Closing the Gender Gap: Strategies for Encouraging Women's Participation in Crypto and Tech

    Despite women in the labor force in the United States climbing to over 50% within the last decade, the statistics remain startling in the tech sector. Current reports suggest women make up less than a third of the workforce in tech. They also make less money, with an average difference of $15,000 between men and women. The disparity is even larger for Black and Latina women, who earn an average of $52,000 per year compared to $85,000 for men.

    It’s clear to see that women’s participation and value in crypto and tech are lacking, and we’re facing an uphill battle for change. Still, that doesn’t mean we’ll never close the gender gap. We can encourage women to enter the crypto and tech sectors using these strategies:

    Offering Education Programs Targeted at Women

    Women have access to the same internet resources for having their tech and cryptocurrency-related questions answered. Anyone of any gender can visit a website for a BTC to USD conversion rate or to invest in their preferred crypto.

    However, rarely do you see education and training programs targeted toward women and encouraging their involvement. Courses and workshops, while generally gender-neutral on the surface, are often led by men and are targeted toward other men in advertising.

    We may start seeing more women entering these fields if we market such programs to them. Women-led training courses and women-oriented marketing methods may give women the confidence they need to pursue a career in the tech industry.

    Creating Groups and Forums for Women

    The internet abounds with a plethora of networks, groups, and forums dedicated to technology and cryptocurrency discussions. These platforms offer an opportunity for individuals to pose questions, share technical challenges, and engage in conversations about the industry with others who share similar interests. Women are welcome to join these groups and forums, but that doesn’t mean they feel welcome. They may also have problems they need help with that men can’t typically relate to, such as how to balance a job in the tech industry when they have a young family.

    Creating groups and forums for women may help women in the tech industry feel more supported and included. Women in tech can share resources, support each other, and provide helpful advice from a female perspective.

    Highlighting Female Role Models

    We all need someone to look up to in our careers. A role model can be someone we’re inspired by, learn from, and want to be more like. Men have plenty of role models in the tech industry, like Elon Musk, Mark Zuckerberg, Jeff Bezos, and Steve Jobs. Most people would struggle to name even one woman in tech who has captivated a nation or inspired a specific audience. However, such women are out there. We just need to thrust them into the spotlight:

    Ada Lovelace

    Although Ada Lovelace might not be widely recognized in every household, she made significant contributions during her lifetime. She is described as the world’s first computer programmer after working on an analytical engine with Charles Babbage. Alan Turing, a mathematician and computer scientist, used Ada’s notes on the analytical engine to develop the very first modern computer in the 1940s.

    Hedy Lamarr

    Hedy Lamarr, a film actress and self-taught inventor, played a pivotal role in the development of technologies that are foundational to modern Wi-Fi, GPS, and Bluetooth. In collaboration with composer George Antheil, she invented a secret communication system intended to disrupt the guidance systems of radio-guided torpedoes during World War II. For this innovation, Lamarr received a patent in the 1940s. The technology they developed laid the groundwork for the wireless communication systems that have become integral to our daily lives, highlighting how indispensable Wi-Fi has become today. 

    Radia Perlman

    Radia Perlman invented the Spanning Tree Protocol (STP) algorithm. STP is a network protocol for preventing layer 2 loops, broadcasting storms, and network redundancy. We can thank Radia for the basic rules of internet traffic and how networks move and organize data. Radia remains an engineer and computer programmer to this day.

    Elizabeth Feinler

    American computer scientists Larry Page and Sergey Brin might be the masterminds behind the Google search engine, but they certainly didn’t invent the concept. That title may belong to Elizabeth Feinler.

    Elizabeth ran the California-based Network Information Center (NIC) in the 1970s and 1980s, which was basically an early version of a search engine. NIC was the first company to publish internet resources and directories and developed the white and yellow pages. They even developed domain name scheming like .com, .net, and .gov.

    Offering Flexible Work Arrangements

    It may not be surprising to most people that women spend more time on parenting and domestic responsibilities than men. They spend an average of 8.5 more hours per week on domestic activities and are also more likely to take time off work after childcare is disrupted.

    With so many obligations on their shoulders, entering a fast-paced and busy industry like tech and cryptocurrency can be challenging. Some women may be less likely to enter the tech sector if they believe their home obligations will make it too difficult.

    Tech company owners are integral to creating change. If they offer more flexible work arrangements, we may see more women deciding to enter the sector. Remote work, parental leave policies, and flexible work hours are just a few of the many options that can be explored to make the tech sector a more desirable career option.

    Providing Funding and Resources

    Women-owned tech businesses are few and far between. They face many barriers like a lack of role models, unequal opportunities, bias and discrimination, and even imposter syndrome. However, if funding, resources, and support were available to help women-owned tech businesses, we may see more of them succeed. Fortunately, many companies and organizations are already answering the call. Several support, grant, and funding opportunities exist, such as:

    • NASE Scholarships and small business grants

    • Women Who Code

    • Amber Grant

    • Ladies Who Launch

    • The Galaxy Grant

    Women can thrive in the tech and crypto sectors if they’re given the chance. Providing female-focused training and education, making resources and funding available, and offering more flexible work conditions may allow for a more female-focused tech sector in the future.

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