This year’s International Women’s Day theme is #BreakTheBias, so Cointelegraph spoke to 10 blockchain industry leaders about their experiences as women in Web3 and collected their advice. From discussing barriers to entry to non-fungible tokens to role models, the following comments are from women in the US, Latin America, Europe, and Asia.
When asked what are the current barriers to entry that women may face when considering careers in crypto, Dr. Cagla Gul Senkardes, co-founder of the Istanbul Blockchain Women’s Association and a professor at Istanbul Bilgi University, answered emphatically, ” bias”.
Speaking from a more academic point of view, Senkardes sees gender bias and culturally constructed ideologies in the context of cryptofeminism, the concept of having to choose between adhering to the usual expectations for women and forging new paths within cryptography, doing nothing or both.
“The masculine construction of technical language and symbolism takes inclusion to a point far removed from competence and skills. From this point of view, it would be correct to discuss the debate of cryptofeminism against a male-dominated culture in crypto.”
Jackie Rose, Director of Institutional Business Development at Blockchain.com, shared a similar sentiment about confusing “jargon” or buzzwords like “meme coin” or “Web3” sounding aptly cryptic and potentially distracting someone from further investigation. . Coming from a traditional financial background, Rose found crypto to be a “more welcoming environment” where her female colleagues became “invaluable resources.”
“In the US, where most people have access to traditional banking, cryptocurrencies are often seen as more akin to gambling than investment. The space can also look quite intimidating from the outside, things move very fast, much of the jargon is new and confusing, and the way it is presented in the media is overwhelmingly negative”.
A more common response to potential barriers among the women interviewed was a lack of financial and technology education, specialized skills, or the years of experience sometimes required. Daniela Henao Moreno, COO of Defy Trends, a Miami-based women-led startup, noted that there is even a lack of access to job openings because many crypto jobs tend to be advertised through Telegram or Facebook. word of mouth, rather than posted on popular job boards and employment sites.
Aurore Galves, co-founder of Leonod, a French development agency specializing in crypto and distributed technologies, raised another issue: representation.
“Women, when they are present, serve more as a showcase to reassure investors and to increase the confidence index of a project. It is more complex to legitimately assert oneself as an expert in this environment”.
Galves admitted that women are increasingly present at events and participating in more projects, but that both men and women “must have a voice” so that the blockchain world “finds balance.” When asked if he thinks NFTs can be seen as a gateway for women to get into crypto, Galves replied that the NFT space is a “phenomenon shrouded in illusion”, warning that “discovering crypto assets through NFTs could be misleading”, but could nonetheless “become a source of innovation and value creation”.
Related: Bitcoin Business in France: Regulation, Education, and Cash Purchase Frustration
Someone with a more optimistic outlook on NFTs is Wengie, musician and founder of the Nyan Heroes NFT game, who has “only had a positive experience so far” as a female blockchain game developer.
“Many projects are based on culture, art and creativity and it is a space for creators to be rewarded for their work. I think that more and more women are taking control of their own financial education and learning about cryptocurrencies as well from an investment point of view.
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Wengie added that as more women become familiar with NFTs and other crypto-native concepts, they are likely to take them more seriously and are less likely to objectify them. Similarly, Senegal-based blockchain project manager Bineta Ngom, also known as Mama Bitcoin on social media, viewed NFTs as an investment vehicle. Ngom founded a Bitcoin fishing business because she “had nothing to lose.”
“NFTs could be of interest to women, especially in Africa, who are very active and always looking for ways to grow their money. They often invest in tontines, so why not NFTs and in the meantime, will they learn about the world of cryptocurrencies?
Cointelegraph also spoke with Fiorella Scantamburlo in Argentina, Communications Manager for POAP, the Proof of Attendance Protocol that mints digital badges representing attendance at events like NFTs. Scantamburlo shared that since she has been working at POAP, she “totally” believes in the power of NFTs and claims that they are a gateway for artists, content creators, and collectors to enter the blockchain ecosystem. She also revealed that one NFT project that she particularly likes is Bored Ape Yacht Club, because they “made a community that feels like home.”
When asked what message he would like to share about his personal blockchain journey, Scantamburlo responded that cryptocurrencies give everyone the ability to “be the architect of our own future” and not have to wait for others to “write our story for us.” “.
Related: Ledger Announces Limited Edition NFT-Centric Hardware Wallet, Partnership With POAP
According to Jassy Jackson, vice president of operations at WAX, who is “grateful” to be working in crypto, a space she admitted “is a boys’ club,” it’s also going to “change the world on so many levels, from improving our planet to changing the financial services and improve gaming experiences. It also encourages others to identify the women in our lives who support and empower those around them.
“It is important to understand the power and value of female energy in workplace culture and the yin-yang balance they bring to every organization, and the blockchain itself. Women need to be recognized, celebrated and recognized by the value they bring.”
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Dawn Newton, COO and co-founder of digital identity provider Netki, did just that when asked what message she’d like to share about her personal experience and yelled at a woman she admires. Newton credited Connie Galippi, founder and CEO of Bitcoin’s first nonprofit called BitGive, with helping her “truly understand how Bitcoin could empower people and create meaningful change in the world.” After hearing Galippi talk about a fundraising project for a girls’ school in Africa in 2014, Newton was inspired to join the BitGive Board of Directors and advise on the creation of the GiveTrack blockchain-based donation tracking system.
Newton also had some advice for women looking to get started in crypto, recommending getting involved with the community, whether on social media or local meetups, and stating that networking is “the key to breaking into this industry.”
This post Happy International Women’s Day! Leaders share their crypto experiences
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