Three current barriers to women owning and participating in the crypto industry
In 2016, less than 5% of women were actively working in the emerging blockchain industry. The percentage only sank seeing only around 3% of women globally owned crypto. It shocked me as much as it lured me into the space, as I had a strong belief that I should be a part of this fledgling industry. I overcame some challenges along the way, and here are three that persist as barriers for women owning and working in the crypto industry.
Existing Barriers to Financial Inclusion
There are many discussions going on about the global gender pay gap. Research by Closing the Women’s Wealth Gap (CWWG) found that for every dollar a man earns, a woman earns between 50 and 81 cents. Assuming a good rule of thumb is to invest around 20% of your income, this has already been more viable for men than for women. Simply put, if an investment requires $10,000, and over that pay difference, women will take longer to get started. Investing thrives on the power of compound interest. If women take longer to get started, this is already reducing their share of long-term returns. Earning more than 20% less could mean losing at least 50% of potential investment earnings each year.
This domino effect remains a demotivating obstacle to the number of women who interact with finance.
There is a small group of patterns in the crypto industry. This pool unfortunately does not have the star status of celebrities or mega-influencers. Indeed, crypto and finance are not synonymous with glitz and glamour. Incredible women continue to work to bring different initiatives to life to solve real-world problems with immense impact. While it is important to have strong female role models in other industries, more of them need to amplify their journeys in the world of finance and crypto.
Promotion gaps also persist in the financial sector. While there are as many women as men in the financial industry as a whole, there are fewer at C level globally. For each level of the corporate ladder, there are fewer women at board and stakeholder levels. This extends to shortcomings in land ownership and access to credit. In some cases, women cannot own land by inheritance. This is found in institutions where women cannot open financial accounts without a male signer.
These factors fit into a collective where the pursuit of ownership and influence in the industry is not as native to women as it should be.
Based on the 2022 Triple-A study showing that only 21% of crypto owners are women, there is plenty of room for growth. This is not the end of the line. Another Fortune study showed a 175% growth in users who are female. Interest is on the rise. Also, there are more female-focused communities, for example, through DAOs. Women-led and targeted groups are gradually changing the complexity narrative.
Indeed, crypto is complex, but education is becoming more diverse day by day. For example, one change women can consider with crypto investing is to earn extra income instead of saving to invest. Participating as a part-timer or contributor in a crypto business is a powerful way to overcome conventional limitations to crypto ownership. Whether you get paid in crypto or your home currency, extra income is a nice bonus.
One positive thing about the crypto industry is that it largely empowers enthusiasts and collaborators. Few businesses require degrees and years of experience to get started. Higher-level roles may require this experience, but most entry-level positions do not. This is a great opportunity to learn on the job through part-time roles. These roles could later evolve into full-time or seasonal roles.
As the industry evolves, things become clearer. We are at an ideal time to participate in this fledgling industry, although we appreciate its current challenges.