Women in Crypto: What Does the Landscape Look Like?

The crypto world has witnessed a surge in technological developments and more efficient algorithms which are increasing their pace over the past few years. A massive amount of altcoins have sprung up and with the digitalization of several financial instruments, the possibilities are endless. However, in order to allow crypto technology to reach its full potential, it is necessary to examine it in terms of gender representation. Till now, ever since the dawn of cryptocurrency, almost a decade ago, this sector has seemed to be highly male-dominated both in terms of investors and the leaders sitting at the top.

Now, getting a birds-eye view of what the scene looks like, let us take a look at some stats.

In general, in the domain of financial services and products, according to a 2019 study, globally, only 23% of members of the board directors in major financial services firms were women. Before that, in a 2018 global survey of firms in alternative investments, only 13% of the CEOs were found to be women.

Further, in 2019, women’s global representation on executive committees in major financial services firms was only 20%, up from just 16% in 2016. The increase was marginal, but still a development.

The rise of technocrats has seen a good amount of impact on the relevance the public places on new innovations. Specifically in the blockchain and crypto virtual ecosystem, women are thought to be less in number and also less inclined to take up positions at firms dealing in such technologies. This is very similar to the way women, in general, are stereotyped as being less inclined towards the technology sector.

Important Women in Crypto

Taking into consideration the women in crypto who have smashed it in terms of breaking the barriers they might normally face for being the ‘only woman in the room’:

Emilie Choi, Coinbase’s president and chief operating officer. Coinbase is, of course, one of the older crypto exchanges enjoying a very high level of popularity in the US. Moreover, one-third of the executive team at Coinbase is female

Kathleen Breitman is the Co-founder of Tezos, the decentralized platform for peer-to-peer transactions on an open blockchain-based system. As of March 2021, its market cap was $2.9 Billion. (source)

Yael Rozencwajg is the founder of the startup Blockchain Israel. It is Israel’s largest Blockchain Technology community, providing common ground for over 200 growing start-ups and 3,000 members. By offering a variety of award-winning products and opening new channels to connect people, even more, the organization hopes to make blockchain solutions fully accessible to businesses and startups.

Susan Joseph, Executive Director of Diversity in Blockchain, a charity dedicated to creating fair, accessible, and inclusive opportunities in the blockchain industry. Their goal is to allow people from all walks of life to engage with blockchain technology in order to ensure that everyone benefits equally. Via innovation and education, they aim to build a support network as revolutionary as the blockchain itself.

Market participation for traders/investors

According to a 2020 report by Grayscale, the percentage of women who are Bitcoin investors is around 15%. At an approximated value by expert analysts, the number of women in the cryptocurrency industry as a whole increased by 43.24% in the first quarter of 2020.

As per an article by LiveMint, in India, the top crypto exchanges have an overall percentage of women investors in the range of 15–20%. Looking at the newer investors though, we see the women have been coming forward more and more. Over the past year, the count of new women investors on Indian crypto platforms has surged by up to 1,400%, which is almost on par with the increased percentage of male investors (1,064.5% for males during the same period).

Maximizing Opportunities

Not only is there a need to even the playground by seeing off the male hegemony that has settled in the minds of several people but also to find out more solutions to do so. Firstly, even though there has been a large increase in women’s representation, there is still a long way to go. Around 70% of the interested individuals are still men. Whilst that shouldn’t be a threatening fact as far as figures go, it could derail underrepresented minority groups from pushing forward in this sector. This does not only stand true for genders but also racially excluded groups and various ethnicities.

Secondly, there is simply a requirement to boost education in this domain. All females must have knowledge about it at least so that in the future they can both as a career prospect and as an investor take advantage of good opportunities. According to an article, on asking some recently graduated females whether they would be interested in the IT sector, they asserted that only 22% of them knew at least one female leader in that sector. Another astonishing finding was that females didn’t really think of going for that sector because they didn’t have enough knowledge about it.

Thirdly, is inclusion itself on the behalf of men. It is considered that whilst women aren’t intentionally excluded from hardcore crypto and blockchain domains, they aren’t intentionally included either. All of which calls for change.

At Giottus, women already represent a higher-than-industry average 33% of our workforce, and we’re working hard to bring this number to levels that indicate true parity — 50%, within the next year. If you’re a woman reading this and are interested in working on tech/marketing/other roles at Giottus, we’d love to hear from you. Reach out to us at info@giottus.com, let’s talk!

Finally, this is more a call for equality rather than an attempt at feminism. Break the status quo. The tech-finance world needs more than one gender to run it.

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