Get to know Women of Storm ambassador and CEO of Cointree, Australian digital currency exchange Jess Renden on her experience bringing a unique perspective to the cryptocurrency industry and what she has done to ensure her career journey is her own.
With the fintech and sports industries both experiencing shifts toward more balanced and equal environments – speaking to what drew her and Cointree to the Melbourne Storm initiative, Jess shared it came from a shared want for equality.
“I’m a big believer of equality across the board, and particularly in technology and sport sectors.” she shared.
“The Women of Storm program is an incredible initiative by the Storm group, empowering individuals in sectors where women are often underrepresented.
“This program unites those dedicated to advancing equality and amplifying the recognition of women in sports.
“The Storm group not only advocates for these ideals but embodies them. They've created an outstanding team and culture, which they share with their partners and wider community.”
“I am truly proud to be an ambassador and sponsor of the program.”
With an extensive background in talent, diversity, and inclusion, Jess brings a unique perspective to her 17 years of experience in the tech industry. Joining the Melbourne-based crypto company in 2017, she shares she began as one of ‘a handful of women in the room’ at meet ups and events.
“Not that it was a deterrent, as the crypto community was (and still is) always so welcoming and inclusive of everyone no matter what level of experience they have,” Jess added.
“Becoming one of very few female digital currency exchange CEO’s in Australia was a proud moment, and one that, whilst not common, was received with excitement in the industry.
“Cryptocurrency was a completely new space for me...besides an eagerness to be at the forefront of a new and emerging industry at the time, I was at a point in my career where I was open for a change and this was the perfect fit.”
Making her way to the top of her field, whilst also riding the rollercoaster that is the volatile cryptocurrency markets, has been both a challenge and achievement for the CEO.
However, at the core of Jess’s approach has been to be present and to care for those around her, colleagues and family alike – a feeling many men and women may feel is missing in some corporate environments.
“Navigating through highly volatile markets is a continual challenge for any business and leader, particularly when dealing with cryptocurrency. Yet being able to work through those challenges and have a positive result for your team, shareholders, and the business alike, is the biggest achievement.” Jess admitted.
“Personally, my biggest achievement is being a mum and wife to my beautiful family and being able to have achieved what I have in my career whilst having a family is something that I am really proud of.”
It is not unknown the struggle for work-life balance, no matter the industry or gender. A universal truth we are all likely to experience. Yet, Jess shares stern words of encouragement for those yearning to step-up in both their professional and personal lives.
“I always found that regardless of your role, if you want something you will get it, and you need to work hard regardless of your position in a business.” Jess said.
“I’ve always tried to showcase this with any of my team over the years; that it takes commitment and persistence to grow in your career.
“Keep going. Don’t stop trying.
“It’s easy to be discouraged when taking a leap into unfamiliar and challenging territories, especially when navigating male-dominated industries. However, it's absolutely possible to have both – a family and a career.
“While it's a juggling act, one many of us know too well, a strong support network can make a world of difference.
“From my experience, the dedication and hard work that it takes to reach your goals is worth every moment. So, don’t look back, and give it your all.”