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Female Blockchain Pioneers Are Taking Center Stage at Conferences Globally

Female Blockchain Pioneers are Taking Center Stage at Conferences Globally

Despite the gender gap in technology gradually becoming more balanced, a recent report has shown that females account for just 20% of employees in tech-related fields. Whilst this disparity may be discouraging, blockchain conferences internationally have played a crucial role in giving female tech pioneers a platform to showcase their success.

Here are some of the leading women from the blockchain industry who have contributed significantly to the progression of the industry, and participating in upcoming conferences as headline speakers.

Elizbeth Stark: Co-Founder and CEO of Lightning Labs

Elizabeth Stark is arguably one of the most influential female leaders in blockchain. Her company Lightning Labs is behind the major developments of the Layer 2 solution for Bitcoin, the Lightning Network, looking to build a payment channel that is both quicker and cheaper. Many people see the Lightning Network as the missing link that can help promote Bitcoin for everyday payments such as a morning cup of coffee.

Stark received her Juris Doctor degree from Harvard and has taught classes at top US universities, Stanford and Yale.

She is high demand speaker at blockchain events. In the next month, Stark will be at the Global Conference 2019 at the Milken Institute 28 April – 1 May, and Magical Crypto Conference 11-12 May 2019 in New York.

Donna Redel: Professor lecturing in blockchain and cryptocurrency

Donna Redel has a background in financial governance and performance, previously holding tenure as COMEX Chairman as well as Managing Director and Board Member at the World Economic Forum. Now, she is focusing her attention primarily on educating future leaders and promoting the financial literacy of women. Additionally, Redel is an angel investor and philanthropist.

Redel teaches courses on blockchain and cryptocurrency as a professor at Fordham Law. She is booked to give a keynote speech on industry leadership at the Ethereal Summit 2019 in New York on 10-11 May.

MEP Eva Kaili: Leading progressive blockchain legislation in Europe

Eva Kaili is a Member of the European Parliament from Greece. She has made a name for herself as one of the most progressive voices within the parliament regarding blockchain and cryptocurrency regulation in the EU, producing a Blockchain Resolution last year after becoming concerned with potential resistance to blockchain from ”the systems that failed us.” She is also responsible for bringing an initial coin offering resolution to parliament.

Within the European Parliament, she is a member of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists & Democrats, as well as chairing the Future of Science & Technology board.

Kaili is a headline speaker at the Future Blockchain Summit in Dubai 31 March-1 April 2020.


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Tackling Gender Inequality in the Crypto Space

Recent figures released from community-driven Bitcoin statistics and services site Coin Dance, show that as of May 2018, 94.73% of Bitcoin community engagement and active participation comes from men and 5.27% from women.

This gender discrepancy is borne out in a Reddit user survey, conducted at the end of 2017, which showed that 96% of Ether users were men, with MyEtherWallet reporting that 84% of their wallet holders were male, according to Cointelegraph.

Numerous studies such as these show that the percentage of women invested and involved in cryptocurrency is far lower than that of men.

A study entitled ‘Risk and Reward Are Processed Differently in Decisions Made Under Stress‘ found that “stress amplifies gender differences in strategies during risky decisions, with males taking more risk and females less risk under stress,” citing this as possibly one reason that women shy away from careers in banking and finance.

The volatile nature of cryptocurrency in investment is reputed to be a major factor for the gender disparity in blockchain involvement according to the study. The other factor is gender demographics, suggests Phu Styles, founder of the Women in Blockchain Foundation: “As with most things tech related, men are the target demographic for crypto, thus due to a lack of exposure, there are fewer women invested/involved in cryptocurrency.”

There have been initiatives to address this gender disparity and get more women involved in the crypto space. Events such as last month’s Mogul’s ‘Women in Crypto’ event held in New York attracted worldwide attention from over 80,000 people, although it is not clear what the gender divide was on the statistic. Also, the Women in Blockchain Foundation has been making an effort to get more women involved in the blockchain and crypto space.

Lauren Harrington in Intelligent IQ writes that, although the number of women involved in the industry is small, the individuals that are involved are making a big impact, writing, “Some of the most influential leaders in this space driving the development of Blockchain and increasing awareness of its potential are females.”

Harrington suggests that women such as Elizabeth Stark, co-founder, and CEO of Lightning labs and Linda Xie, co-founder and Managing Director at Scalar capital, are just two female executives making significant waves in the industry, pointing out that:

“Groups including Women in Blockchain Organization, Women in Blockchain Global, and the Women in Blockchain meetup are just a few of the groups committed to supporting and empowering women who are involved, or want to get involved in the space.”


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