It is 2019 and the most popular word of this decade has been diversity and inclusiveness. If you not either of this then you will be facing some heat with our third wave feminists and rightfully so. If you aren’t looking out for everyone then are you even doing your part?
Gone are the days when our industries we dominantly male and white.
However, cryptocurrency is not doing a great job when it comes to women. Female participation in this sector is abysmally low. Almost every conference you walk in is white and male. This is hardly surprising as 85 percent of employees at recently launched blockchain startups are men.
This is not what blockchain stands for
The ideology behind blockchain was not only to give us an alternate system to work with but to also democratize society and bring out the equality and transparency. It is supposed to allow us to participate in ways that no other industry has done before.
Participation is pseudo-anonymous. Participants can contribute to the technology in a number of ways through mining, setting up a digital wallet, or investing in the market without anyone, anywhere knowing who or what they are.
So even after a decade of Bitcoin being in business, the industry still lacks diversity and displays clear signs of sexism? Why is that?
The proof of this exists within the data collected. If we were to take a closer look at the workforce’s across the sector, we come across noticeable disparity between males and females.
Longhash looked at the blockchain’s gender divide, found that there were fewer female team members, executives, and advisers. Here’s comes the shocker. Only 14.5 percent of blockchain startup team members were women. It worsens when we look at the leadership positions, where the number is as low 7 percent.
We are not trying to say that there aren’t any women in the blockchain and cryptocurrency world but the numbers are remarkably low. Women do encounter obvious sexism that can be off-putting on so many levels.
Where does the problem start?
The problem obviously exists in the mindset.
An instance highlighted by Nellie Bowles where she talked about the troubling approach that was opted by DateCoin. They attempted to lure investors in its initial coin offering by posting a Facebook ad featuring a swimsuit clad woman with the caption “Touch my ICO” plastered all over her body. To your surprise, this isn’t an isolated event.
Another cryptocurrency exchange opted YoBit opted for a similar shameless approach.
Crypto exchange YoBit has a picture of a string-bikini-clad woman in a swimming pool on its Twitter profile page. pic.twitter.com/yY1iUrV1m9
— Amy Castor (@ahcastor) January 19, 2019
Last year North American Bitcoin Conference hosted an after-party at a strip club in Miami which was totally uncalled for. This sort of attempt to woo in investors just makes it all the more worse for women. This move wasn’t stupid but offensive and totally unnecessary. Objectification of women only isolates women and reflects negatively on the sector as a whole.
While not all hope is lost because Elizabeth Stark announced scholarship scheme for female blockchain developers last year. Other organizations such as Diversity in Blockchain and Global Women in Blockchain are seeking to change the narrative.
If blockchain industry continues to benefit a specific part of the world then we don’t need it. It is everyone’s responsibility to make sure that it doesn’t lack diversity and the ‘tech bro’ culture doesn’t get in the way.