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Ep. 94: Work-Bench Co-Founder Jessica Lin Embraces What Sets Her Apart

“If you build something where you bring women and people that you admire together, and you give them an opportunity and help lift their voices, then you’re building something bigger than yourself.”

In this episode of the Women Killing It! podcast, host Sally Hubbard introduces us to Jessica Lin, the Co-Founder and General Partner of Work-Bench, an enterprise-focused venture fund and community in New York City. Work-Bench is rethinking enterprise VC and working to support more women in tech, building a hub to connect what she calls “our suits and hoodies”— Fortune 500 companies and startups.

Women only get 2% of venture funding, so Jessica is passionate about supporting more women founders. In this episode, she shares her thoughts about why women and people of color face challenges getting venture capital funding.

“Embrace what sets you apart. It’s very easy to think, ‘Oh, I don’t look like anyone else. I don’t sound like anyone else, and their backgrounds are also different’…I’ve really been able to embrace what makes me different, and I think what I bring to the table is different from so many others.”

Jessica’s career path has been winding, going from what she calls “Swahili to Sysco.” In college, she studied international relations, spent her summers in Kenya, and planned to do a career in global public health. One class changed everything for her, and she ended up going into tech and then getting tapped as a co-founder for Work-Bench.

“If you follow good people and you work with them and you work hard, you’ll always be on the right path to some great opportunities down the line.”

In this episode Jessica shares how learning to embrace what she brings to the table and creating community has been critical for her career path. She also talks about the future of work, the importance of working with good people, and a recent summit Work-Bench hosted focused on supporting more women in enterprise tech.