Leila Janah Quotes

  • Traditional charity is still fairly focused on how it makes donors feel as opposed to outcomes for people that need help.
  • I founded Samasource because I was frustrated by traditional approaches to poverty alleviation. Even those approaches focused on jobs often equip poor people with skills for which there is little market demand.
  • My mom was a big feminist, and when I was growing up, I wasn't allowed to have typical girl toys: she did not let me have dolls. Barbies were banned in our household. She read feminist books to me; my mom was a major feminist.
  • Work is at the core of human dignity.
  • Every woman that dies or loses her baby on a threadbare cot in the heart of Uganda, while her sisters on the other side of the world enjoy first-class care, is a threat to our collective humanity.
  • Labor looks different in the 21st century. And so should our job training programs.
  • I grew up believing in meritocracy and the American dream. My parents came here from India. They had no connections. My brother and I went to public schools, and both of us succeeded.
  • I always loved fashion and clothes. Not because I think that's a woman's place, but because I care about aesthetics. I like art; I like going to art museums, and to me, these things are just manifestations of one's aesthetic sense.
  • The amount of work that a for-profit has to do to get real money is minimal compared to the amount of work it takes a non-profit to get even a very small grant.
  • The challenges that the homeless face aren't dissimilar to those in developing countries.
  • My personal style comes from jugaad, a Hindi word meaning doing more with less.
  • It's much easier for people to compare wages or identify bad employers or discuss bad labor practices in the Internet economy than it was in, say, a factory environment, where that stuff wasn't usually published or available.
  • A lot of people are happy to give money to charities but are wary of giving through taxes because they feel it doesn't produce any value.
  • True leadership isn't about having an idea. It's about having an idea and recruiting other people to execute on this vision.
  • I wish the city of San Francisco, bastion of liberalism, were more innovative when it comes to how to spread the wealth.
  • Handouts are not going to end global poverty, but work - real work - just might.
  • In terms of environmental impact, Samasource jobs are very green. Our product is human intelligence, and it's transported through the Internet rather than via carbon-intensive trucking, shipping, and warehousing.
  • In order to thrive in the 21st century, you have to be a savvy citizen of the digital economy or risk being left behind.