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Blockchain Can’t Fix Everything: The Research and Truth Behind Gender Inequality in Blockchain Startups

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While the world’s busy buzzing about blockchain technology and how it’s going to change the world, the world’s remained oblivious to the fact that blockchain isn’t changing everything.

Currently Women only represent 20% of the STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Math) workforce. Not to mention that women in STEM are often significantly underpaid when compared to their male counterparts. In recent studies it’s even been found that women are categorized as ‘less desirable’ during hiring. During the hiring process it’s been found that male competitors with lower academic markings are often chosen over women with higher academic markings.

A research study was recently conducted by Longhash that analyzed the ‘top 100 blockchain startups’ according to the list provided by ICO Rating. The goal of the project was to investigate the gender equality or inequality in the workplace of blockchain startups. The results were published on December 11th, and what they found they called ‘disheartening’.

Overall, the gender inequality in blockchain startups is worse than the STEM field as a whole. Shockingly, 37 of the 100 companies analyzed had absolutely no female employees on the team.

The Results

“In total, we logged 1,062 listed team members, including 326 listed as founders or C-suite executives, and 473 listed advisors. The results were…disheartening.”

The women were divided up into categories of team members (all inclusive), C-suite executives & founders, and advisors. Out of those 1,062 team members only 14.5% of them were women. Only 7% of that 14.5% we’re executives and a measly 8% were advisors. 78 out of the 100 companies didn’t have a single female executive, 75 with no female advisors, and 37 of them with no females on the team at all. Only 1 company out of the hundred had more than one female executive, they had two.

It’s important to note that LongHash stated that the above numbers may even be overly generous.

“Even accounting for a conservative margin of error, the numbers are quite telling. And unfortunately, they also might be overly optimistic. In the case of advisors, if you discount two outlying startups that had large advisory boards with more than 25% women, the overall percentage of women in advisory roles drops to under 6%.”

The Crypto Gender Gap

The numbers and statistics provided by LongHash are of course subject to margins of error as they stated, including possible changes to employment. Though even if a few of those companies hired more women, it’s clear that a large gap still lies between men and women when it comes to employment.

Gender inequality in the workplace is not the only place where blockchain technology falls short on the topic of gender inequality. Back in September Circle published a report that concluded that millennial men were twice as likely to invest in crypto than millennial women. eToro reported earlier this year that less than 9% of cryptocurrency users are women. Switzerland’s Crypto Valley Association mandated back in September that they had to add two women to their board, even if it meant expanding the positions from 5 to 7.

While we are in the age of #metoo and many women demonstrate their desire to work in the STEM fields and that they demand fair pay, the gap still remains.

As a woman writing this article, I hope that this study open the eyes of these blockchain startups, investors, and the community as a whole. This gender inequality is disgraceful. In most tech startups in Silicon valley, at least 29% of the team is female. That’s double what was found to be in blockchain startups.

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