To celebrate International Women’s Day this year, Cointelegraph hosted a roundtable with eight leading women in the blockchain and cryptocurrency sectors to discuss ways to engage more women in the fintech industry. Although many ideas are divided, common themes focus on teaching, mentoring and participation.
Christina Corner, managing editor at Cointelegraph, started the discussion by asking how to get more women to trade and invest in cryptocurrencies. While new data from research firm Cardify shows that more women are making cryptocurrencies a large part of their portfolio, men still make up the majority when it comes to investing in cryptocurrencies.
Olivia Kapuzalo, Senior Content Officer at OKEx, confirmed this and said that the male client base still dominates most exchanges. She said the cryptocurrency sector is a growing industry and the trading features remain very traditional. However, Capuzalo noted that women play an important role in a family’s financial decisions:
Meltem Demirors often talk about the absolute percentage of women in control of their family’s well-being, which is about 80% in the United States. We create products with a huge potential customer base, regardless of age or gender. It provides direct access to wealth creation without intermediaries or specialized skills. ”
Similar to Capuzalo, Effie Bellareno, blockchain technology consultant and fintech consultant, said traditional markets face similar challenges when it comes to male dominance. Consequently, Bellarino believes that the problem women currently face is participation.
Bellarino said she was not surprised how few women were using cryptocurrency exchanges, but she had hoped that more women would participate in developing blockchain platforms and protocols. “If blockchain design and infrastructure is implemented at the enterprise level and women are not enough, then female thinking models will not create anything. This is the biggest challenge we face today,” she said.
How to get more women to participate in blockchain and cryptocurrency?
To ensure more women sit around the table, the corner asked panelists to share their thoughts on educational approaches to encourage women’s participation in cryptography and the blockchain.
Anino Emuva, founder and CEO of Avandis Consulting and co-founder of 100Women @ Davos, said teaching blockchain and cryptocurrencies should take place from an early age. “Games with coins and history books containing this topic should be settled early. We need to start opening the world to our children now,” she said.
Educational content about cryptocurrencies and blockchain is becoming more and more important, especially as more beginners enter the room. Cardify results show that despite the growing interest in cryptocurrencies among women, men feel more confident in their understanding of cryptocurrencies.
However, educational materials targeting women have helped bridge this gap. CoinMarketCap’s content manager Molly Jane Zuckerman explained that the site’s Alexandria platform, which includes lessons as well as game content such as quizzes and polls, has relatively equal numbers of male and female readers.
In addition to education, Corner said it is very important to gain women’s interest in the blockchain in general. Cointelegraph’s chief technology officer Elisa Shevinsky explained that instead of focusing on ways to attract women interested in technology, the bigger problem is understanding how to convince women to stay in the industry.
This is an important point to keep in mind as a recent report from CoinMarketCap showed that the number of women in the cryptocurrency industry increased by 43.24% in the first quarter of 2020. Shevinsky said that women had been interested in the technology for some time, but before it was kept. Women in these new fields is not an easy thing. Fortunately, despite the COVID-19 pandemic, job opportunities have increased in the blockchain and crypto industries.
Capuzalo commented that this is very encouraging, especially for women, noting that the cryptocurrency industry is a “very attractive space”. Additionally, I noticed that the blockchain room was incredibly attractive to women and I noticed that after writing about technology for over 10 years, this was the area that caught my attention the most.