By all measures, Karisa Winett has already achieved massive success in the world of technology. The VP of Operations at NFT Genius, Gaia marketplace www.ongaia.com one of the most successful marketplaces on the Flow Blockchain and co-founder of LVLUP.COM, Winett has quickly risen through the ranks of the tech industry to become one of its foremost leaders. Her work has been featured in media across the country, including the popular Female Founders Series podcast.
And if you ask Karisa how it feels to accomplish so much, so quickly, you will learn that she is just getting started.
Karisa has a greater vision in mind than simply blazing new trails in crypto, NFTs, and tech. She is committed to opening doors within an industry that has been historically underrepresented by women and people of color. For Karisa, this is where she will have her greatest impact. As the visionary entrepreneur explains, the tech industry has been dominated by white males for decades, leaving few opportunities for new voices and unique ideas.
“I want to change the world, to help people achieve what they truly want to achieve,” Karisa says. “People forget that when you are building a world that is supposed to include everybody, you have to include every demographic – these people have great ideas and amazing strengths, but they are not being listened to.”
As an executive, Karisa has already influenced significant changes to corporate policies through each step of her career. One of her proudest moments was successfully enacting an employee benefits program that included benefits for dependents. It was a personal victory for Karisa, whose parents worked incredibly hard during her childhood to provide for the family.
“It was a constant struggle of do we eat food, do we take the kid to the doctor, do we pay the rent?” Karisa explains. “As a leader, if you can eliminate those questions, eliminate those struggles, people feel so much more confident in your ability to lead them because you have already taken care of them. you have already begun to see it from their perspective.”
Because of her experience both as a corporate executive and a startup founder, Karisa has the unique perspective of seeing the big picture through the eyes of the employees as well as the leadership team. This has provided her with valuable insight into helping underserved and unnoticed members of the workforce gain opportunities that may otherwise be unavailable to them.
“Within any company, there are compromises and sacrifices that must be made,” Karisa explains. “But most employees move on because they are unhappy, because they are not being recognized or promoted, or because their wages don’t match their value. My goal is to help people feel fulfilled, to help them receive what they earn, and to give them opportunities that they have never had before.”
For Karisa, it is a personal mission to open doors within an industry that has been slow to change.
“Being a woman in tech is very difficult, so at some point you have to ask: How do you stand out? How do you make a path? How do you show other little girls that they can go further in life if you haven’t been allowed to shine yourself?”
By forging new paths within the industry, Karisa is making it clear that her success is just the beginning. And she believes that her story will inspire others to seek new opportunities toward greatness – beginning within her own family.
“I have two younger sisters, and if I don’t fight for them, no one else will,” Karisa says. “I fight every day for my success because I have a bigger vision in mind – that some little girl who hasn’t been born yet won’t have to feel this way. That is a good reason to continue to fight.”
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