Project WoAH (Women of AngelHack). It’s a movement. One led by the amazing Women of AngelHack, who have stories to share. And share we will! Check out the intro below, and tune in LIVE on December 17th (5pm PST) to check out and ask questions during our WoAH Livestream.
Name: Rachel Peridot Katz
Role: Director of Social Innovation
Been With AngelHack: One month
Works Out Of: San Francisco HQ
What do you do at AngelHack?
My main role is making sure we’re integrating social innovation into everything we do. For example, we’ve run more than 16 events with a social good focus in the past year - I’m looking to continue building on that through hackathons with global nonprofits, governments and through AngelHack’s nonprofit arm, Code for a Cause. I recently published a post about how governments can use hackathons to innovate, read that here (shameless self-promotion!) I’m also working on finding ways that we can leverage our global network of developers and startups to improve our world, and do well by doing good (read our CEO’s recent piece about that here).
Can you tell us about your toughest day on the job?
I’ve only been at AngelHack for a month, so luckily I haven’t had too many tough days. I would say that I’m definitely not a morning person and hackathon life (as well as working with a global team) often means waking up to get working at 5am or earlier - so that will be an adjustment!
Has there ever been a time you felt discriminated against as a women? Explain.
I’ve been fortunate to always work on teams either made up of mostly women or led by women so I’ve avoided much of the discrimination other women experience. I mostly notice subtle sexism - for example being in meetings where men introduce themselves to or shake hands with other men in the room but not to the women(this has happened to me multiple times).
What challenges have you faced because of being a female at a hackathon or in business?
Luckily I’ve only worked on female-focus hackathons so far, but I would say I always feel a bit self-conscious about not having a ton of coding skills (I can build simple website and took some coding courses in college, but that’s the extent). Tech is supposed to be a meritocracy, but I think that typically applies to coding skills and not as much the softer skills which are also important for starting and running a business.
What about the startup culture do you like?
I love that every person on the team is savvy, scrappy and smart and has something unique to contribute to the success and growth of the company. Waking up everyday is a new and interesting challenge, life is never boring.
What about the startup culture do you dislike?
Somethings things can get chaotic or move quickly, so you have less time to take step back and think. Often you need to make decisions on the fly - which can be both empowering and terrifying at the same time.
How does it feel that 80% of your community is male-based?
Motivating. I see AngelHack as a social enterprise, which is a business that tackles social issues and disrupts existing systems that maintain inequality. So, I see that there’s a challenge here to create equality, and I’m excited to take it on. I get the sense that much of our community likely feels the same way.
I'm a dog-lover and own a rescue pup named Tanner. My hobbies include gardening (the fire-escape variety), reading (sci-fi and fantasy are my favorite genres), drinking wine (this is a new and direct result of living in the Bay Area) and eating cheese (I once got a job by being able to name and describe my favorite cheese on the fly.) I was born in St. Louis, grew up in Austin, and have lived in New York, Prague, Seattle, Los Angeles and San Francisco.
What do you love about working for AngelHack?
I have seen first-hand the power of hackathons to improve the world and people's lives through technological innovation, so I believe deeply in the work this company does.
What’s your spirit animal?
Pizza rat, because it’s always good to pursue your dreams, even if people think they might be too big or complicated. Particularly when they’re related to eating food.
What’s one word you would use to describe yourself?
What’s your favorite thing in the world?
Chocolate chip cookies, Junior Mints and the "Dainty Gentlemen" sundae at Bi-Rite Ice Cream in San Francisco(honey lavender ice cream, dark chocolate fudge, blood orange olive oil, sea salt).
Not being proud of the work that I do.
What’s your definition of success?
Loving what you do and being surrounded by people you love.
The stage is set, December 17th at 5PM PST. Submit your questions ahead of time using #ProjectWoAH or through the YouTube LIVE chat on December 17th. Mark your calendars, and make sure you tune into the livestream!
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