Abbey points out how she loved learning to code and coding in private. When she took her skills public and started networking, she had to deal with a lot of unjustified stereotypical criticism as well as major biases against her inherent skills. Her interviewers and co-workers continually made reference to her gender as opposed to the quality of coding.
This can be quite toxic and runs counter to true gender equality. In Abbey’s case, the problem is not computer science, but the irrational biases surrounding the business of computer science and Web3.
There are already a number of women who are heavily involved in cryptocurrency, and have been since the beginning.
The Defy Trends team seeks to help people escape from the outdated banking system by making informed decisions on crypto investment. Before founding this company, Imge Su worked as a Data Analyst at the International Organization of Migration and as a research analyst for the United Nations in Iraq. She holds a BS in economics and has a master's in data science.
Other hugely influential figures in the blockchain space include Sally Eaves, Galia Benartzi, Rachael Wolfson, Piper Moretti, and Maxine Ryan. While there are some prominent contributors, however, the trend is that its more difficult for women to succeed in Web3 due to historical biases that hinder the rate of progress.
There are very serious reasons as to why more women are needed in Web3, and this goes beyond mere virtue signaling or political diversity mandates (where companies employ a few staff to appear diverse). Why pretend to be an all-inclusive company if you’re not going to make it a real part of the culture?
Appearing to be diverse and actually being diverse are two completely different things. Actual diversity is needed in Web3, particularly in the supporting areas of finance and business which are known to be
The problem gets deeper when you consider the future of the global economy. It’s obvious that programmers of AI and decentralized applications are going to hold enormous power. If the vast majority of computer scientists and researchers are going to be male, what are the implications for a society founded on distributed ledgers? The biases are going to be reflected in the code.
The core ethos of distributed ledgers is equality for all parties, based on competence and interest. An unfair representation of one side goes against the very principles of blockchain. From a commercial standpoint, there are also very precise reasons why equality and diversity will increase success. A significant amount of objective research points out that
Failing to attract a diverse number of software developers into Web3 will have dire implications for the future economy - which will be built on distributed ledgers and smart contracts. The issue needs to be given increased weight and be organically implemented.
There are many strategies that could be adopted to help increase equality in Web3. But social stigma is very difficult to pin down. Female programmers, especially teenagers and college students, will be very influenced by the prevailing social norms, which are generally not supportive of their interest in computer science and related areas.
The largest culprit is fundraising and business, which has long been male-dominated (as evidenced by a huge body of
Admittedly, it is definitely possible to go too far in the other direction. Hiring somebody as a diversity hire as opposed to the quality of their work is an incredibly insulting thing to do and can be quite dehumanizing.
It’s about equality of opportunity.
From a financial and educational standpoint, the opportunities need to be equal. The cultural and social perspectives are the most deeply ingrained and the most difficult to tackle. Even with tangible incentives and programs, these will take time to transform.
Women have played, and are playing, a pivotal role in Web3. It is undoubtedly very difficult to battle against the stigma as either a Web3 founder or a blockchain programmer.
Faruk Ates, in a Hackernoon post about the
“Women invented the field - then men pushed them out of it”.
While the gender disparity is evident, distributed ledger technology ultimately lends itself towards fairness and will help to assist in actual, as opposed to feigned, equality.
Everybody will benefit from diversity through a stronger ecosystem built on sounder principles of unity, as opposed to exclusion. This includes both males and females.