Web3, the decentralized technology that prides itself on being accessible to everyone, has a problem. Women continue to remain underrepresented and excluded as both leaders and industry participants. The numbers don’t lie: Only a staggering 19% of people who own digital currency identify as women. Despite significant progress in the fight for gender equality in the emerging tech space, there’s still a sizable amount of work to be done.
Because existing Web3 companies are male-dominated, their products are built for one group of people.
To succeed, Web3 platforms must ensure their product teams represent the customers they aim to serve. But before they can build inclusive products, they have to build inclusive teams. This isn’t an easy task, but empowering women to join the Web3 space will propel these companies forward. Don’t know where to begin? Here are two steps to get you started.
Step One: Make sure educational resources are geared toward everyone
Many early adopters were drawn to bitcoin because of its antiestablishment ethos and perceived ability to protect wealth from government interference. While not inherently masculine, this mindset attracted a disproportionate amount of men to the industry, leading to the bro culture that exists today.
The result is educational material riddled with sports analogies, women at events being seen as dating prospects rather than networking opportunities, and the phrase “are women even interested in Web3” being heard more times than any of us wish to admit.
When any group, regardless of gender or sex, feels excluded from this new space, we only serve to hurt the future of Web3. Luckily, there are platforms that are committed to creating the inclusivity the industry needs.
BFF, led by celebrities like Jamie Schmidt and Brit Morin, is a community for the crypto curious with a mission to help women and nonbinary people receive coaching, connection, and empowerment they want in Web3. Through weekly Twitter spaces and an NFT collection that celebrates the many faces of women in the industry, BFF aims to create a safe environment for women and nonbinary individuals to connect with other platforms, participants, and leaders in the space.
My company, Minted Mojito, is a platform for women to develop their personal and financial freedom in Web3. It has educational materials and courses designed to make blockchain technology, digital assets, Web3, and the Metaverse accessible to new participants.
Step 2: Build teams women actually want to join
While every company, regardless of industry, should commit to internal diversity and inclusion benchmarks, these are reactive, not proactive strategies and do little to move the metaphorical needle. To boost their commitment to the cause, Web2 tech companies partnered with communities such as Lesbians Who Tech and Black Girls Code.
Web3 companies can easily follow suit, but with specific sets of skills, knowledge, and technological training. There are numerous organizations dedicated to ushering in this new cohort of Web3 employees, no matter which department they sit in. For example, Unstoppable WOW3, an education group training the next generation of diverse talent, partners with Web3 companies in order to fill their pipelines with qualified candidates that they may not have come into contact with otherwise, while simultaneously giving those candidates a look inside their company culture.
Alternatively, Surge, a Decentralized Autonomous Organization (DAO), is on a mission to fix the gender imbalance in crypto by creating a community for a vetted talent pool of professionals, educating them on Web3 concepts via their external partnership program, and connecting with Web3 companies looking to hire.
Change starts with everyone
Across the industry, women often find themselves grappling with the cognitive dissonance of benefitting from this incredible opportunity in exchange for endless misogyny—this can no longer be tolerated. Together, we can create a more inclusive environment where anyone, regardless of gender or sex, feels comfortable exploring, using and learning about digital assets. If the exclusive culture of Web3 persists as it is today, it will not succeed. A diverse community of users and workforce is crucial for mass adoption, but you cannot have one without the other.
As Web3 continues to flourish, we must ask ourselves: How can we make sure that everyone gets the chance to find professional, financial, or personal success in this growing sector? Every single one of us has a part to play in this growth from educating to hiring and beyond.
Regan Oelze is the founder of Minted Mojito.