Narrowing the Blockchain Gender Gap
Big surprise, women are underrepresented among blockchain startups. It is a trend that's pervasive throughout technology and Silicon Valley in particular.
In some ways, however, women have struggled to compete at an male-dominated culture whose fortress is supposedly shielded by cliques like the «blockchain bros,» according to a recent New York Times article. The trend doesn't seem to be limited to startups, according to research suggesting women only represent between 4% and 6% of blockchain investors.
While it's still early innings for blockchain, that causes this gender imbalance that much more about, as it's during the early days of an emerging market that new wealth is created and influencers born, putting in a motion of chain of events ranging from investments to hiring behavior.
Meanwhile, in corporate America, big investors are putting more pressure on boards of directors for environmental, social and governance standards, including gender equality.
What's keeping more women into blockchain from diving? Some suggest it's an inferiority complex, driven by the notion that you need a Ph.D. to succeed in the distance, a misconception that one female crypto investor tried to quash in the Times story. However, it doesn't help when blockchain engineers are mistaken for models or whose qualifications are contested, which has happened to women, including engineering students, pursuing careers in cryptocurrencies.
And while women may feel excluded at some blockchain or cryptocurrency occasions, like a current bitcoin conference that held its networking session in a Miami strip club, it's not everywhere.
Industry leaders have been tailoring conferences and events to draw more women to the blockchain space. It's functioning, according to sold-out events that are also bringing thousands to a live stream.
Indeed, in addition, there are green shoots of gender diversity unfolding on the blockchain, suggesting it may depend on where you look. In an interview with Bloomberg, an industry in was described by Digital Currency Group's Meltem Demirors.
As an example, she says the number of female founders among blockchain startups is on the rise as well as the number of female investors across crypto vehicles such as hedge funds and venture capital. Demirors admits, however, that «there's still some work that needs to be done in the ecosystem.»
In america, men as of January still contained almost three-quarters of all bitcoin users, based on data cited in Bloomberg.