"Read to Learn": #Women in Tech Interview with Stevie Sats, Crypto Writer & Content Strategist by@steviesats

"Read to Learn": #Women in Tech Interview with Stevie Sats, Crypto Writer & Content Strategist

Stevie is a crypto writer and content strategist for blockchain tech startups, legacy brands, and DeFi companies. She talks about working as a woman in crypto, blending creativity with an enthusiasm for innovative solutions to global financial challenges. As an NFT collector and metaverse hopeful, she's most excited to see DeFi being embraced both institutionally and individually.
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Eater of bitcoin stories. Spinner of blockchain tales.

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The HackerNoon editorial team has launched this interview series with women in tech to celebrate their achievements and share their struggles. We need more women in technology, and by sharing stories, we can encourage many girls to follow their dreams. Share your story today!

Tell us about yourself!

Hi! I’m Stevie, a crypto writer and content strategist with a background in marketing for eCommerce and TradFi. My clients include tech startups, legacy brands, and larger crypto companies. I’m one half of the Womxn in Crypto team, and I create video content on YouTube that bridges FinTech and literature. I’m a passionate NFT collector and always looking for new ways to actively support women-run tech projects.

Why did you choose this field in the first place?

I’ve always loved to write, so that was a natural progression from my undergraduate experience. After working in the traditional finance world, I started taking crypto classes online and joining FinTech communities that inspired me to contribute my skills to the world of cryptocurrency and DeFi. I’m obsessed with what I do and so glad I’ve found a way to blend my creativity with my enthusiasm for innovative solutions to global financial challenges.

What tech are you most excited/passionate about right now and why?

Blockchain and cryptocurrency. I’m excited to see how it’s being embraced both institutionally and individually — from Bitcoin to DeFi to NFTs and Web3. Joining collectives centered on these topics has helped me make friends around the globe and challenge myself to learn more about blockchain tech in my spare time…and it’s made all the difference in how optimistic I feel about our future.

What tech are you most worried about right now and why?

As amazing as the metaverse is (and has the capacity to become!), I think the landscape is so large, and the opportunities are so open that powerful companies and institutions can try to steer this tech toward centralized and often selfish gain. With that said, I’m thrilled about some of the options that creative, decentralized platforms have already built — and I hope that as users and builders, we will continue to make the metaverse a safe, welcoming, and expansive place for all people. Plus, I like having someplace to flex my pink puffer wearable.

What are your hobbies and interests outside of tech?

I write poetry and plan to publish my first collection this year, ideally some time in the spring. I also love yoga and dancing. I’m very into books (as evidenced by my YouTube channel and the Bitcoin book club I’m part of that broadcasts weekly).

Let's talk about breaking the glass ceiling. What were the biggest challenges you faced as a woman in tech, and how did you deal with them?

To be really transparent, not having a truthful understanding of salary expectations or my own personal finance goals early in my career really burned me. When I started out as a PreK teacher, working service jobs on the side and taking gigs as a freelance writer, I just wanted to do what I loved. And that was fulfilling enough…it didn’t matter as much that I wasn’t making a ton because my mind was always occupied and entertained.

But when I segued into the corporate world, I had no idea how much I was supposed to earn, so I took whatever salary or hourly wage was presented to me.

I felt paralyzed trying to negotiate, and it took about ten years to ask for my first raise. There may be some truth to the idea that as women, we’re taught to be agreeable and encouraged not to buck the system. This spills over into our working lives as we try to be everything to everyone. I still work as hard as I did when I was failing to scale the corporate ladder, but now my goals are once more driven by what I’m passionate about — and I remind myself that fair compensation is always worth the conversation.

Any interesting misogynistic story/situation you faced/handled, and you want to share with the HackerNoon Fam?

I remember often being called “honey” and “sunshine” by one boss, only when he was correcting me or directing me to finish a menial task. There was another who would only comment on clothing and personal appearance of the women in the office, in a “playful” way — I know this one happens a lot. Humor sometimes serves as a very flimsy mask for less-than-flattering qualities in a manager.

I also remember going in for an interview where the CEO assumed I was much less experienced (and younger) than I was and compared me to his daughter at one point. Well-intentioned, sure… but it would have been hella weird if I told him he reminded me of my Dad, right? Always a double standard.

We all make mistakes, but I think it’s just about establishing respect with a person first. Humor and terms of endearment only work with a humble foundation.

What was the biggest setback/failure that you faced, and how did you manage it?

Sometimes, life gets in the way even when things are going well career-wise. I’ve had to step back from work for health reasons and even leave a job permanently because of that, too. Looking back, I’m so glad that I took care of myself. We rely on our bodies and minds for so much that we have to treat them carefully. Once we’ve refueled, we can get back in the game with a better chance of long-term success.

What's your biggest achievement that you're really proud of?

Starting Womxn In Crypto with Maria Ortiz-Spillane was one of the best and easiest creative decisions I’ve ever been part of. We had just met in Anthony Pompliano’s crypto class and trusted one another in working together to start something great. Being able to write freely on all sorts of crypto topics, research ideas every week and pitch them to one another, interview amazing women in Bitcoin and Web3, and build a whole community from the ground up — there’s nothing else I’ve done quite like this.

In your opinion, why do we see this huge gender gap in the tech industry, and how can we reduce it?

Growing up, I was naturally inclined to writing and the arts. But in high school, an educational road trip along the coast of California with two female mentors inspired me to start out as a biology major in college. When I first took a computer science class, it was like something in my brain just unlocked. It made sense, and it was super interesting to learn. I think I was one of two girls in the course.

We each have unique, innate skills and interests. But there’s something to be said for this legacy of ushering girls and boys into gendered categories from a young age, and I’m excited to see that changing. When I watch my nieces, I can see that they’re already so interested in all types of topics, and there’s no barrier to what they can learn. And I want to amplify education for them the way my grandfather, a scientist, did for me.

At the end of the day, it’s about access to opportunity and encouragement from parents and teachers to give everything a try — to learn what it is you love by experimenting with all kinds of tools and ideas.

I’m proud of the teachers I know who open these doors and grateful for organizations like Girls Who Code, STEM for Her, Black Girls Code, and ESF Dream Camp — helping create pathways for the young women of our world.

Who is your tech idol? Why?

Lyn Alden!! She is an incredible mentor and expert in Bitcoin, finance, and blockchain technology. Her engineering expertise is an inspiration for girls and women of all ages to carve their own paths in tech. Watching interviews featuring Lyn and following her on social media, as well as staying on top of her writings — it’s all helped me grow in crypto and given me the confidence that there is most certainly a place for all women here.

Do you have any advice for aspiring girls who want to join the field?

To any girls interested in learning about tech, I would absolutely encourage them to read. Read as much as you can get your hands on — go to a library and grab whatever interests you. Ask family and friends for books you can borrow or spend the whole day at a used book store. When you can, take notes and highlight what speaks to you. This goes for non-fiction, biography, and even fiction (SciFi is a great place to start thinking about big picture topics in tech).

Find a blog or healthy community online that sparks your imagination… maybe it’s a category on HackerNoon or a YouTube channel you love. Immerse yourself in things that are genuinely interesting to you — and then when it comes time to network or interview, you’ll already have plenty to say.

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