Women are often good at community-building and communication, especially in social media. That’s why crypto so badly needs their talents.
August 21, 2018 6 min read
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
“You don’t belong.
You aren’t good enough.
You don’t have what it takes.”
You may say these statements to yourself or, worse, you may even hear them (usually indirectly) at work. Such comments and the fears and anxiety they create may contribute to keeping you and other women from involvement in the financial sector, specifically in the hot new arena of cryptocurrency.
The truth is, however, that crypto needs women. In fact, the cryptocurrency space offers great potential for the future. But, without women, this field may struggle. According to Coin.dance, the level of community engagement (as of this month) in just one crytocurrency, Bitcoin, is 91.22 percent men, and only 8.78 percent women.
So, what’s happened to all the women? Our gender is sometimes hesitant because we’re told we’re not needed; we’re asked to make a coffee run; we’re directed to bring water to the conference room. Such comments and requests affect our self-confidence. Instead, we need to know that we are needed in the cryptocurrency space and have important roles to play.
How do we make that happen? Here are five things women in crypto need to know:
1. Crypto needs women’s communication skills.
Women often excel in communication, with strengths in reading body language, listening, and displaying empathy. And, typically, women have the edge in collaborative environments where listening skills, inclusive body language and empathy are more highly valued.
Communication is vital to keeping companies afloat. Businesses need people on their team to effectively relay messages and concepts to other team members, as well as to the public. If a business has an amazing product but cannot manage to market it to the public, the company will not succeed. And, in terms of the business team itself: How much can the team realistically accomplish if expectations are not clearly defined and executed?
The takeaway: Cryptocurrency can be confusing if it’s not explained well. Women, you can change that! You have the natural ability to present crypto information in a way that the public can connect with and understand. So, dive in!
2. Crypto needs women’s community-building skills.
Community is a core concept in the cryptocurrency space, especially when businesses start out or are in the stages of an ICO (initial coin iffering). ICOs are initiated when a group decides to start a cryptocurrency business and develop a product or service in the space, selling coins or tokens to raise funds for specific projects. These coins or tokens are made to serve a function in the proposed project.
Without community, cryptocurrency businesses have no supporters. And that’s bad, because supporters provide financial backing, helping projects move from idea to reality. The most widely known cryptocurrency, of course, is Bitcoin. And a major reason for Bitcoin’s success has been due to the community of people who believe in Bitcoin and its technology.
Without that community, Bitcoin would fade and its revolutionary technology be forgotten and lost.
The takeaway: Women are natural community builders. Established author and marketer Martha Barletta has said, “When men communicate, they’re concerned with conveying information and establishing status. When women communicate, they’re concerned with conveying information and building connections.” While conveying information is important, building connections is vital to communities.
3. Crypto can benefit from women’s social media talent.
Women are known for using communication and community to make an impact, especially on social media. Bridget Brennan, in an article titled “When It Comes To marketing agency, Women Are the Original Social Network,“, wrote that it’s common for women to discuss online the products and services they purchase. She also said that emotions inspire actions, and that these actions impact industries.
The takeaway: Women are effective at discussion and emotion because they have an innate natural focus on connection and relation, which, according to Brennan, ultimately leads to growing communities and industries.
4. Women are already making a splash in crypto.
Even though crypto is male dominated, some women are involved and using their talents to further open up the space. Maria Prusakova, for instance, is a lawyer and former Russian Olympian. She’s also the co-founder of Crypto PR Lab. She is a woman entrepreneur who is using her public relations talents and experience to grow the crypto space.
I had the opportunity to ask Prusakova for her insights on how to get more women involved in crypto, considering that they already have a lot to offer in the industry:
[My question] What are some ways to get more women involved in crypto?
[Prusakova] “Education. Just as organizations like Code.org aim to teach computer science to high school students, cryptocurrencies should eventually be an integral part of every school’s curriculum. Communities like Girls Who Code and CodingFTW [which both offer scholarships for hackathons] can bring more awareness into this space — ultimately making it an industry that doesn’t just have more females, but is also female-friendly.”
How can we help women feel welcome in the crypto space?
“The successes of crypto’s leading women are more than worthy of celebration,” Prusakova said. “As a cohesive unit, the crypto community should continue working to raise awareness about the achievements of female founders. From television interviews to printed editorials to becoming a startup mentor, there are numerous opportunities for the crypto community to give female founders more exposure, and create a more inclusive environment for all.”
The takeaway: ‘A sustained growth in exposure,” Prusakova added, “will create a flywheel effect that’ll motivate more women to explore blockchain technology, work in the industry and get recognized for their achievements — all the while perpetuating more of the same great results in the years to come.”
5. Without women, there is no balance.
Like anything, balance is often the best approach, and the concept covers the importance of creating a male/female ratio in cryptocurrency that’s as close as possible to 50/50.
The takeaway: Bringing more women into crypto will balance the gender ratio we need, giving the industry the best of both worlds: the talents of men and women, alike — and equal.