Breaking the Bias: The Push for Gender Balance in the World of Crypto

Simply put, we will not achieve mainstream adoption without the participation of a demographic that makes up 50% of the human population.

Gender equality in the world of crypto

Since gaining popularity with the emergence of Bitcoin in 2008, cryptocurrency and the blockchain industry have seen exponential growth. As of 2021, 3.9% of the world’s population was said to own cryptocurrency. With 300 million users and over 18,000 businesses accepting crypto payments worldwide, the idea that cryptocurrency is going to transform the world of finance is not so far-fetched anymore.

Despite this incredible growth and adoption rate of cryptocurrency both globally and on the continent, it looks like an essential demographic of the population has struggled to catch up. According to a recent study, 74% of global crypto users identify as being male with only 26% identifying as female.

Even though the anonymous nature of blockchain technology makes it hard to prove or solidify a study on the gender gap in the industry, we can draw assumptions from the number of male crypto entrepreneurs, developers, thought leaders, and even community members compared to the number of female ones.

When taking into account the historically male-oriented world of science and technology, it’s not much of a surprise that women are falling behind in the blockchain industry as well. A study by Crypto Head analyzed the genders of the founders of the biggest crypto companies and has found that less than 5% of crypto entrepreneurs are female. Despite the fact that more and more women are getting into blockchain every day, there is still a long way to go before the number of women in the industry is on par with that of men.

An Education Problem

The lack of representation of women in tech as a whole can be attributed to many factors starting with education, or in this case, the lack of it.

According to a UNICEF study;

  • 129 million girls are out of school worldwide.
  • Only 49 percent of countries have achieved gender parity in primary education.
  • At the secondary level, the gap widens: 42 percent of countries have achieved gender parity in lower secondary education, and 24 percent in upper secondary education.

These numbers inevitably result in an inordinate bias not just in the number of female professionals in the blockchain industry but also in the number of women investing in crypto across the globe.

A Lack of representation

Whereas there are a number of women on the continent who have not heard about blockchain, there are some who have come across information about cryptocurrency and blockchain technology but do not feel like it is for them. Because a lot of the crypto conversations and huddles seem to be dominated by men, it can and has been perceived as a bit of a “boys club”. From the Reddit communities, anonymous trader accounts on social media, to the founders and thought leaders.

Hope for the future

Today, just over 13 years since the emergence of Bitcoin, cryptocurrency culture is still being defined as being shaped by diversity and equality for all—people of all races, genders, and income brackets.

There is still a big void in the fintech space that must be filled by women and Cryptocurrency is primed to empower women to do just that. With its roots firmly planted as an opportunity for financial freedom and independence, Crypto can help topple the tower of gender bias and exclusion that has long led the intersection of technology and finance.

How we can help

1. Prioritizing female education

Members of the blockchain industry are pushing for more inclusion. With grants and efforts specifically targeted at the education and training of women on the continent. To close the gender gap in tech, it is important to start with closing the gender gap in education. The way to do that is to prioritize female education on the continent in an attempt to begin to level the playing field. Study shows that two-thirds of illiterate adults in Africa are women. That is over 60% of the illiterate population on the continent. The rate of female education in Africa, even though is growing, has a long way to go to catch up with its western counterparts. It is for this reason that Bundle is supporting the Girls education Program by FemCo and The Female Media Network in an attempt to address the problem from the root.

2. Creating Access

With the production of more educated and informed women, the next step would be setting the industry up to receive the female professionals that these programs will produce. Creating access and an entry point for women is just as important as education. To inform is one thing, but without access into the spaces where women can truly make a difference, it will be impossible to even begin to solve the disparity. It is necessary for the industry as a whole to make provisions for women to take positions of impact by promoting female representation in the industry and diversifying teams to include just as many women as there are men.

If we are convinced that blockchain technology is going to change the way our financial systems run and our societies are governed, then it is absolutely critical that those building these systems represent the diversity of our global population.

3. Representation Matters

Everyone wants to feel represented. Why do we need more women involved in all aspects of the blockchain industry? Put simply, it matters because women’s representation is necessary to ensure that the democracy that cryptocurrency and blockchain technology promises functions as effectively as possible. Women are not a minority, they are half of the world’s population and the blockchain industry should be able to reflect that.

The theme of this year’s International Women’s day should serve as a wake-up call to take action. Now is the time for spaces to commit to actively including women and bridging the gap in the industry. Our crypto culture fosters an alternative mindset to the status quo. If we’re on a mission to disrupt finance, let’s extend the invite wide and bring as many people along for the ride as possible.

If we are convinced that blockchain technology is going to change the way our financial systems run and our societies are governed, then it is absolutely critical that those building these systems represent the diversity of our global population.

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