While decentralization champions equality, crypto events have been anything but. According to a new report released recently, male attendees have dominated the events at 79 percent. And it’s not just the attendees where the men dominate. The report also revealed that a majority of the speakers are men, sometimes at the ratio of 1 to 25. The study was carried out by Bizzabo, a New York-based software company with a focus on event management.
Bizzabo studied more than 100 events across 15 countries to compose the report. While the percentage of women differed between different countries, it was still predominantly below 25 percent. On average, female attendants accounted for just 21 percent of the attendees.
The disparity mirrors similar figures in the tech industry. This industry has come under scrutiny for its huge gender disparity and despite gender equality campaigns, not much has changed. According to Bizzabo co-founder Alon Alroy, in some conferences, the disparity is outright ludicrous.
Like the tech industry, at large, there is a lack of gender diversity in the overall virtual currencies space. We’re seeing that reflected in the attendance for these events, as well as the speakers. One cryptocurrency conference recently featured 84 men onstage and three women. That has to change.
The U.S also dominated the crypto conferences by a huge margin. The report revealed that attendants from the U.S accounted for 43 percent of the total attendees, almost double the U.K which came in at second with 28 percent. Belgium and Canada were third and fourth respectively at five and three percent respectively. Israel, Hong Kong, China and Australia accounted for one percent each.
By industry, the finance sector led with 26 percent. Information technology, computer software, internet, banking and venture capital also contributed significant numbers to the conferences.
Women In Crypto
Granted, the number of women in the world of crypto has been small. However, those that have made it have had a big impact. One of these is Blyther Masters, the former J.P Morgan executive who headed the bank’s global commodities division. She stepped down from her post in the bank in 2015 and joined Digital Asset Holdings, a crypto startup that she steered for three years. She stepped down from her position with the startup in December last year but she continues to serve in the board. Masters is credited with giving cryptos a lot of credibility in Wall Street and helping forge relationships that have helped cryptos get to their current level.
In October last year, Masters called out the financial services industry for its lack of gender diversity. During an annual dinner at the London Metal Exchange, Masters urged the men in the room to do better and create opportunities for their daughters. In the room, which had close to fifty members, there were only five women.
I imagine that a number of you have growing daughters who are or who will be entering the workforce. I hope that you will embrace the importance of creating better opportunities for them. Speaking as a relatively rare senior woman, during the course of my career I can tell you that male allies in this cause are quite simply priceless. It’s not up to me to call it out. It’s up to you to believe that it’s worth fixing.
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