Our Solution to Bring more Women into Blockchain: DLT Talent

What is the status?

Technology is advancing at an exponential rate, and this will be increasingly reflected in the workforce. The opportunities of the future are within STEM, as the world is increasingly automated and technology-driven, i.e., designed by technology. Currently, women are still highly underrepresented in STEM education and occupations and even more in leadership positions. However, to create a sustainable and equitably future, engaging women and girls in science is vital. The 2030 Agenda especially stresses this for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Figure 1: Gender split — leadership roles technology sector (data: CS Gender 3000 report, 2019), own illustration

An assessment of the origins

Female enrolment in STEM subjects and occupation vary greatly by region, while overall numbers are very low, especially in ICT. The UNESCO reported a share of less than 30% of female researchers worldwide (data 2014–2016) and an extremely low ICT enrolment of 3%.

Staying in the game is hard work

However, it is not just important how many people are entering the space and are up for accepting the challenge, but the grown structures can make it hard to sustain a successful career path. Looking at Silicon Valley’s toxic masculinity problem, coming with discrimination, unfair compensation, lack of promotion, or harassment complaints, let many women leave the tech career (however, the lack of diversity is not limited to gender here). The issue’s size is also reflected in Google’s settlement that devoted USD310 million to diversity, equality, and inclusion measures after shareholders accuse of mishandling sexual misconduct and discrimination claims.

Why is diversity so important?

The lack of diversity is complex in its impacts. How adverse those impacts can be seen when looking into the rapidly growing AI field. AI is a categorization technology; it differentiates and ranks. Therefore, the initial input data and learning algorithm are crucial for unbiased results. However, the examples of scrutiny due to the wrong categorization of facial recognition technologies and politically incorrect language adopted by chatbots are all too familiar. Or virtual reality glasses that do not have the default fit for women’s eye distance. Those are just some prominent examples of what can happen when a small homogenous group develops the tools of the future for a diverse population. The chances are enormous that the efficiency gains will stay with the group that occupies and leads the field.

A shortage of labor and better performance

Besides the adverse impacts of the products, there is another considerable business case for rapidly addressing the diversity issue. According to business leaders, the skill shortage is slowing down the digital transformation and is also one of the most significant business risks of the future. According to the WEF, by 2030, there will be a shortage of 4.3million in the workforce and an unrealized output of around USD450 billion in the technology, media, and telecommunications sector. Hence hiring and retaining a workforce from a wider pool of demographics is essential for competitiveness. While in many businesses, the idea of social justice is the driving campaign behind closing the diversity gap, this might be the wrong angle. The McKinseys report, “Delivering through diversity,” not only highlights that companies are still not sure how to tackle the diversity issue, but it also concludes that there is a positive correlation between diverse leadership teams and financial performance.

Why it is the right time to start the blockchain journey

Blockchain has the potential to facilitate participation in the economy that opens unknown levels of inclusions. The technology stems from an underlying idea in which technology is used to replace a monopolistic economy without central control with the idea of a fairer, more inclusive world. While these ideas have weakened, it still holds a new view of the economy in a more democratic variant. It has the potential to solve issues which load is mainly carried by specific demographics, e.g., low-income workers with no access to the financial system, which happen to be mainly female.

Figure 2: DLT Talents success story, www.dlt-talents.com
  1. Start now, speak up, ask questions, look for people who challenge you.
  2. Find a supportive network and support each other.
  3. Embrace risk and do not mind the failure, as failure means development.
  4. Look for allies and mentors.
  5. Do not wait until you tick all boxes, just do it.

Remarks

About DLT Talents: DLT Talents (www.dlt-talents.com) is an 18-week free-of-charge coaching program with the goal to onboard female leaders into the currently male-dominated blockchain space. The program sustainably supports women in their pursuit through structured learning guidance, mentoring, and networking.

Literature

Credit Suisse Research Institute. (2019). CS Gender 3000 Report 2019. https://www.credit-suisse.com/about-us-news/de/articles/news-and-expertise/cs-gender-3000-report-2019-201910.html

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DLT Talents

DLT Talents

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DLT Talents is an 18-week free-of-charge coaching program with the goal to onboard female leaders into the currently male-dominated blockc