A current hot topic regardless of the industry is inequality and how they can be made much more inclusive for women. With talk of gender pay gaps and low percentages of women in positions of power, it’s no surprise that the gender imbalance in cryptocurrency markets was likely to come up at some point. If that wasn’t enough, recent controversy surrounding the North American Bitcoin Conference and it’s venue of a Miami strip club certainly stirred up discussion. So, how bad is the inequality, and what is being done to fix it? We’re exploring more below.
Is There An Inequality?
The above question can unfortunately be answered with a resounding ‘yes’ and the aforementioned North American Bitcoin Conference certainly worked to prove that fact. With only 3 of the 88 speakers being women, there was no denying the inequality at hand. What’s more, even Bitcoin community engagement is proving unequal, with around 95% being men. While studies suggest that this discrepancy could be due to women having a different way of processing risk and reward under stress, the volume of bitcoin trading by women could certainly do with a boost. The question is, however, how can the industry do this?
How Do We Tackle This?
There are a number of ways that the cryptocurrency industry can tackle this equality. From increasing awareness and promoting better education of cryptocurrencies and gearing it towards women, to changing behaviours, here are a few ways that the industry could improve and pull in a higher volume of women.
As with any product, service or industry, awareness is the key to ensuring that people become interested. In the way of cryptocurrencies, awareness of the industry and how women can get involved is the first step that needs to be taken on the equality journey. This awareness needs to focus on shaking off stereotypes, making people of all ages and genders realise that cryptocurrency trading isn’t actually as complicated as it might seem. If someone has a mind-set that cryptocurrencies are only for financial professionals, they aren’t likely to dip their toes in and try it out but with increased awareness, this could be very different.
Similar to awareness, educating women on cryptocurrencies and their simplicity could promote better equality too. Educating women of all ages on Bitcoin and how to mind, code and complete transactions could encourage them to play their part in the industry. There are already a number of workshops available, but this undoubtedly needs to grow to patch up the deep inequality wound in the cryptocurrency industry.
As we all unfortunately know, harassment in the workplace is an issue that still needs to be tackled and in an industry with over 90% men, it’s not a surprise that women could feel out of place and harassed in this industry. While this isn’t necessarily the issue with every platform or business, the North American Bitcoin Conference in February of this year certainly makes it hard to believe. The CEO of Keynote, Moe Levin, initially claimed that as the ‘nude performances’ at the strip club were halted until 11pm, those who were uncomfortable – namely the women – were able to live and it wouldn’t be the conference’s fault that this was the case. Of course, this attitude completely switched after the adverse reaction, claiming that the venue choice was a misstep, and Keynote have since gone on to promote equality too.
Despite this backpedal, inequality is still an issue and behaviour needs to change before this can improve. With better awareness, education and overall attitude towards women in general, not just within the industry, more and more women are likely to venture to this incredible area of FinTech.
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