This week on Women in Crypto, we had the pleasure of speaking with the inspiring leader, writer and crypto pioneer, Jen Hill.
We discover how she came to be a reporter for the 21 Cryptos Magazine and how Jen is making crypto a space for everyone.
Jen Falls Down the Crypto Rabbit Hole
It’s the end of the working day in Durham, North Carolina when Jen Hill sits down to chat. What quickly becomes apparent is her enthusiasm, dedication and passion for all things crypto. You would never guess that its 5pm on Monday — when many of us couldn’t get out of the office door quick enough.
I started researching different coins but then also blockchain technology, and the opportunity for women and underrepresented minorities in the space.
What also becomes apparent is how Jen is guided by a philosophy to make crypto a space for all. She works to ensure minority groups, the marginalised and the underrepresented alike can feel a part of the industry. This has fuelled her passion for crypto from the beginning, after her partner Omer introduced her to the world of Bitcoin.
I quit my job. Not because I got crypto rich (I most certainly have not gained from trading and consider what I have purchased as an investment aka HODLing for now), but because I was inspired by the intention of bitcoin and the possibility of the technology, blockchain…
— CryptoSister (@crypto_sister) May 8, 2018
“I got into the technology of Bitcoin,” Jen says. “I started researching the opportunity for women and underrepresented minorities in the space.”
Making Crypto a Place for All
Realising that an emerging technology like Bitcoin didn’t have the barriers to entry like other STEM industries, Jen has made it her mission to bring everyone into the space. This has manifested into Project Bitmobile, where Jen travels across America in her trusty 2000 Fleetwood Discovery RV to bring tech to marginalised groups.
From this project, the C-Block program was born. Using her expertise running summer camps, C-Block educates young, underprivileged women in coding, cybersecurity, cryptography and blockchain technology. It’s about helping women navigate the male-dominated tech industry. C-Block does this by “providing programs for girls that they’re not getting from somewhere else”.
And the results so far have been incredible. Jen passionately reflects on the success of the program, and the long-term impact it can have on young women.
“The first program we did was with all African American girls. Most of them didn’t have laptops so part of the program was we got laptops donated from a local corporation. So they all got laptops to take home. It was really amazing.”
Using 21 Cryptos as a Platform for Good
Jen’s inspiring work through C-Block and Project Bitmobile have not gone without the recognition she deserves. In fact, as a result of these programs, Jen was spotted by the infamous 21 Cryptos Magazine, where she now works as a feature reporter. Covering everything from the Burning Man festival to crypto conferences, Jen is continuing to mark her mark in the industry. At the same time, she raises funds for her summer programs to continue.
There’s a big divide that kind of happens naturally [between men and women in tech] and it’s nobody’s fault. We have to provide programs for girls to make up for that because they’re not getting it from somewhere else.
Importantly, Jen is using the 21 Cryptos platform to encourage greater representation in the industry. Highlighting women and other groups in her writing, she is showcasing role models in the crypto space. It is through these role models, Jen believes that everyone can feel a part of the industry.
Representation in the Crypto Industry
And this is something everyone can do, Jen explains. From hiring a diverse range of employees to ensuring everyone has is represented in meetings – every voice needs to be accounted for. It’s about ensuring “when you organise a conference, men, women and minorities are on each panel,” Jen insists. Only then, does Jen believe “true inclusivity” can be achieved.
But Jen isn’t stopping there. In only a few weeks time, she will be speaking at the Blockland Cleveland conference about the importance of specialised summer programs and the need to include women and underrepresented groups. Like many in the space, we’re excited to watch how Jen fights to change the crypto world for good.
If you’re looking for more inspiring stories, discover how an everyday woman working in finance brought the first hardware wallet, Trezor, to life.
Claire is a passionate researcher, writer and analytical thinker with an interest in strategy & technical topics such as blockchain and cryptocurrency.