(Past assignment for an ICO)
Photo Source: https://cryptocoin.news/news/30-of-the-most-innovative-and-exciting-women-to-watch-for-blockchain-and-crypto-insights-5200/amp/
Every morning I enjoy my morning coffee with my Blockchain Sisters. We laugh, share, cry and pass around positive memes like the “Boss Babes”, we are! (#GirlBoss)
On a unique Sunday during brunch, a few of us shared our daily “Words of Affirmation” but we decided to become more philosophical than usual. I was playing “reporter” that weekend, as I asked to highlight the issues women in blockchain are facing. I’m not really a know-it-all, so I asked the REAL experts for their opinions.
I was saddened as some of the most recognizable names in crypto had surprising answers. All successful tech gals, my friends and I pondered why there was a need for more women in our field and our brainstorming frustrated all of us.
There’s no direction. Few guides, little to no mentorships, and a major need for good strong female leaders.
What’s the Fuss?
Forbes Magazine has written 10+ articles, easily discovered by a quick Google search, in the last year on the lack of ladies in financial technology. Seems like ‘women in blockchain’ is another ‘buzz’ phrase in the crypto community lately, used to drive tickets to the thousands of summits everywhere! why?
What is blockchain to women?
Why would women want to be involved?
Why do people keep saying their involvement is detrimental to growth?
Honestly, my fav Silicon Valley chick, Tam Sanchez said it best, “I only became involved with blockchain technology and crypto because I’ve seen it as an avenue to empower women.”
Why Empowered? That’s easy! Tam sent me back to memories of my first feelings of learning how to read a candlestick marker on Forex.
Then, the first time one of my investments turned a profit.
Figuring out how to build my own GPUs to mine crypto made me feel like I saved a third world country. 😂
I was the only female in several computer programming classes, “out swimming” an ocean of men.
I never understood why crypto made me feel so strong. Presumably, having financial freedom and understanding the importance and future of decentralization will make one feel enabled to conquer any task.
I’m truly gleaming as I ponder the times my friends and I made risky investments and it paid off BIG. “High five-ing” all your colleagues, aka; 2000 “Wolf of Wall Street” guys; is enough to make any woman feel pretty confident in her endeavors.
This is a man’s world. To be an able woman competing with the best, is beyond empowering.
As I tell my lady friends about this experience, they seem interested but….
Photos Source: Destiny Child’s “Single Ladies” Music Video screen shot from their YouTube
The Crypto After Parties?
Guys, women talk. Between 34 well known ladies in the crypto field, we came up with dozens of reasons why blockchain spaces across the globe are mostly male dominated. The most controversial issue being some of the famous “Bitcoin After Parties”.
Whether you’re one that enjoys the barely bikini-ed babes as forms of “entertainment” after a successful convention or not; prominent women in technology are demanding these behaviors must desist. We agreed despite our personalities; loud or more behind the scenes, the ladies I interact with daily state we should start making a stand against objectifying women in this way.
“I don’t support those events by not attending”, many have said. But even allowing them to exist in this field truly hurts humanity and takes females back decades. Do not work with companies that conduct such sexist behaviors.” Jim Garner tells me. “People are pressured into these events because they want to get ahead in their career. This is business folks, keep it that way. Not respecting women is hurting fintech businesses.”
Now that we’ve addressed the obvious…most women [in this space] do not like to be considered “eye candy”. What?! Shocking, I know.
Many educated women desire their intelligence and works to shine above their perfectly highlighted and contoured cheekbones.
Let’s gather a few more issues that could be deterring women from the mecca of decentralization….
Speaking Foreign Languages
Jen Greyson, Top 8th Woman in Crypto, (and one of my favorite crypto gals) always has something thought provoking; “we are not speaking in “everyday person’s” language. To keep from looking stupid, we’ve adopted the term that’s been given to us. Wallets, HODL, Wen Moon/Lambo? What we are failing to do, is show the everyday person why they should care.” Greyson continues, “Most women aren’t motivated by 100x gains. Which is not to say we’re risk averse, but money isn’t typically a sole driver. Make our lives easier, less complicated; take one bloody thing off my plate so that I can do better work. The learning curve for crypto is steep, the warnings that come with setting up a wallet, dealing with private keys and security protocols are enough to deter any woman who already has much to do.”
I was devastated I didn’t think of this myself, Jen. I wouldn’t be able to count the hours I spent trying to learn how to use a soft wallet…
Wait, why was my wallet soft in the first place?! (#shehasjokes!).
I often have to remind myself why I need to remember 583 words to access my imaginary money after spending 30 something years, giving a random stranger my social security number. After I hand them my money, they charge me, I would call begging to know how much was on their super secret ledgers under my name, praying they don’t have ‘technical difficulties’. Now you want me to trust a computer?! They’re always blaming the computers!!!!
Too confusing! oh my gosh!
This is not only a learning curve, this is stressful!
When I started trading crypto, I signed up for 6 different trading sites, and still can’t use 4!
So yes, there’s not a huge desire to learn something vastly complicated for most individuals. Those with busy schedules may always be reluctant to such a change because the risks of losing your currency is great when uneducated.
Traditional Gender Roles
Women in leadership, as it pertains to sexism, has been an uphill battle since we started branching out from a more ‘traditional’ roles i.e. housewives to working moms, to successful entrepreneurs.
We will always strive in the “Suit World” to be judged by our merit and not our gender. Sexism is generally publicly NOT tolerated but are there other issues?
@SarahScott has incredible insight on possible ageism that may exist; “Leadership amongst women is changing. As Generation X and Millennials are stepping up to set the role of new leadership that the baby boomer women defined in terms of corporate and career aspects. Formerly, I feel that many corporate female leaders had to be structured in the way they decided to pursue their career in previous times. They defied the odds, and with that, it took a toll on how they could lead. For some, the corporate female leaders of the baby boomer generation had to be more stern, less emotional, more competitive in order to get the jobs they demanded. And rightly so, hell it wasn’t even until the 70's women could open up their own credit cards, or file sexual harassment lawsuits. To the Baby Boomers, collaboration amongst other women in the workforce meant that at times (sadly) they were both vying for the same spot amongst male leadership. Thus, it instilled a less then open and collaborative work environment amongst women.”
Sarah continues, “Because of Baby Boomer women, we (Gen X, millennials, even centennials) are able to look around, evaluate our situation, and lead exactly how we want to lead, with emotion, with compassion, with collaboration and so much more. Blockchain technology is still in its infancy, so as women have taken it amongst themselves to lead, be outspoken, innovate, and become entrepreneurs. They are finding that collaborating amongst one another is the easiest way for us to bring other women into the fold. As women, we don’t think about just ourselves, we think about our community. Blockchain technology is literally redefining the world by decentralizing industries, allowing distribution of wealth, knowledge, goods, resources, to be given to the masses. Women belong in this space because we literally think on a mass level, beyond ourselves, just like the very blockchain technology that is unfolding. For decades we tried to lead like men have lead, but through blockchain technology we are now able to lead the way women have been meant to lead differently, and blockchain tech is empowering women across the world to harness all of that!”
Leadership is not structured in one way as it has been in the past. Thanks to blockchain technology women have the ability to use the business world as a means to redefine success for everyone. We are politely demanding social value systems change.
Photo Source: http://explorepahistory.com/displayimage.php?imgId=1-2-EDE
My dearest crypto enthusiasts; I give @JanGupta the closing line, because I didn’t have better words. “Sam, for me, blockchain offers us the opportunity to redefine all metrics of how we measure ourselves, each other and the process upends the models that have shackled human creativity.”
It’s going to take some work, but we can use Blockchain technology to redefine many things. Together, we can continue to explore and find multiple solutions to entice more ladies to join the tech industry.
Only the collective power of women (and men) working together will we change the world for the better.
Thank you so much!