Women in Tech: A Woman of Web3by@amira
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Women in Tech: A Woman of Web3

by Ameera Karimova April 22nd, 2022
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Regina Sadykova, a serial entrepreneur, is a PR and marketing expert. She started as a journalist covering tech and Venture Capital back in 2010. Her career path led her to a PR role as companies kept requesting her to ‘write another article’ and provide focused coverage. She has been referred to as a ‘Crypto PR Og’, a badge I wear with pride.

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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!

My name is Regina Sadykova, I am a serial entrepreneur. My key competence is PR and marketing.  As a former journalist, I love to tell stories and explain complicated stuff in a simple way. Currently, I work with  Crypto Funds, NFT, and Web3 companies. 

#Why did you choose this field in the first place?

While I started as a journalist covering tech and Venture Capital back in 2010, my career path led me to a PR role as companies kept requesting me to ‘write another article’ and provide focused coverage. Sometimes people confuse journalists with their publicists, but in my case, the referrals and requests continued over the years from a variety of clients and my PR expertise evolved to support them.

In 2016, reflecting what was transpiring in the startup economy globally,  most of my tech clients had migrated to having some involvement in Blockchain or Crypto. I realized that to be the beginning of an entirely new era in tech, so I had to learn a lot of new things: crypto-trading, mining, holding, forks, ICOs, staking, farming etc., but it was exciting and informative. PR in crypto is not just writing or pitching; it requires one to be constantly learning as the industry continues to rapidly evolve. I also love to ‘have skin in the game’, risk my own assets and trade NFTs and participate in ICOs. I have been referred to as a ‘Crypto PR Og’, a badge I wear with pride. 

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

At the moment, I am thrilled about digital fashion. As a fashionista, the idea of having endless clothes without having an endless walk-in closet is exciting.

Given the size of the market and having previewed some of the innovations on the way, I believe digital fashion will make a meaningful impact on the industry.

DressX, my friend Daria Shapovalova’s startup, is a great example of an innovative startup that will help shape the future of digital fashion. 

I am also intrigued by digital humans. It started with digital influencers like Lil Miquela (@lilmiquela) and I believe you will see more innovations on the ‘virtual influencer’ front soon.

Lastly, I love to work with Layer 1 projects, because leaders in this space are focused on upending the status quo and bringing efficiency and transparency to the rapidly evolving industry. I very much admire the ambitions of Solana, Algorand, and other ecosystem creators.

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

Mental health! We sometimes underestimate the complexity of our daily digital lives; from consuming and processing a vast volume and variety of data from multiple devices while living thru the literal evolution of systems, it can all be a bit overwhelming sometimes.

The advent of deepfakes is also concerning; this dangerous new phenomenon in AI stands to wreak havoc on many segments of our society.

#What are your hobbies and interests outside of tech?

Fashion, running, and reading. Also, I enjoy building communities. For example, now we are working on a Silicon Society members club. 

#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?

Ironically, early in my career, not being taken seriously actually helped me; as a journalist, some people would share sensitive information with me just because I looked like a naive student who asks silly questions, but I was in fact doing my job – getting access to people and information not necessarily available to everyone.

With experience comes confidence, and while I certainly have grown personally and professionally to handle some of the situations unique to women making inroads in traditionally male-dominated industries, I have found tech industry leadership to be accommodating and working towards inclusivity. Segments of the industry are new and evolving at such a rapid pace that companies need the best minds and creative ideas from employees, and diversity and inclusivity will be a competitive advantage. 

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

I am not quite sure if it can be considered misogyny, but as a person who organizes satellite events for crypto-companies during major conferences, on many occasions, I have observed the practice of inviting young, attractive women just to keep gender balance at the party. These female guests are usually models or select nightclub wait staff who are just tasked with showing up and looking beautiful.

On one hand, there is nothing offensive about it but on the other, I wish there were more women in tech who would meaningfully participate in industry events and not be treated like ornaments to enhance the ambiance. 

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

I lost nearly 10 bitcoins. It was painful but I learned a few life lessons - and some technical ones.

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

I am proud to have always gone over and above for my clients and having delivered more than promised. While I have accomplished much, I believe that my greatest achievements are still to come.  

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

There are several reasons for the tech gender gap, some historic and cultural, and others more nuanced and resulting from poor diversity and recruiting policies. I believe we need to encourage more female students to undertake STEM curricula in schools and to evolve our recruiting practices so that our tech talent is reflective of our population. I am encouraged by meaningful strides made by non-profits, local governments, and tech companies to date, but it will take time for them to materialize in a balanced workforce.

#Who is your tech idol? Why?

I admire Whitney Wolfe Herd, who co-founded Bumble after she was sexually harassed and discriminated against at her former company, Tinder. As VP of Marketing, Whitney was the youngest executive at Tinder. In the face of adversity and challenges, she didn’t give up and instead evolved the business by creating a more woman-friendly app, which turned into a wonderful business. 

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

Learn every day. The new dress is a nice choice, but investing in crypto can be a smart choice. The wise choice is to invest in yourself and your own education all the time.