Women for Women: Blockchain for diversity and inclusion

Do names like Ada Lovelace, Grace Hopper, Hedy Lamarr or Annie Easley ring a bell? If so, congratulations, your science and technology history knowledge goes beyond the surface; if your answer was no, Google them up, you might learn a thing or two! These names prove that women have always been interested and involved in science and technology, although they were rarely allowed access to the professional environment, let alone recognised for their work.

Fortunately, things are changing.

To celebrate 8th of March — International Women’s Day, the Centre Blockchain of Catalonia (CBCat) and Democracy4All conference reached out to amazing and inspiring women in blockchain who work in different areas and roles in this relatively new and challenging sector. We asked them to share their reflections and energy with other ladies around the world who might be eager to explore this sector. So today instead of just writing yet another article on the topic we are excited to share with you thoughts and encouragements of the women who already joined and contributed greatly to the further development and adoption of blockchain technology.

Blockchain is a truly inclusive space for development and embraces all sorts of talent and past experience. The technology is still young, and everyone can contribute. Hundreds of women are already working in the blockchain space as project managers, lawyers, marketologists, traders, developers, policy makers and many other roles. They all came from different fields but this diversity of backgrounds only supports the faster development and adoption of the technology.”

- Vasilisa Marinchuk, Director of International Relations and Engagements at CBCat

“The essence of blockchain technology is democratization and decentralization, which is incomplete without the women power. The world is full of examples about how women have been instrumental in bringing positive change. Mass adoption of blockchain is practically impossible to accomplish unless we work collaboratively, setting aside our biases, and using diversity as the fuel…”

- Priya Guliani, Head of operations at Government Blockchain Association | UK Senator WBAF

“The number of women involved in blockchain and cryptocurrency is rising all the time — and this is a very good thing. Blockchain is so fundamental to our future economy and society that we have a moral imperative to ensure the industry is inclusive so that women are not left behind in terms of financial inclusion or job opportunities. Perhaps even more importantly, women in blockchain are needed because they are contributing hugely to the industry with their skills, expertise, and entrepreneurship. So, I believe that just as every day should be a women’s day, every day should be a women in blockchain day.”

- Helen Disney, CEO/Founder at Unblocked

Blockchain is a rapidly developing technology, and the industry it created goes way beyond cryptocurrencies and FinTech in general. Healthcare, food tracking and supply chain in general, digital identity, voting systems, fact checking in media — to name a few — are already impacted by this technology.

“The number of women in crypto and blockchain is growing — from investors, traders, analysts, developers, journalists and marketers to heads of companies, along with startup leaders. I believe we need to celebrate and highlight the women that are already leading in this space, and that will inspire others to join.”

- Sam Shrager, Head of Marketing, BCB Group.

“Inclusivity and Diversity are important to any space but even more so, to Blockchain. We must look at different ways to attract the “everyday woman (and man)” into Blockchain and we do this by approaching them at their level of understanding rather than ours. Show them the opportunities that lay within this space and we do this via a super-duper campaign designed for them, rather than us!”

- Lavinia Osbourne, host & founder of Women in Blockchain Talks

“In the past, often without receiving deserved recognition, many exceptional women have made great contributions to technology. Today, women are exercising leadership and playing a pivotal role in the creation of the Blockchain and Crypto industry, technology that will completely change society and the economy in the next hundred years”.

- Virginia Mijes Martin, Vicepresident of Catalan Blockchain Association

The tech industry, as we all might imagine, is still heavily dominated by men; in fact, the five largest tech companies on the planet (Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google and Microsoft) only have a workforce of about 34% women. Blockchain is not an exception to this norm, which is mainly due to a historical factor and an inherited pattern where women had scarce access to technological intensive sectors of the economy. But as in many other areas, blockchain seeks for female contributors, their ideas and leadership. The representation of women in blockchain will be key in the next century.

“We cannot have another generation of women missing out on yet another powerful era of wealth creation and a monetary system. We need to ensure that women are at the forefront and represented in all areas of Blockchain.”

- Phumza Dyani, columnist at SHE Community

“Blockchain is shaping the economy of the future. Now, more than ever, we need women both in Blockchain and shaping the economy of the future.”

- Loha Hashimy, Project Manager at Amazing Blocks

“The very essence of blockchain is the ‘ability to access’ making it a very inclusive infrastructure. The time is now for more women to enter this space, develop their skills, educate themselves and become the blockchain pioneers of the future. (…) The very fact that women are greater at building community based networks, can have positive effects for less bias patterns to exist. (…). As an experienced finance professional who has evolved into technology in the last 2yrs, I am excited by the growing opportunities and the transparency value that blockchain offers(…) Let’s revolutionize the future, one block, one step at a time.”

- Susan Falola, Founder / CEO of JUUBIX LTD

“The next 3 years are our unique window of opportunity to design the core features of a technology that is disrupting our everyday lives sooner than expected. We can still design the parameters for the token based stakeholder economy of the future. We are at such an early stage in the industry that we can still contribute to creating the foundations and thereby shape the course of history. Let’s not miss another train.

- Thy-Diep (“yip”) Ta, Co-founder of Unit Ventures

“When I first came into the industry in 2017 it was noticeable the lack of women in the space. But those pioneering women who were already leading the way were incredibly smart, with multiple degrees, speaking multiple languages, and with impressive career CVs. They were also looking to hold out their hand to the next wave of people and women coming into the sector. (…) There are a number of women in blockchain groups that will support you in your learnings, connections, skills, and insights. Reach out to us, we’d love to hear from you.”

- Bridget Greenwood, founder of The Bigger Pie

“Access to Justice is much more than the access to the right to litigate. It is the first step towards a universe of fundamental rights that starts with inclusion. Blockchain is, rather than a human-centered technology, a human networked system that will grow as stronger as its participants are. Ignoring women’s power will deprive blockchain technology of reaching its full potential. Blockchain technology has just begun, but we have to keep in mind that mass adoption is built upon mass inclusion.

- Renata Barros Souto Maior Baiao, Judge at São Paulo State Court, Researcher at the Blockchain Research Institute Brazil & BGS Ambassador

To conclude, we will quote a last very short, very concise sentence, that expresses perfectly well what we’d like to say to all women interested in technology in general, and blockchain specifically:

“Come on in — you are very welcome!”

- Jillian Godsil, Founder and Editor-in-chief, Blockleders.io