Expert Insight

Comment: On International Women’s Day what is there to celebrate?

Coin Rivet celebrates International Women's Day, but what needs to be done to encourage more women in blockchain? Good role models are one answer to this perennial question

Can you imagine on International Women’s Day, what there is to celebrate for women in blockchain? Not a lot, it would seem.

Just yesterday, ahead of International Women’s Day, I wrote about why there are so few women involved in blockchain and what can be done to correct this.

The article’s been widely shared and welcomed by women working in blockchain and has prompted debate – which can only be a good thing.

This is something which I’ve written about a lot – and will continue to write about until things change for the better.

Doom and gloom

It’s not all doom and gloom, though. The likes of Jillian Godsil have found blockchain to be their sanctuary when faced with bankruptcy. And there are a multitude of inspiring women in the world of blockchain – too many to mention here – but women such as Sally Eaves, Crystal Rose, and Crypto Curry Club founder Erica Stanford are just a few who have paved the way for others to follow.

Crucially, all the women I’ve spoken to about blockchain have said the same thing. It’s so important to have decent, strong role models in the space to inspire other women to make the leap.

This is a vital message that I’d urge everyone to embrace. Blockchain needs good women that other women can look up to, admire and respect and learn from.

In an interview some months ago with Georgina Brett, she memorably spoke of the woman who mentored and encouraged her. It shows how important role models are for future success.

Comment: More women are needed in blockchain

Let’s not forget that a mere 6% of people who work in blockchain are women. Women whom I’ve spoken to in the past have complained about unwanted sexual advances at conferences and inappropriate comments such as: “Are you a model?”, when they are clearly a professional delegate.

Greater role

Roxana Mohammadian-Molina, chief strategy officer at peer-to-peer property lending platform BLEND Network says: “I am delighted to see that women are playing a greater role in such rapidly evolving industries as FinTech and alternative finance. As technology continues to disrupt the financial services industry, women in the sector must seize the opportunity to reshape the industry from within.

“But they also need support to do it. Only 3% (£54m) of the money invested in UK FinTechs by venture capitalists last year went to companies with female founders, and only 17 out of 261 UK deals (6%) had at least one female founder or co-founder.

Not surprising

“This is probably not all that surprising given only 17% of FinTech senior roles are held by women.

“So while progress is clearly being made to encourage and promote women in the industry, clearly we must continue to recognise that more work is needed to create a greater gender balance that offers equal opportunities for all participants in what ate some of the economy’s most vibrant and dynamic sectors.”

And here’s how cyber Twitter reacted to International Women’s Day. Kicking off with Elena Kalpa, the co-founder and Chief Marketing Officer of evedo.

Omnitude’s tweet celebrates all the women “who are achieving great things in blockchain and the crypto space.” It’s thanks to the “strong will of women in the past” that the women of today have the capabilities and opportunities to do anything, it adds.

At Emurgo in Hong Kong, they have a team of “smart and intelligent women, who do their best every day.” It adds: “We would like to celebrate this day with you all, and show our appreciation to all the women in the world!”

Hopefully, by 2020 on International Women’s Day, there will be more than 6% of women working in blockchain. It’s not much to ask, is it?

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