Women are the largest untapped reservoir of talent in the world – Hillary Clinton
The above quote holds true for different industries across the world but I would like to stick to the blockchain industry; in particular the blockchain industry in India. To be absolutely honest, I never imagined in my wildest dreams that I would be lucky enough to be a part of this magical industry.
But when I got the opportunity, I don’t plan on letting go for better or for worse.
To start with the obvious, this industry is one of the few industries where women can actually aim and achieve the elusive equality they seek. Blockchain’s principles are such that, it is meant to service the entire humankind that cuts across social barriers such as gender, caste, creed, etc. However, it begs the question where are the women? And what exactly is keeping them away?
Some background research elicited some interesting results. According to an article in NewYork Times, there are a handful of women pushing back against the ‘Blockchain Bros’ culture. A woman, Brit Morin, who is a Silicon Valley entrepreneur, said, “We have an opportunity to rebuild the financial systems, Women want to be part of that.” In the same article, a slew of women revealed how they were mistaken for models, or were propositioned during interviews or were not believed that they were engineers to begin with!
Now, believe me when I say I can completely relate to this. As a reporter, I cover various events in and around different cities and keep my audience updated with blow-by-blow account of what’s happening.
However, there are still some people who’ll think it’s okay to slide into my DMs and comment on how attractive I am or ask questions which have absolutely nothing to do with the industry I am working in. Harassment (mild or intense) is a very real issue here.
Another reason is, women for the majority part do not believe that they are apt for the role. Although, in today’s time, there are women out there who are software engineers, scientists, doctors, mathematicians- which were traditionally masculine roles. Barbara Soltysinska, CEO and co-founder of indahash believes that blockchain industry is slightly “nerdy” and it resembles the early days of internet. Two words. Uncharted territory.
Now coming to why there are few women in blockchain in India, I believe it is primarily a lack of awareness. Come to think of it, only 29% of women in India use the Internet. Among that 26% of women are a part of the software industry. The statistics show that around 45-50% of women in the industry quit 8 years after working in the industry. So, not only do we not have enough representation in the software engineering industry, the ones there quit after working for a significant amount of time. If we have to effect a change, how on earth do we do that?
For starters, we can start conducting seminars at school and college level and entice women to join the industry by integrating the blockchain industry as a lucrative place to be. We can also talk about the industry on the mainstream media and not market it as the one base for cryptocurrencies; include several use-cases and market it in a way women will understand. These solutions are the tip of an iceberg, but we gotta start somewhere, don’t we?
Aheli Raychaudhuri is an associate editor at Crypto-News. She is a blockchain enthusiast, a wannabe-crypto investor and an all-around enthusiast! Loves travelling, especially to ASI-protected areas, believes in giving her best shot at everything she does! Definitely an introvert.