A recent bitcoin conference revealed the blockchain industry’s male-centric bias. CIO Monica Eaton-Cardone explains why diversity in FinTech and blockchain is critical to future growth.
Among 2017’s largest ICOs, 2 of the top 5 have female co-founders: Kathleen Breitman of Tezos, with $232 million in funding, and Galia Benartzi of Bancor, with $150 million. (1)
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Yet organizers of the 2018 North American Bitcoin Conference (NABC) appeared to dismiss women’s role in blockchain, blatantly catering the event to males:
- Out of 80 NABC speakers, there were just 3 women. (2)
- The conference’s only official networking event was held at a strip club. (2)
- Past conferences featured “naked painted women” and “half-naked booth babes”. (2)
Chargebacks911 co-founder and COO Monica Eaton-Cardone is disheartened to see banking’s “old boys’ club” mentality rearing its ugly head again, especially since bitcoin and blockchain have been touted as major disruptors to the traditional finance industry.
She feels these archaic attitudes are shortsighted and self-sabotaging considering that:
- Women’s spending power is projected to rise to $18 trillion this year. (3)
- As of 2028, females will control nearly 75% of discretionary spending. (3)
- Companies with more women in top management achieve greater success in terms of operating results, employee satisfaction, public image and stock price. (3)
“Given women’s growing spending power and unique insights into consumers’ wants and needs, I believe anyone who ignores or overlooks them is holding back this industry from achieving its full potential.” – Eaton-Cardone
On the bright side, media coverage of the NABC fiasco helped raise public awareness of female innovators in the bitcoin/blockchain space, and has also fueled interest in CryptoFriends’ women-led blockchain conferences in Austin and Tel Aviv. (1)
“Women have proven to be capable leaders in technology, cryptocurrency and blockchain. Working to achieve greater diversity in FinTech not only helps women to succeed, it benefits businesses, investors, consumers and the industry as a whole.” – Eaton-Cardone
About the Author
Monica Eaton-Cardone is an entrepreneur and business leader with expertise in FinTech and eCommerce. She has co-founded a number of successful companies and currently fulfills executive management roles within each organization. She is a well-known champion of women in IT and a sought-after speaker.
- Lee, Justina. “Bitcoin Started With All Men. Now Crypto Is Opening to Women”; Bloomberg Technology; December 12, 2017.
- Grimsley-Vaz, Ebony. “The Myth of No Women in Blockchain: Embarrassing Miami Conference Resists Tech Inclusion”; Moguldom; February 6, 2018.
- EY (Ernst & Young Global Limited). Women: The Next Emerging Market; 2013.