Nelly Moffett: Education will unlock doors to allow more women into this space

NELLY MOFFETT: "Having more women in tech is good for our society, for the tech industry, good for economic growth… it is just common sense"

In the mission statement on her TAAL Project website, chairwoman Nelly Moffett says they are hoping to “promote education and new technologies in a gender equity environment”.

The TAAL Project is a non-profit based association, in France, which promotes the use of technology and peer-to-peer education with the ambition of improving peoples’ quality of life.

It seeks to “break down prejudice” by attracting more women to the sector while also helping people “better understand and adapt” to changing labour market needs.

She seeks to address the issue of gender inequality in blockchain and emerging technologies. Here, she explains how and why the project exists by answering a few questions about what inspires her.

Coin Rivet’s Helen Carter finds out more…

How did you get involved in this type of technology and how long ago?
January 2017 when I was looking into cryptocurrencies as an alternative to traditional investing

Was it your first choice of career or did you find yourself veering towards it?
My first career choice was foreign affairs because I wanted to work for an international organisation in order to help people. Once I started to explore new technologies I knew the path I wanted to follow.

Why are there so few women involved in blockchain/crypto?
I find that misinformation, stereotypes and the lack of awareness of existing role models play an important role in women being less interested in the tech sector. In the case of crypto, this phenomenon is magnified because in general women tend to be more cautious especially when investing.

Better decisions

What needs to be done to address this?
Education! I think that access to information is the key, we need to inform ourselves to make better decisions and help our community by sharing our knowledge with others.

Men and women have different and unique skills. We need to learn how to work and help each other. I mean, just go back to basics and remember that, in the end, we are just humans and together we are stronger. Having more women in tech is good for our society, for the tech industry, good for economic growth… it is just common sense.

Do you see your self as a role model?
Well, I’m the ‘proof of concept’ that, education in our hands, with today’s access to information, and having the right tools, the opportunities we can create for ourselves are incredible! The possibilities are endless. As a matter of fact, I’ve been nominated to the “Inspiring 50” France 2018 which is a pan-European program to identify the continents leading women in the technology sector. This initiative is organised in partnership with The European Commission, Facebook, The French journal “Les Echos” among others.

What motivates you and your business?
I decided to launch the non-profit organisation to contribute my grain of sand to create a better world, but mostly because of my grandmother. I was raised in Mexico and I saw firsthand the enormous impact of never having the opportunity to learn how to read and write (or having access to information) on my grandmother’s life. I have always wondered how life would turn out for her if she had the opportunity to decide about her education. Even though she has passed away, she continues to be my motivation. Today I’m helping people discover Blockchain, in Europe, in my third language.

What obstacles are in the way to success?
There are a lot of things one person can’t change about our world but what we can do is to take responsibility for the decisions we make or fail to make every day.

Do you believe the Bitcoin bubble is about to burst or is that hype?
Bitcoin is the very beginning of a new generation of digital currencies, the question we should ask ourselves is: Are the laws and policies needed to regulate this technology and make it less volatile going as fast as we need?

Lack of knowledge

Why does crypto get such a bad PR?
Because of exchange websites getting hacked, cryptography being related to facilitating the use of funds for illegal activities, and the lack of knowledge in investing in general that leads to poor ICO investing decisions.

How do you engage others to see the benefits of this technology?
We are working to make tech attractive for women, expose new technologies and role models as well as opportunities through free introductory classes.
I’m being active in the Blockchain community trying to inform myself every day, so I can share that knowledge with others.

Will blockchain improve the PR?
Blockchain can help our society to build trust between people who don’t know each other, or they do know each other but they could have divergent interests.

Can you summarise what your company does?
The TAAL Project is a non-profit association based in France dedicated to facilitating access to technological education and promote gender equity in the tech sector.

As part of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, we promote the use of technology and peer-to-peer education to improve peoples’ lives. We help people looking to discover blockchain and new technologies and the free and high-quality learning resources available.

Role models

How do you go about ensuring there is gender equity in blockchain?
That is one of our missions at the TAAL Project. We want to attract more women to the sector by presenting the opportunities that technology offers. That is why female role models are so important. Then we guide them through educational resources and local network they need to continue learning and get involved. We would like to organise an event next year in Lyon (France) related to gender equity and technology in order to bring together the amazing people we have met through TAAL project, so they can share “good practices” and most importantly show people what amazing opportunities the tech sector can offer.

Do you envisage a strong future for this technology?
Absolutely! Blockchain, AI, IoT, automated vehicles, 3D printing, biotechnology, virtual reality are some of the technologies that are going to transform the world as we know it.

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