The 2008-2009 economic recession led to the invention of Bitcoin (BTC), creating a brand new financial system that is now growing and rapidly developing. At the time, the Harvard Business Review published an article entitled “The Female Economy,” which indicated that about $ 20 trillion of annual consumer spending in the world was controlled by women, and that “that number would be over the next five Years could rise to $ 28 trillion in years. ”
Also in 2009, Claire Shipman and Katty Kay published the book Womenomics: Write your own rules for success. Although the term “womenomics” and the concept itself were first formulated in 1999 by Kathy Matsui, Vice Chairwoman of Goldman Sachs Japan, Shipman and Kay introduced this concept to the US audience in 2009, which clearly indicated the important paradigm shift in our country Societies.
More than two decades have passed since Matsui introduced womenomics, and it is becoming clearer than ever that women are now playing a vital role in the development of the global economy. For example, China has produced the most homemade billionaires, and Japan has surpassed Europe and the United States in the participation of women in the labor force.
The situation is now far from perfect. The gender imbalance is still huge, especially in the business sector. As the “Global Gender Gap Report 2020” of the World Economic Forum shows, the financial differences are increasing. “A deteriorating situation forces gender parity to only 57.8%, which over time is a massive 257 years before gender parity can be reached.”
Connected: Diversity and Inclusion in Blockchain and Crypto: The Gender Aspect
Although there are indications of positive trends in bridging the gender gap in the crypto and blockchain space and in moving towards diversity and inclusion, new data from eToro uncovered a critical gender imbalance in the crypto world that this was initially From shows in 2021, only 12% of Ether (ETH) traders and 15% of Bitcoin traders are women.
Statistics and data are always impersonal and only show one side of the picture. It’s more important to hear the voices of the people these data are talking about. For this reason, Cointelegraph asked female experts in the field of crypto and blockchain for their opinions on the following questions: What role will the crypto industry play in global economic drive? What role do women play in the decentralization and development of the world economy? And what opportunities and challenges are there for women in the ecosystem and in finance in general?
Anino Emuwa, founder and managing director of Avandis Consulting:
“The female economy is significant and growing rapidly, and presents a significant customer base and talent opportunity. Hiring and promoting women to leadership positions increases returns and drives the economy as a whole. As Deloitte estimates that 10% of global GDP will be based on blockchain applications by 2025, it is expected that cryptocurrency and blockchain technology will play an important role in the future of the global economy and have the potential to achieve social, inclusive and economic growth underserved segments of the financial sector, very often women, through easier access to capital and financial services.
Now is the time for women to influence the growth of this industry at an early stage so that diversity and inclusion are built into its structure and products and services are developed in a way that is relevant to the needs of women. Importantly, women must seize the exciting opportunities the industry has to offer in terms of careers, entrepreneurship and wealth creation. This means making women aware of the various opportunities in the industry and offering established companies a more inclusive environment. “
Anu Bhardwaj, founder of Sheqonomi:
“We have more than a billion people on earth who don’t have banks right now, and more than two billion women of color are currently under-banked. Blockchain and decentralized finance in particular have enormous potential to disrupt the global fintech industry.
As technology becomes easier to use, adoption will increase, especially in emerging markets where digital asset adoption will increase, promoting the economic empowerment of women worldwide.
Women have tremendous potential to bridge the gender gap when they have access to low-cost, high-quality disruptive technologies based on artificial intelligence and blockchain, like the mobile apps we are currently developing specifically for them. “
Arijana Koskarova, co-founder of Creative Hub:
“The financial world of my childhood was male and white. Cryptocurrency transactions have been bothered by this because they are processed and recorded by peer-to-peer networks – the opposite of standard financial transactions that must be approved by an individual, bank, or government. The new system is based on miners solving cryptographic puzzles, not people. The system doesn’t care if you are a woman or a man, white or black, as long as you can log into a computer and press the correct keys. So we can in fact summarize that the blockchain system is based on “gender equality”, since the system is primarily gender-neutral.
How do women affect it? First, by hugging it. Women start their own cryptocurrencies, they lead blockchain hubs, they set up forex and payment platforms, they form fintech startups, lead Forbes fintech lists, etc. Women are on blockchain because the system gave them the ability to be independent of anything to be of sex, race or anything else.
Look at the world today: women are at the forefront of global finance, politics and regulators. Cryptocurrencies have managed to establish the decentralized economic system as a free market outside the central banks and credit regulation. The decentralized economy, or the New World economy, is based entirely on supply and demand – where private companies from around the world compete on quality and price.
Digital currencies are the perfect example of the decentralized economy as they are outside the realm of ownership by governments and financial institutions. Will the countries integrate into an international market? One thing is certain: there is no need to hold discussion boards with prime ministers to get the answer. Women can either support and advocate the development of a decentralized economy or take action against it. However, I don’t think that this is a single issue for the entire female nation as we are all different in thoughts and actions.
I think that neither challenges nor opportunities have anything to do with gender, but with education. We need more people to engage and learn about the new financial systems that are developing. Only when we are educated can we accept the “unknown” and take advantage of it, as there are many. Imagine what “free market” would mean for us in particular. I am referring to the business owners reading this article. The world is evolving faster than ever and more power is being given to individuals. Aren’t we fighting inequality and regulations that don’t necessarily lead to growth, but often keep us from growing? The only challenge women find is staying outside the system and letting men run the show.
Educate yourself. Then make an impression by helping educate others. “
Cristina Dolan, Founder and CEO of InsideChains, Vice Chair of the MIT Enterprise Forum:
“While the number of women contributing code to crypto projects or investing as bitcoin or crypto traders is still small, the numbers correlate with the percentage of women who have degrees as engineers or who work in venture capital companies. Cryptocurrencies are highly complex and contain a number of factors that distinguish them from executing a traditional financial transaction.
As the crypto landscape and investment vehicles continue to mature, women will play a bigger role in crypto investing. A certain dynamic is achieved through the increasing acceptance of the institutions as the infrastructure and traditional investment vehicles continue to develop. The first ETF was launched in Canada, and corporate treasuries are now investing in Bitcoin. The COVID-19 crisis has raised concerns about the value of the US dollar and other currencies as governments have printed money at historic levels. This alone has drawn the attention of many new investors.
There are many different ways to invest in cryptocurrencies these days, and these investment vehicles don’t require the tedious task of managing keys. This makes investing in bitcoin or cryptocurrencies less intimidating. Investment advisors are better informed about cryptocurrencies, and regulators have clearer guidelines that make it a less risky investment vehicle for those less familiar with the crypto asset class.
There are a number of reports that look at the use of digital payments as a critical engine for economic growth. The ability to take advantage of decentralized payments, which allow complete control over funds and cost-effective execution of payments, offers many benefits to communities and entrepreneurs. However, crypto isn’t the most efficient digital payment. There are risks associated with direct transactions in crypto – for example, receiving stolen crypto in connection with a hack. More interesting is the availability of decentralized business loans for small and medium-sized businesses. Access to capital is one of the drivers of the economy, and open banking and PSD2 are new sources of capital for small businesses. Open Banking and PSD2 use data for risk assessment and can be part of a decentralized financial ecosystem that enables access to capital.
As fintech is revolutionizing finance, innovators need to understand both the underlying technology and finance, which makes it far more complex than just gaining expertise in any of these areas. Fintech is constantly evolving, which means women who get involved today aren’t competing with many people who have decades of experience. It is a complex space and it requires self-study, but there are many options for women who are willing to invest time in gaining the basic knowledge needed to contribute to this rapidly evolving space. “
Denelle Dixon, CEO and Executive Director of the Stellar Development Foundation:
“First of all, I would like to say that the impact of women on the world economy should not be new to anyone. While these numbers fluctuate, in practice they are likely to be even bigger, depending on the data model. whether behind the scenes or in the open air – and we finally get the honor for it.
And we get more strength to shape its future, especially when new technologies come into play. Over the next four years, women are expected to accumulate wealth at an annual growth rate of 7.2%. In addition, women add $ 5 trillion to the global wealth pool every year. Combine that with what blockchain has to offer – greater participation without the barriers in other male-dominated sectors, the real story of financial inclusion – and exciting new opportunities for women to earn more income through cryptocurrency trading, investing, and virtual spending To influence world economy. Women entrepreneurs are also looking for ICOs to fund their startups rather than relying on venture capital investments.
As with everything we do, we have a shared responsibility to promote inclusion and opportunity. It is important for women to empower other women to be successful in this industry and to demand inclusive representation in and outside their organizations. Sometimes we all just have to work together to create the right culture, values and mindsets to make inclusion truly possible. “
Diana Barrero Zalles, Research Associate at Bandman Advisors:
“Crypto provides the ability to provide financial services to unbanked and unbanked communities around the world. According to the World Bank, 90% of all global companies are small and medium-sized enterprises, which make up over 50% of jobs and play a crucial role in macroeconomic development. Statistics show that investing in women is highly correlated with poverty reduction, as they are more likely to invest in products and services that lead to better outcomes for their children and families, such as nutrition and education, which ultimately benefit society as a whole. The Nike Foundation calls this the girl effect.
Data from developing countries shows that while women are more likely to remain in poverty, have informal jobs and lack credit, they are also more likely to repay loans when given the opportunity. Alternative financial services such as crypto could be vital for women to gain access to and capitalize on productivity and growth networks. Start by entering three major life events in the order in which the intergenerational cycle of poverty is most likely to break: first, finding a job to earn an income, then getting married (or developing a stable relationship), and then having children. Ultimately, a more inclusive global economy, in which women have more freedom of choice, will benefit everyone. “
Efi Pylarinou, consultant for fintech and blockchain:
“Several credible sources confirm that women’s global purchasing power is not only significant, but increasing. However, as always, the devil is in the details. The distribution of this wealth (over $ 31 trillion according to Catalyst) is extremely uneven between countries. And even among the most developed economies, there are many gaps. For example, the percentage of women who earn the most money in a household and the percentage of women who control most household spending decisions can differ significantly.
The crypto industry can assist women in a variety of “financial inclusion” services, from cross-border micropayments to developing tokens that reward women for their service to the community and the general public.
Women are held back by the broad organizational structure of society, which disadvantages a large part of the female population in several ways. A greater degree of decentralization can reduce these inequalities, if such an intention is intended. We all hope that blockchain technology powers Web 3.0, which is more fair and allows us to share a wide variety of valuables peer-to-peer. This automatically benefits women. This is an opportunity that we can use for a fairer and more balanced society. “
Jane Thomason, Co-Founder of the British Blockchain & Frontier Technologies Association, CEO of Supernova Data:
“Blockchain can remove barriers and improve access to financial services. Cryptocurrencies are used as intermediate currencies in cross-border transfers and in the backend of Bloom to facilitate transfers in the Philippines, and BitPesa in Africa uses Bitcoin as an intermediate currency. In Venezuela, volatile inflation rates and the lack of alternative reserve currencies have resulted in people using cryptocurrencies as a store of value. Lebanese banks are increasingly restricting foreign exchange, and more and more people are turning to digital currencies to move their money in and out of the country.
Projects like Little Phil, Impactio, The Giving Block and GoodDollar use blockchain for philanthropy and universal basic income. Hiveonline is working to provide bankless communities with access to financial services through Village Savings and Loans Associations with 800,000 members in Niger – most of them women. By recording VSLA records on the blockchain during regular group meetings with VSLA Online, members grow their financial reputations and develop an alternative credit score that can then be shared with microfinance institutions.
Women are key to the global economy and by 2025 could contribute $ 12 trillion to global GDP by promoting equality for women. Women in emerging markets invest 90 cents of every additional dollar in income in the education, health and nutrition of their families. Women farmers produce 60% to 80% of the food in developing countries, and women own 60% of all global micro-businesses. Women entrepreneurs need support to connect with finance, legal support, suppliers, dealers and markets. By targeting women and the SHEconomy with capital and education, the blockchain community could activate the power of women to use decentralization worldwide.
Blockchain and fintech are lagging behind in the fight against gender equality. The data-driven fintech diversity radar will help identify gaps, obstacles and ultimately solutions to increasing investments in fintechs and fintech products for women owned by women. Invest in women and technology – a trailblazer for anyone thinking of changing women’s lives. “
Jennifer Wines, Vice President of Fidelity Private Wealth Management:
“What do women and blockchain have in common? I believe that both contribute to the female economy and both rely on feminine attributes. Let’s unpack this observation.
According to the Harvard Business Review, women contribute to the global economy by dominating annual consumer spending. In addition, this trend is expected to continue in the years to come. In parallel, blockchain is contributing to the global economy by breaking down traditional economic gender barriers and empowering women to participate in the economy.
This trend is expected to continue in the years to come. Hence, we can see that both women and blockchain are making meaningful contributions to the female economy, and we’re just getting started.
Another common feature that both women and blockchain have in common is that they both fall back on feminine attributes. In general, women embody some of the feminine traits that change in the way they earn and spend. Similarly, blockchain embodies feminine attributes, primarily and fundamentally, by creating consensus – regardless of gender. Blockchain is based on reaching a consensus that can be viewed as a feminine attribute. I think it is important that we recognize the power of distributed wealth across the sexes and build consensus at a time when we need it most. “
Kristin Smith, executive director of the Blockchain Association
“The crypto industry is still in its earliest stages of growth and has the ability to avoid the same access and opportunity mistakes as other industries, especially the old finance and tech worlds. One of the central premises of blockchain technology is its decentralized character, which in theory should lower the entry barriers for anyone interested in working in this industry.
We must take into account, however, that while technology is blind and without permission, the people who are involved in growing this economy remain human, save for all the prejudices inherent in the wider business world. To ensure that the crypto world doesn’t just reflect the rest of the economy in terms of gender bias, our entrepreneurs need to ensure that anyone interested and qualified by their merits has a chance to make it into this ecosystem. Crypto is young enough to prevent a slip into the status quo, but it takes increased awareness to achieve something that comes close to equal opportunity. “
Sanja Kon, CEO of Utrust:
“We’re finally getting to a point where companies understand the value of gender-based organizations in order to be more successful and productive. I definitely see more projects and companies in the room that pay attention to inclusion, with more women in management and leadership positions.
On the other hand, and especially in emerging markets, women still have limited access to finance or the ability to create opportunities. We have a unique opportunity to fill this void through blockchain and decentralized financing, using new technologies that make traditional intermediaries such as corporations and legacy financial services obsolete.
That way, the industry can innovate faster, create more inclusiveness, and create a truly global economy that is equal to opportunities. “
Sheila Warren, Head of Data, Blockchain and Digital Assets at the World Economic Forum:
“The idea that crypto could open doors to inclusion, ownership and wealth creation for women (among other things) is very exciting, but that vision can only become a reality if we intentionally bring their voices and ideas into the room. In other words, if the crypto industry is to help create opportunities for women, we need women to help create the crypto industry.
Part of building something new is being able to examine what works in current systems and for whom it doesn’t. We know that there are gender differences in access to banking and finance around the world. We know women invest less and retire with less money. We now have the opportunity to ask: “Why is that so?” And to design systems that fill the gaps.
How do we ensure that women play an important role within and between organizations in the crypto ecosystem? Hire them, support them, and pay them well. Include them in your user feedback processes. Increase the number of female leaders in space (there are many, some of which I know and admire!). We’re starting to see some of this, but I’d love to see more of it evolve. “
These quotes have been edited and compressed.
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