Is crypto a boys club? The future of finance is not gender specific

“I’m used to being the only woman in the room,” Joni Pirovich told Cointelegraph on the phone.

Her tone was not passionate, as if she were claiming an injustice. It was sober, resigned to the truth. Pirovich is a blockchain and digital assets attorney who has worked in the crypto industry for years. She is also a mother of two.

“In a way, it was a real struggle to make my voice heard, to be seen as a legitimate person at the table with views worth hearing – let alone respecting or obeying them.”

Your claim wasn’t shocking as gender differences aren’t exactly a new topic of conversation in this industry. Back in August, CNBC Approved A survey found that women are still less than half as likely to invest in cryptocurrencies as men, with 16% of men investing versus 7% of women.

These results reflected what the Crypto Report had from Finder asserts Months earlier in June. It stated that 22% of men own at least one type of cryptocurrency, while only 15% of women do.

As a reminder, twice as many men invest in crypto as women and women only make up 16% of the NFT market. thank you @ReeseW and other women leaders in the field who are committed to changing that.

– bobbyhundreds.eth (@bobbyhundreds) December 5, 2021

The crypto industry sits at an intersection between finance and technology, two sectors that have traditionally been haunted by gender differences.

A report from Accenture and Girls Who Code for 2021 found that the gender gap for women working in the technology sector has widened from 35% to 32% since 1984. It also found that half of young women getting into the technology drop out by the age of 35, which makes Pirovich’s unfavorable experience in the industry credible.

Some of you have never had to schedule time on your calendar every month to remove all the “beautiful breasts” “she’s cute” “can she really code her?” “Get back in the kitchen” comments from your technical videos on YouTube, and honestly? It shows.

– Chloe Condon (@ChloeCondon) August 10, 2021

Meanwhile, a research report from Women in VC dated October 2020 found that only 4.9% of US-based VC partners are women. The data gets even more sobering when you look at how the numbers compare to minority women – only 0.2% of VC partners are Latinx women and 0.2% are black women.

Susan Banhegyi, author of Women in Crypto and founder of Crypto Women Global, agreed that the problems women face in cryptocurrency are the same plaguing women across all male-dominated industries.

“Some crypto communities can be less welcoming,” she told Cointelegraph, citing harassment and lack of integration as some of the problems.

The first time I really felt sexism in tech was when I was applying for a system administrator position when I was 16, and the interviewer told me, “You’re a girl so you can’t do this job. You are too weak to raise the desktop computer “.

Yes, there are those guys.

– Lou (@lovelacecoding) November 29, 2021

Emilie Wright is the founder of PULSE, a charitable, women-led NFT project. She said that in her experience men in the industry tend to naturally give way to other men.

“My experience as a woman is that this space is harder to occupy and when you push for it you often get questions about how you deserve it or are credible,” she told Cointelegraph.

“If I were a man, I would probably feel more accepted, less doubtful about myself, and less like an impostor in the room.”

The adoption gap

Gender barriers arise not only for women who want to work in the crypto industry, but also for those who want to invest in it.

Previous discourses on crypto gender tend to blame risk aversion. Crypto is a notoriously volatile investment that is a pull factor for many investors looking for lucrative profits. Women tend to be more stereotypical conservative and risk averse investors.

But maybe this is a simple answer to a complicated question. Wright said that if there is risk aversion among female investors, it is only because it is “more socially acceptable” for men to gamble and take risks.

“Perhaps there is a subliminal pressure on us as women to be safe and to stick to the known. For me, this risk is recognized much more in the cryptocurrency space, and I see fewer women dealing with cryptocurrencies. “

She added that when she started investing in crypto, she spent hours researching the industry after doing her usual 9-to-five job. She said, “I wonder if, as women with families, commitments, and busy lives, it makes it a lot harder to actually walk into the room.”

Amy-Rose Goodey, the Operations and Membership Manager at Blockchain Australia, has an alternate explanation. She said women tend to shy away from investing because they aren’t sure how crypto works and they don’t ask for help for fear of being ridiculed, she says:

“The phrase ‘women are risk averse’ continues to be the main reason women don’t invest in crypto. In my experience this is not the case. Women are very happy to invest, but do not feel safe in the buying process. “

“[Women] are more concerned about not knowing how to buy Bitcoin than of losing the initial investment, ”she said. “It seems to be more a question of trust than risk aversion.”

Your theories are supports Research has shown that a person’s self-confidence is by far the most widely used predictor of financial risk aversion – regardless of the person’s actual financial literacy.

Goodey also said that the crypto industry is already making strides towards gender parity as it moves towards mainstream adoption:

“From my seat, more and more women are diving headlong into crypto and investing in general. I don’t see any slowdown anytime soon with a growing appetite for this asset class. “

That is true, the number of women diving into the crypto space has skyrocketed this year as we near mainstream adoption.

In a UK poll from January this year, Gemini found that women made up 41.6% of the 2,000 respondents who were current or past crypto investors. It also found that 40% of respondents who said they invested in crypto were women.

Related: Empowered Women’s NFTs aim to fuel female engagement in crypto

In July, Robinhood COO Gretchen Howard claimed that the Number of women using the trading application compared to the previous year increased by 369%.

A look at the historical data on crypto gender inequality shows a pretty low benchmark for growth. In 2013 a survey on crypto forums on the Internet found that of the 1,000 people surveyed, 95.2% of the “Bitcoin users” were male. A realtor study by eToro in February of this year found that 15% of users were women, an increase from 10% in the previous year.

The way to representation

On the path to equal representation, Pirovich said men need to be part of the solution. She said, “It’s about men supporting women to see that you are on an all-male body. Simply decide not to be there until at least one other woman speaks and there is more equal or more diverse representation on this body. ”

Wright agreed, saying, “There are some amazing men out there who support and empower women in the right ways, but a lot more needs to be done.”

There is an incredible amount of sexism and discrimination in this area. I couldn’t imagine being a woman into crypto – they take an incredible amount of undeserved criticism and are rarely taken as seriously as their male counterparts. This has to stop.

– The wolf of all streets (@scottmelker) October 9, 2019

Speaking of the importance of gender equality in the workforce, Banhegyi said: “The more women work in this industry, the better, because a community is the foundation of every platform.”

Crypto has the potential to empower women and give them more control over their finances. And for many women, mainstream adoption has already begun removing some of the barriers to accessibility that previously stood between them and potential gains.

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