The International Women’s Day (IWD) is marked on the 8th of March every year. It is a day that is set aside for the celebration of the achievements of women all over the world and also to promote gender equality. For 2021, the theme for the IWD celebration is “Choose To Challenge”. Women all over the world are encouraged to consciously challenge existing paradigms that have directly or indirectly pushed them back through deliberate efforts to compete on the same level with their male counterparts.
On February 17, 2021, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala became the first-ever woman to assume the office of the Director-General of the World Trade Organization (WTO). This event is one of the highlights of this year’s IWD celebration. For many, it is a barrier-breaking moment that further emphasizes the equal opportunities that exist for women if they “Choose to challenge”, or in order words, choose to compete.
Over the years, several women have distinguished themselves in different fields of endeavor. However, the essence of promoting gender equality is to come to a time where the achievements of women will become a normal occurrence and not isolated events. Perhaps, part of the responsibility also lies on the women amongst us to push for their place in their industries of endeavor.
Women Can Equalise The Playing Field By Participating in Tech
Like many other industries, the participation of women in blockchain and tech is thin. Clearly, a number of them have been distinguished by playing key roles and breaking barriers around blockchain and cryptocurrencies. In the early days of blockchain, you could only find a few women participating actively in the innovative industry. However, as time passed and more use cases for the technology emerged, a good number of women have begun to play active roles in blockchain and tech. Perhaps, these have already “Chosen to challenge”.
Sukhi Jutla, Co-Founder & COO, MarketOrders is one of such women whose work in the blockchain space counts among the achievements of women to be celebrated on a day like this. Sukhi’s work in the blockchain industry focuses on supply chains and RFID tracking and provenance in the gold and jewelry industry. According to her, her project is working on ideas on how blockchain can be used to make the supply chains more transparent and trustworthy in the jewelry industry that stretches beyond borders.
Sukhi agrees that there needs to be more participation by women in an industry as key as blockchain technology. In her opinion, careers in tech have a way of naturally equalizing the playing field for all participants.
I do hope that more women consider careers in tech as it can equalize the playing field and more diverse voices and opinions are needed to build the future of tech which also needs to be more reflective of the diverse world in which we all live in.
Sukhi particularly recognizes the work of Laura Shin, an independent crypto journalist, and host of the Unchained podcast, Big Ideas from the World of Blockchain and Cryptocurrency. She used to be a Forbes senior editor focusing on blockchain and crypto articles.
There’s a Need To Demonstrate That Careers Have No Gender
Leah Callon-Butler, the Director of Emfarsis is another woman player in the blockchain space. According to Leah, her work is driven by the desire to explore how technology can make the world a better place.
“Via my Coindesk opinion column, I write stories about blockchain adoption throughout Southeast Asia that show how the technology is advancing financial inclusion, driving economic empowerment, and improving people’s lives”, She says.
In August 2020, Leah wrote a story about a play-to-earn crypto game that was putting food on the table for jobless Filipinos locked down during the COVID-19 pandemic. Leah used her platform to shed light on the inspiring use cases for social impact, particularly because emerging economies present the greatest opportunities for leapfrog innovation and growth over coming decades. She thinks that this is where blockchain entrepreneurs should be focusing their efforts
Leah notes that the poor representation of women in tech goes beyond blockchain and cuts through all STEM disciplines. She thinks that the world needs to get better at demonstrating that careers do not have genders.
The only way we will ever develop solutions that are robust enough to solve the world’s gnarliest problems is if we cultivate inclusive teams exhibiting diverse experiences and perspectives. This goes well beyond gender equality to include race, ethnicity, age, and so on.
More women were identified by Leah who is making a significant impact in the blockchain industry. They include the following;
Beryl Li, a co-founder of Yield Guild Games, is a successful serial entrepreneur empowering people around the world through play-to-earn crypto gaming.
Linda Xie, a co-founder of Scalar Capital, is a first-moving, forward-thinking, and fearless VC investing in the decentralization technologies of the future.
Her Excellency Serey Chea, Director General at the National Bank of Cambodia, is a young tech-focussed innovator who thinks differently from other central bankers.
Leslie Ankney, Communications Lead at Anchorage, is a razor-sharp communicator helping breakdown complexity and translate confusion in the blockchain industry.
In conclusion, she believes that to achieve mass-scale adoption, crypto needs people from all backgrounds to drive it forward. There is no cookie-cutter persona to describe the leaders in this space, and if you are a lifelong learner who wants to make a difference in the world, you’ll probably fit in well with the blockchain community.
Iyke Aru is a seasoned author and educator in the blockchain and cryptocurrency industry. He has been in the business of crypto content writing for many years with thousands of his articles across several platforms on the internet. Iyke is based in Nigeria where he stands out as one of the most informed and credible figures in the cryptocurrency industry. Outside blockchain and crypto, you will most likely catch Iyke playing or discussing football with friends and family.