Numerous surveys have shown that far fewer women are involved with, or invested in, crypto and the blockchain. At a recent Bitcoin conference in North America, only three of the 88 speakers were women, and the conference after party was held at a strip club, which is also a huge indicator of where women are right now in the crypto sphere.
According to Google Analytics data as of May 2018, “94.73 percent of Bitcoin community engagement and active participation comes from men and 5.27 percent from women.” That is a massive disparity. There are organisations trying to change this scenario, such as the Women in Blockchain Foundation, but why are so few women involved and what can be done to change this situation.
Is the answer in ‘risk and reward’?
A 2012 study “Risk and Reward Are Processed Differently in Decisions Made Under Stress” might provide some answers. Risky decisions induce stress and according to the study, “stress amplifies gender differences in strategies during risky decisions, with males taking more risk and females less risk under stress.” This is offered as one reason and for the fact that there are usually fewer women working in banking and finance, never mind being involved in blockchain and crypto.
Other research suggests that women put more emphasis on the negative outcomes of risk
In this Harvard Business Review article by Doug Sundheim on men, women and risk, he says:
“When facing a risky decision, leaders must weigh a lot of factors. Two of the biggest are, first, the likelihood that the risk in question will help hit strategic objectives and, second, the effect the risk will have on people involved…In my consulting practice I’ve noticed a tendency for men to put a stronger emphasis on the former and women on the latter.”
Is it down to biology or something else?
While some believe that women’s aversion to risk is the reason behind their lack of numbers invested in crypto, Phu Styles, founder of the Women in Blockchain Foundation, suggests it is something else:
“As with most things tech related, men are the target demographic for crypto, thus due to a lack of exposure, there are fewer women invested/involved in cryptocurrency.”
It seems that what is need is: more marketing aimed at women, incentives for women to start blockchain projects and “on a personal level, both men and women who are already involved in blockchain should share their knowledge and mentor women who are new to the space,” Phu Styles suggested.
If the blockchain is to be the best version of itself as it evolves, then more women are needed to participate in the conversation. So, some on ladies — give your best to the blockchain.