ground in their respective fields for people around the world. The first Edge Series Godmother, who inaugurated Celebrity Edge in November 2018, was Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Malala Yousafzai, renowned for her advocacy of educational opportunities for girls everywhere.
Since launching in the USA in 2012, Girls Who Code has reached 185,000 girls across the globe at nearly every stage of their educational journey. With a presence in the UK, USA, India and Canada, the organisation runs free programmes for girls from ages 11-18 to inspire them to be excited about coding and computer science by providing learning opportunities, clear career pathways, and a supportive sisterhood of peers and role models. In 2019, Girls Who Code was named the number one Non-Profit on Fast Company’s The World’s Most Innovative Companies list.
In addition to being the founder and Chief Executive of Girls Who Code, Reshma Saujani is a lifelong activist who surged on to the political scene as the first Indian American woman to run for the US Congress in 2010. Her viral TED talk and international bestseller ‘Brave, Not Perfect’ have sparked a worldwide conversation about how we are raising our girls and inspired countless women to fear less, fail more and live better. Saujani’s work on behalf of women and girls has earned her broad recognition including: Fortune World’s Greatest Leaders; Fortune 40 Under 40; WSJ Magazine Innovator of the Year; Forbes Most Powerful Women Changing the World; and Fast Company 100 Most Creative People, among others. She is the winner of the Harold W. McGraw Jr. Prize in Education.
“Reshma is bridging the gap in the historically male-dominated technology industry,” said Celebrity President and Chief Executive Lisa Lutoff-Perlo. “She is evolving the image of what a computer programmer looks like and does, inspiring a whole new generation of girls and women to bravely pursue this field. Because she is a game-changing visionary, she is the perfect Godmother for a game-changing ship like Celebrity Apex.”
“Girls Who Code is committed to giving girls more visible role models in computer science and helping them see that this is a field where they can really thrive,” said Saujani. “Just as we are on a mission to close the gender gap in tech in our lifetimes, Celebrity Cruises is leading the way to create a more diverse future in the maritime industry. It is an honour to have the support of Celebrity Cruises in our work, and to be named as the Godmother for Celebrity Apex.”
In addition, Celebrity will also collaborate with Girls Who Code to offer educational coding programs as part of the cruise line’s Camp at Sea S.T.E.M. experiences onboard Celebrity Apex and Celebrity Edge, along with related experiential offerings and products.
The stunning Celebrity Apex is the second ship in the brand’s industry-changing Edge-class of vessels. She will begin her inaugural season from Southampton in April 2020 with a mini-season of five sailings to Northern Europe destinations and then spend the summer sailing seven-to-12-night itineraries in the Mediterranean. In November, Celebrity Apex will reposition to Fort Lauderdale for a winter season of week-long Caribbean sailings.