Web3, the innovative financial ecosystem, has been historically dominated by men, with women constituting only about one-third of employees in the fintech industry. The underrepresentation of women is even more pronounced in the crypto and Web3 sectors, with up to 85% of the crypto community being male, and between 75% and 95% of crypto-related services users also being male. However, despite these challenges, the number of female crypto investors is increasing, with trading volume in crypto assets by female investors rising from 15.27% in 2021 to 18.57% in 2022, according to a survey conducted by crypto trading platform WazirX.
Web3 Products Ill-suited and Poorly Marketed to Women
The lack of gender diversity in Web3 has resulted in products, including crypto platforms, being either ill-suited or poorly marketed to women. To address this, the industry needs to encourage greater female participation. One way to achieve this is to highlight the stories of women who have successfully developed their careers in Web3.
Women Leaders Making an Impact in Web3
Although women are underrepresented in the Web3 industry, a few who have entered the male-dominated ecosystem have not only succeeded but also made the projects they’re responsible for prominent and successful. These women include:
- Nicole Muniz, an entrepreneur and CEO of Yuga Labs, the company behind the popular Bored Ape Yacht Club nonfungible token (NFT) collection
- Elizabeth Stark, co-founder and CEO of Lightning Labs, a company developing the Bitcoin Lightning Network, a protocol for fast and scalable Bitcoin transactions
- Caitlin Long, entrepreneur, lawyer, and blockchain advocate, founder and CEO of Custodia Bank, which aims to provide banking services to the crypto industry
- Cathie Wood, founder of ARK Invest, a global asset management firm specialising in disruptive technology companies
- Cathy Hackl, founder and chief metaverse officer at Journey, an innovation and design consultancy, recognised expert in branding and marketing techniques for VR and AR
- He Yi, co-founder of Binance cryptocurrency exchange, and head of Binance Labs
- Jaime Leverton, CEO of Hut 8 Mining, previously chief operating officer of hyper-scale data centre company eStruxture
- Jinglan Wang, co-founder and CEO of a decentralised financial platform PlasmaPay.
Women-led Web3 Projects and Communities
Despite the underrepresentation of women in the Web3 community, some have created support groups and non-profit organisations to invest in and promote diversity in the space. These include Women in Blockchain (WiB), she256, and the Black Women Blockchain Council (BWBC). Women in Blockchain has founded a women-only DAO called Komorebi, which is working on the Syndicate Protocol, focusing on funding female and non-binary project founders.
The Komorebi community aims to promote diversity in the crypto space and witness their investments’ brilliant performance. Although the founders do not disclose the exact details of the projects they have invested in, the DAO raised about $400,000 as of early 2022, with 65% of that sum already invested in diverse companies across the globe. One of Komorebi’s sub-DAOs is Ola Guild Games (Ola GG), which aims to create social and financial inclusion for the Hispanic community through P2E gaming. Its main platform is Axie Infinity, and it also creates educational programs where users receive payment for educational achievements.
Although the underrepresentation of women in the Web3 industry remains a challenge, their presence is growing, and they are making an impact. The industry needs to encourage greater female participation and invest in promoting diversity to ensure