The Women Of AngelHack: Kelsey Ruiz

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: Kelsey Ruiz

Role: PR and Media Relations Manager

Been With AngelHack: June 2014

Works Out Of: Sacramento, CA. Out of the awesome coworking space, The Urban Hive.


What do you do at AngelHack?

My responsibilities include all in-house PR, including but not limited to press releases, announcements and written statements. Other responsibilities and tasks include brand awareness, social media monitoring and content curation.

Can you tell us about your toughest day on the job?

My toughest day(s) on the job are usually days when I feel like I have failed in some aspect. Either I didn’t execute an initiative to my full potential or had a minor glitch with a project I was working on. I must say, that all of my “tough days” never ended that way, I always took away a lesson from each hardship I have faced and turned it into a positive – (more on what I like about the startup culture to come!)

AngelHack is a global company, requiring frequent travel. You must have had some memorable experiences. Give us one!

Well from almost missing a flight in Australia to getting an impromptu ear piercing in Switzerland to getting lost in the streets of London, working for AngelHack has been quite the adventure!

One of my favorite memories would be the first dinner I ever had overseas with my coworkers. We had just got done facilitating two events over the course of one week, coming off two hackathons – we were all pretty spent. After clean up, we headed to a Lebanese restaurant in London where we had dinner in this little cultured cafe, accidentally ordered incorrect stuff, laughed, and had a great time together.

This is my favorite travel memory because it was a great bonding experience with the team!

Has there ever been a time you felt discriminated against as a woman? Explain.

YES. I think to some extent, everyone has whether it be in their personal life or work life. Gender stereotyping is taught throughout society from the moment we are born, and this undoubtedly has an effect on how women are treated within society.

What challenges have you faced because of being a female at a hackathon or in business?

I can honestly say, that while I have felt discriminated against in life, in business, etc. – I have never felt directly discriminated against at an AngelHack hackathon. One challenges I have really worked hard to overcome would be speaking up when I know i’m right and have valuable information to contribute. Going back to gender stereotyping, women are groomed by society in a way where they do feel uneasy speaking up (at least I used to), and in turn are viewed as “soft-spoken” individuals. I’m all about breaking the mold!

What about the startup culture do you like?

I like that in the startup culture, there isn’t just one way to do something. Working for a startup allows me to use my brain in a creative way to get things done, and has overall made me more resourceful, savvy, and inventive as a person!

What about the startup culture do you dislike?

Dislikes about the startup culture are that it is extremely fast-paced, which sometime can be a good thing but also it sometimes hinders us from reflecting and improving processes.

How does it feel that 80% of your community is male based?

It feels… good.

It feels good to know that a female owned and predominantly female operated company has the power to captivate such a large audience of people who may or may not be able to directly relate to each of us as individuals.

Our community is able to see past this, and focus on what we all do have in common, which is hackathons, innovation, and collaboration.   

Personal Life:

I am highly curious, very creative, and deeply passionate. I love to be challenged, I love to learn new things and I love to keep growing in all aspects. I also love hot pilates because it keeps me sane (insert strong arm emoji). I live happily in Sacramento with my girlfriend, Kindra and dog, Pax. I have BIG dreams to move somewhere that excites me; San Francisco, New York, Barcelona, any of these would do.

What do you love about working for AngelHack?

I love being able to do what I love – anywhere in the world with some of the most awesome, well-cultured, brilliant, and kindest people I have ever met!  As AngelHack is a “startup” I really love being able to help build out something so unique, amazing, and innovative.

What’s your spirit animal?

A dolphin, because they are kind, loving, and generous; yet they are wild and free creatures (or at least should be!)

What’s one word you would use to describe yourself?


What’s your favorite thing in the world?

Pax- my husky, his human-like face, and his baby paws. Also, chocolate.  

Biggest fear?

Not being true to myself and failure.

What’s your definition of success?

I would define success as achieving a personal goal and knowing that whatever goal you reached was not an easy one. Success just isn’t the same if it’s easy.


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!


Click here to support our Thunderclap campaign, and get notified when we go live on December 17th!