When Priya Sharma walked through the doors of tastycrypto’s office in the heart of Chicago’s West Loop, she wasn’t just stepping into a new career path — she was stepping into her new life.
Freshly laid off from a crypto exchange platform, Sharma was immediately drawn to tastycrypto’s standout culture and warm recruiters. The diversity of thought and opportunity for growth sang as she compared tasty to other options, but there was one line of the job description that leaped off the page.
“Don’t meet every single requirement?” read the final line of the listing. “Studies have shown that women and people of color are less likely to apply to jobs unless they have every single qualification. … If you’re excited about this role but your experience doesn’t align perfectly, we encourage you to apply anyways.”
As a woman of color, Sharma was struck by the care she felt in the posting.
“I was ready to take a chance,” she said. Her application led to a happy connection: Sharma immediately loved her recruiter.
“I got off the phone ready to be friends with her outside of work,” Sharma added, laughing. “She treated me as a person, not just a candidate for the job.”
A short while later, Sharma landed the role and moved from California to Chicago in the dead of winter. Her new colleagues supported her every step of the way.
“It’s all been worth it,” Sharma said. “I had never been to Chicago or known anyone that lived here, but everyone’s been so welcoming and shared the best of what’s going on in the city.
“I’ve never felt lost here — everyone is always looking out for one another,” she added.
“I’ve never felt lost here — everyone is always looking out for one another.”
“I wanted to be a part of building something in its beginning phases,” she said, noting that the experts behind tastytrade are busy building tastycrypto, a separate but affiliated company of tastytrade. Sharma explained that tastycrypto just launched its self-custody wallet, which allows users to take control of their own crypto; users can send and receive crypto, swap tokens, store NFTs and soon connect to DeFi and dApps.
“We’re really looking forward to the future of tastycrypto,” she said.
From Triangle Pose to the Trade Desk
At tastytrade, the word growth isn’t only used when discussing portfolios. It flourishes in the individuals at every trade desk.
When Elizabeth Staab, future chief compliance officer of tastytrade Canada and current trade desk representative, joined the company as a customer support specialist, it was the serendipitous start of a new career.
With a BFA in dance, Staab was teaching and managing a yoga studio full-time, and battling the feeling that her career had plateaued. When CEO Scott Sheridan, an acquaintance of Staab’s, asked her to scout her customers as potential employees for his team, she saw the stars of her future align.
“I blurted out, ‘What would it take?’” Staab said, recalling the path to her first interview with tastytrade.
Once she started on the Trade Desk, Staab hit the ground running, earning the mandatory licenses she needed to perform her job. Her days quickly filled with taking calls, placing trades and studying emails.
Six years later, Staab has soared far beyond her original expectations of the role. She is helping to build tastytrade Canada and its team.
“There’s so much room for internal growth: opportunities in-house when we are expanding into different areas, other departments and countries,” she said. “There is always a chance to pursue a specific job of interest because the leaders here see your potential.”
“There’s so much room for internal growth.”
Even better than tangible growth, Staab has felt nothing but support along the way.
“It sounds silly, but I love how we have a fully stocked kitchen, daily lunch and even breakfast — it’s an important thing,” she said. “From time off to convenient meals, the company encourages everyone to find what makes them feel whole beyond work.”
HOW TASTYTRADE SUPPORTS DEI
- Women’s Forum, its employee resource group
- Diverse hiring panels and diverse talent pipelines
- Human-focused development programs
- Internal promotion and diverse leadership
A tasty Future
As someone who has been with tastytrade since its inception, Branding Director Bobby Shepherd has an expansive view of the company’s growth from the inside out. He estimates that he’s seen six or seven iterations of tastytrade, always on the bleeding edge of trading culture.
“We’ve been operating in an exciting, prolonged startup mode,” he said. “Right now, we’re uniquely positioned between institutional brokerage firms and newer startup apps: You get the forward-thinking culture with the stability and credibility of an established company.”
Shepherd is in awe of the grasp tastytrade has on emerging trader culture. Over the past decade, he’s seen experienced traders leverage their time in the pit to shape the future of trading.
“The evolution over the years has been really exciting,” he said. “Along with the personal opportunity that exists here, this is an invigorating place to work.”
“The evolution has been really exciting. Along with the personal opportunity that exists here, this is an invigorating place to work.”
As a branding director, Shepherd has a hand in crafting tastytrade’s public-facing brand. He’s often asked about the company’s name, and the answer contains a multitude of layers.
Rebranding to include the word “trade” spoke to the company’s existing reputation, and made it more “talkable,” Shepherd said. “We see ourselves as a not-so-secret club for our traders, and, by positioning ourselves more clearly, we make it easy for our traders to evangelize,” he explained.
The ‘tasty’ part of its name is simply a vernacular way to describe things that are joyful, Shepherd shared.
As the company expands, Shepherd is deliberately preserving the company’s relaxed persona. “We’re still us, we still have fun and we’re striving to more authentically reflect our traders,” he said, expounding on the impending evolution of the brand’s signature cherry logo.
This authentically tight-knit culture of community shines through the hustle and bustle of the Fulton Market office. “Nobody is pretentious here; there’s just a spirit of jumping in and getting it done,” Shepherd said.
For Staab, this is reflected in the casual garb welcomed in the office.
“Our startup mentality is part of that laid-back feeling,” she said. “When you come into the office, you’re not in a suit and tie.”
“For me, I like to turn my chair around and just like crack a joke with my boss and because we have that approachable culture,” Sharma chimed in. “This is a great group of people.”