Cryptocurrency and Web3 technologies are rapidly growing fields with immense potential. Nonetheless, like numerous other industries, women’s representation in these sectors remains disproportionately on the lower end. Not only that, women are still underrepresented among founders and investors. In spite of this, there are women who have successfully carved out a niche for themselves in the crypto and Web3 space, making noteworthy contributions to the industry.
This gender diversity problem is not something that has cropped up recently; it has always been an issue. To understand some of the struggles ladies encounter in the crypto space, you can read this article.
Although women represent roughly 50% of the global population, their representation in the crypto and Web3 industry is much lower. However, it is safe to say that adoption and representation have increased gradually.
According to data from eToro’s latest Retail Investor Beat, crypto is the second most popular asset class for women. The results indicate that ownership climbed from 29% in the third quarter of 2022 to 34% in the most recent quarter. Based on the eToro’s team, this means that crypto is “succeeding where traditional financial markets have sometimes failed,” which is why it has risen in popularity among women.
The age-old conundrum that comes to mind is “why are women underrepresented in the crypto and Web3 fields?” One of the primary reasons is the historical gender gap in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) fields. Women have traditionally been underrepresented in STEM, and this trend has carried forward to the crypto and Web3 industry. In addition, there is a lack of diversity in leadership roles in the industry.
Using a database from Crunchbase to analyse the gender diversity of founders and investors, the study titled “Web3 Already Has a Gender Diversity Problem“, found that only 13% of Web3 startups include a female founder. The gender disparity extends to the overall web workforce as well with women often clustered in nontechnical positions such as Human Resource (HR) and marketing.
The number of females among Web3 speakers is triple the times of the number of female founders. A growing body of BCG research found that companies with diverse leadership teams are better at innovation and more profitable.
The study notes that the Web3 ecosystem is still nascent and there is still time to sort out the problems of gender disparity. Co-founder of Corite, Emelie Olsson, said, “It’s time to challenge the gatekeeping mentality that dismisses women as ‘not understanding’ or ‘not belonging’.” CEO of ShleterZoom, Chao Cheng-Shorland gave her two cents on this, “To get more women involved in Web3, companies need to look more broadly at where they source talent or invest in startups.”
Managing Director at BitGet, Gracy Chen, defined the crypto world as “the Wild West dominated by male speculators and a bro culture reinforced by recent scandals and the market plunge.” She has had “first-hand experience” in witnessing how “female engagement and leadership [can] help [create] a more positive work environment and improved product enhancement.”
To find out more about people’s thoughts on women’s representation in crypto and their achievements and in lieu of International Women’s Day, Coinlive hits the streets in one of Singapore’s business districts. There was a general consensus that more needs to be done for women in the space, and that it is important to retain women in more senior positions. Check out the interview here.
The narrative in the cryptosphere seems to be changing slowly but surely with more females getting into the industry as founders, investors, or employees. A 2022 crypto diversity report by Forex Suggest indicated that all of the 30 biggest crypto companies on their list had at least one woman board member.
How then can changes be enabled to combat gender disparity? Lauren Ingram, founder of Women of Web3, explained that, “We don’t need to reinvent the wheel. We need to create role models, we need to elevate and promote women, we need to make the working world better for working parents and we need to bring women together.”
Two words: financial literacy. Crypto education applies to both genders; the more one is exposed to, the more one knows, and the more one is inclined to venture out. By providing opportunities, resources, and education to learn about blockchain and its applications, we can create and nurture a pipeline of skilled female professionals. To read more on how crypto education can be beneficial, take a look at this article.
Companies in the crypto and Web3 space should priortise diversity and inclusion in their hiring practices and workplace culture. This includes establishing an environment that is welcoming to women and underrepresented groups, as well as providing equal opportunities for growth and advancement.
Women in the crypto and Web3 industry can also benefit from mentorship and networking opportunities. By connecting with other women in the industry, they can learn about career opportunities, glean valuable insights and advice, and build a supportive ecosystem.
Next, raising awareness about the gender gap and highlighting female role models can help inspire more women to pursue careers in the field. This can include profiling successful women in the industry and sharing their stories, as well as promoting events and initiatives that support women.
It is also imperative to address unconscious bias in the crypto and Web3 sector so as to create a more inclusive and diverse industry. Implementing training programmes for employees, adopting policies and practices that promote fairness and equity, are just some ways to go about.
We do not want to risk the continuation of constructing a digital world that advocates for the same biases that plague the physical realm. Increasing gender equality in the crypto world would not only open up new career opportunities for women, it would also bring positive changes to crypto’s culture and increase its innovativeness.
Simone Berry, co-founder of People of Crypto Lab, noted that “Web3 will revolutionise how we interact, transact, and monetise as a society, but this can only be achieved if women are equally involved in its development… Despite the current ecosystem being biased towards men, we are very early in development with an incredible opportunity to not repeat past mistakes and ensure that women have the resources and funding they need to lead the new digital economy.”
With more inclusivity and gender parity can we then unlock the full potential of the crypto and Web3 industry and create a more equitable and just society.