Women in Blockchain: We Can Do Better!

Women in Blockchain: We can do Better

The blockchain and cryptocurrency business is routinely the target of criticism for its dismally low representation of women in the workplace.

Though technology industries tend to be male dominated, blockchain and crypto are even more out of sync when it comes to female representation.

A December 2018 study of 100 blockchain startups found that only 14.5 percent of team members at the technology ventures were women. The report by LONGHASH, a blockchain information provider, showed that just 7.1 percent of executives and 7.8 percent of advisors were female at the surveyed companies.

A whopping seventy-eight of the surveyed startups didn’t have a single female executive (defined as having “Chief” in their title). Seventy-five of the up-and-coming companies didn’t have even one female advisor. And among the startups, thirty-seven didn’t have any female employees at all.

Reflecting on the significance of female representation in blockchain is important, journalist Inbar Preiss wrote last year on Medium.

“The danger of not involving women would result in an inherent bias in the unfolding innovations, perpetuating inequality in the underlying structures of developing systems,” she wrote. “To break that down — if women are not involved in the development of technology which will potentially redefine the global finance system, it will remain a product of men, designed based on men.”

Here at ODEM, the LONGLASH survey prompted us to take a look at how we measure up. We considered ODEM and Excelorators’ Inc., an ODEM associated company. After all, our mission is to use blockchain technology to make education more accessible and affordable for everyone.

We were pleased to find that 43 percent of our combined 47 employees and contractors are female. Women comprise about 25 percent of ODEM and Excelorators’ C-suite executives. However, neither company has any female advisors.

Say what?

Our results show that while we employ a greater percentage of women than many blockchain ventures, we barely have grounds to celebrate. Our checkup got us thinking about what’s holding us back from being more gender-balanced.

We’re asking:

  • Should we deliberately recruit more women than men to increase female representation, especially among executives and advisors?
  • Does our industry’s culture discourage women from applying to join us?
  • What are the impediments to increasing female representation across our companies and what can we do to address them?
  • What goals can we establish to increase representation?

As we explore these and other questions about ODEM and female representation, let us know your thoughts.


Rich Maaghul,

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