By Lottie Wells and Jenny Kong
It’s no secret that there’s a smaller percentage of women than men working in the fintech fields. According to the National Science Foundation, women represent only 30% of the entire workforce. There are plenty of articles and campaigns around empowering the female voice, and yet unfortunately, this is replicated in the crypto space as well. Nevertheless, women across the world are joining forces to try to change this, proving time and again why women in this sector need to be heralded – now more than ever. As females working in the roles of PR, Events & Communications Manager and Head of Social Media at leading payments platform, Wirex, the topic of ‘women in crypto’ is close to home for us, and so here are 3 main reasons why we should celebrate these women:
1. There aren’t very many of us
When you think of ‘blockchain’ or ‘crypto’, the usual Spiel is that this is a man’s world, and women wouldn’t (and shouldn’t) go near this industry, reflective of the gender disparity in much of tech. According to a 2018 survey by Longhash, analysing 100 blockchain startups, only 14.7% of employees were female, and out of this, only 7.1% held executive positions.
In some ways, this was deliberately ushered in with exclusive crypto circles and conferences that only men were a part of – boys clubs. Coindesk reported that one crypto conference in the US was once held at a strip club. With situations, and statistics like this, it’s unsurprising that a lot of this is reinforced by perception – many women feel they aren’t welcome in this space, and very rarely do we hear the voices and success stories of that 14.7%. Celebrating these voices will give others the confidence they need to make the move into crypto!
You’ll often find that women in tech are some of the most passionate people in the world – they genuinely care about what they do and advancing the world of tech and crypto. It could be argued that this marginalisation means they’re fighting to be where they are for something they love, and making sure that everyone knows about it, unapologetically.
Although there are not that many of us, there is some good news to come out of this. Some key figures in crypto such as Min Teo, Managing Investment Partner at ConsenSys Investments, as well as Dr. Ruth Wandhöfer, a former Global Managing Director at Citi, are becoming spearheads in the sector to show that women are revered in senior, influential positions in the fintech and crypto spaces.
We’re proud to say that at Wirex, around 50% of our Marketing team is female, one of the biggest motivations for starting our campaign, and our very own Amy Barker holds the role for Global Head of People, and regularly advocates for female execs in the industry. This is not to say that our work here is done at Wirex. It’s far from over!
2. Crypto is growing
Let’s be honest, 5 or 10 years ago, did you even know what crypto or blockchain was? For the average person, probably not. But now, crypto is becoming pretty mainstream as people recognise the benefits of it as an alternative to traditional currency. Technological advancements are making it easier and safer than ever to utilise. We recently conducted a survey asking how many of our customers that didn’t own crypto, actually knew what the word crypto meant, and in fact, 83.1% of people had heard the term, showing that the world of blockchain is no secret anymore!
Cryptocurrency adoption rates in themselves have sky-rocketed in recent years – it’s estimated that over 40 million people globally already use crypto, with a 240% increase in the number of blockchain wallet users over the past 3 years. In fact, a move away from physical cash during the COVID pandemic has accelerated the adoption of digital currencies.
With rising use of crypto, there is a parallel increase in demand for employees working to push that space forward. The best part is that it can transcend geographical boundaries. The beauty of crypto is that everything is digital, meaning that anyone with an internet connection, anywhere, can, in theory, get involved in using and/or working in crypto.
Female employees, step forward because you’re needed more than ever to be a part of an industry that’s changing the way we think about money. As a key financial decision-maker, we need to play an active role in influencing the way money works. We need to show the world that we’re here, and we’re here to stay.
3. We need to attract the new generation of talent
Last year, Gen Z became the largest generation, making up 32% of the entire global population. While they’re still teens and young adults now, they’re rapidly becoming more financially literate. But where do they go to learn? Instagram, YouTube, Tiktok – any social media platform where they can absorb through bite-sized content and share with their peers (I feel so old writing this!). With social media and the Internet playing an important role in young people’s lives, it’s vital that women in the space are made an example of because of the influence that they have in their field. The best way to do this is by celebrating other women, investing in them further, and encouraging them to get involved themselves.
There’s a tonne of groups out there already showcasing these women, look at the Women in Fintech Network, European Women Payments Network, or the Crypto Curry Club for example! This strong and active network of women in the community is creating a force to be reckoned with, and with many individuals taking an active stance in encouraging other women, they are becoming influencers in their own right. Using the power of their voice, speaking at internationally-renowned conferences and their huge social media followings, they’re celebrating their own achievements, and that of their peers and colleagues, to demonstrate why women are as capable, and if not more passionate, than men working in crypto.
There are some bigger female names in the field that are frequently recognised for the influence they have, and importance they have in shaping the space, but there are also many lesser known ones who need to be awarded. That’s why we’ve created the ‘Rising Women in Crypto Power List’, as we believe it will give everyone the chance to be recognised for some of these incredible achievements.
To find out more information about our campaign, and to nominate another female in crypto, or yourself, that you think deserves to be celebrated, enter here.