It is no news that women are under-represented in the tech sector. They are faced with everyday sexism that ranges from being underpaid to being passed for promotions. However, you’d think that the era of the decentralized technology, blockchain should at least herald in some changes in the tech sector. But, alas! The sector still remains fraught with issues related to inclusivity. Female blockchain founders are however having none of the traditional gender imbalance in the sector and these women are changing the narrative.
Starting a business isn’t an easy feat and it becomes even more difficult when trying to start one as a female in a largely male-dominated sector. Data from CoinDance reveals that only 8.78% of the persons in the cryptocurrency and blockchain community are women. This is excluding women of color as there is a major disparity in their participation in the space.
Getting Funds as a Female Blockchain Founder
However, despite these dark clouds, there are few milestones that the cryptocurrency and blockchain sector has been able to unlock for women. One of these is funding. Getting funds to start a business can be such a tedious task; however, more women are beginning to look to cryptocurrency to get funds for their businesses. This seems to be a better option as TechCrunch revealed that in 2017, Women received only 11 percent of total venture funding in the first half of that year. However, a lot of female founders such as Lisa Wang, the CEO and founder of SheWorx have been successful with raising funds for their businesses and now, she teaches other women to do the same.
For some other women, they have devised a means of getting funds and these plans vary from getting a co-founder to utilizing technical terms in describing their businesses. Heidi Zak, Co-Founder of ThirdLove an underwear company utilizing data to fit the needs of its clients explained the strategies she used in getting funds. To Heidi, female founders should focus more on the technical aspects of their product when seeking for funding, particularly when the product is a female based product.
Where do Women of Color fit in the Blockchain Space
Asides, getting funds, there is a lack of female inclusivity in blockchain events and conferences being held. It even gets worse as women of color are not adequately represented. For instance, in a panel section of 10 people, 2 out of the panelist might be female and none of them may likely be a woman of color. Lindsay Nuon, the Founder and CEO of the global nonprofit, Women of Color in Blockchain is one of the women of color leading in the sphere to Lindsay, her advice to other women of color is that they acquire three important qualities to thrive which include resilience, a sponsor, and a commitment to lifelong learning.
From January 2017 to January 2018, a study by Quartz discovered that out of 378 venture-backed companies founded between this periods, just one had an entirely female founding team, while only about 8 per cent of founding teams included women at all. The blockchain sphere is not the only lacking in female participation, as top giant companies are also not totally gender inclusive. For instance, 36% of the global employees at Facebook are females. While this is not up to average, it is encouraging.
While the tech sector is slowly warming up to including women, the blockchain and cryptosphere are unique for creating a space or community for people to meet, learn, and engage with one another. A lot of groups and organizations are creating a space for more women to join in. For instance, communities such as Black Women in Blockchain Council, Stealth Mode, and many other communities are creating connections to more black women in the blockchain industry. Recently, Blockchain African Ladies, a Blockchain group just for women in Africa held a blockchain event just to educate women on the technicalities of the blockchain. These female founders are working hard, not just to create a space for themselves but to include other women as well.
Do you think female founders find it easier to establish in the cryptosphere than their male counterparts? Share your opinion with us in the comment section below.