The Defiant

From Girls to Grandmas: Onboarding Women into Web3 in 2024

If Web3 is serious about onboarding billions of users, first, they need to get serious about onboarding girls and grandmas, and all women in between.

By: Mariana Krym Loading...

From Girls to Grandmas: Onboarding Women into Web3 in 2024

For too long, crypto has had a gendered adoption problem. It's almost become accepted as a given fact about the industry by both insiders and outside observers. And although I do enjoy never having to stand in line at the bathroom when I attend a crypto conference, if Web3 and digital assets are ever going to become mainstream, they are going to have to take a community-driven approach to break down this barrier of gendered adoption.

The promise of Web3 is a world where individuals own their data and share in the value they create on the networks they utilize. That is a universal promise. Financial inclusion. Access and agency. Global connectivity and verified data privacy and ownership. That is the Web3 vision. But it's never going to happen if Web3 businesses continue to ignore their failures to onboard 50% of the population.

We've all seen the numbers.

In the United States, 12% of women own crypto compared to 25% of men, so twice the number of men own crypto compared to women.

It's similar on the entrepreneurship side: only 13% of Web3 startups have founding teams that include at least 1 woman.

There is general agreement that bringing more women into crypto and Web3 would carry many benefits: Additional use cases, perspectives, skill sets, and untold discoveries and innovations, not to mention the missing mass adoption we already discussed.

However, there is also a general bewilderment about what might be keeping women out of crypto. It's as if everyone knows that women haven't been sought out, and yet they still wonder why they're not here. Clearly, Web3 needs to take a different approach in 2024 to see a real change in women's involvement.

The solution here is simple. Listen. Engage. Involve women directly in decision-making. Don't make assumptions about what will resonate with a female audience. Test branding and messaging before launching to ensure it speaks to both men and women.

I know this sounds obvious, but it's remarkable how few seem to have tried these strategies.

It is important to acknowledge that assuming things based on age in Web3 is counterproductive and harmful to the industry's inclusivity and diversity, too. Whether they are young tech enthusiasts exploring blockchain or seasoned professionals with experience in digital landscapes, women of all ages bring unique experiences, perspectives, and insights to the table. By embracing the diversity of age, we can create a more dynamic, innovative, and inclusive Web3 ecosystem that values the contributions of every woman and recognizes that progress is not limited by age. From girls to grandmas, web3 needs them all.

Another benefit this will bring is the opportunity to send more ambassadors to communities where the vision of Web3 hasn't yet been shared. Who knows, future female leaders of crypto might have more success where figures like Sam Bankman-Fried, Caroline Ellison, and Do Kwon failed in the past. However, in order for women to be leaders in crypto, they have to have a seat at the table. This might sound like a radical suggestion, but if women are going to lead, they’re going to have to be in key leadership roles. They’re going to need agency in all aspects of Web3, from the board room to the code base.

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The share of women among all employees at top Web3 companies as of 2023 is approximately 27%, which sounds solid for such a technical industry, until you realize that the positions heavily concentrate on nontechnical roles like HR and Marketing.

Another very telling statistic is that of all Web3 companies that have raised more than $100 million, the number of projects with all-female founding teams is zero. None.

Now, although it’s true that just because many of these companies are run by men doesn’t inherently mean that they are not inclusive of women, it’s also true that women leaders are, by and large, simply absent from Web3 overall. In order for women to join the broader crypto community, they are going to need meaningful representation in Web3 companies.

Once they are in, the key to keeping women in Web3 will be community. It’s not enough to just bring in one or two ladies here and there; women must find themselves part of a robust and vital community: A network of value in which they share emotional and financial ownership. Otherwise, Web3 won’t represent a vision of a global financial revolution, but just another male-dominated fad. It’s on Web3 companies to create and nurture exactly these types of communities and make sure it is a priority that female users find themselves sought out and included in them. Once these communities are established, it will come down to a question of value creation and network effects. Can Web3 offer something worth women’s time and attention? I believe the answer is a resounding yes, but so far, no one has stepped up to deliver. Some would argue that they haven’t even really bothered to try.

Bringing women into Web3 is not just about addressing gender disparities; it is about creating a more inclusive, innovative, and equitable industry. By actively engaging with the challenges and opportunities, the Web3 community can work towards building a diverse and vibrant ecosystem that benefits everyone: girls and Grandmas alike.

Now, I want to be very clear here. I’m not calling for affirmative action for women in Web3 or encouraging crypto start-ups to go around pandering to women. God knows that’s no solution, either. It would probably make the problem worse. What I am saying, though, is that Web3 needs women, and women need Web3. It is mutually advantageous to bring deliberate and urgent attention to this problem now, before it gets too severe to solve.

The world is full of vibrant communities of female creators and entrepreneurs, and Web3 is a rapidly growing industry that is ripe for new ideas and perspectives. It seems only natural that Web3 companies would seek out and include women at all levels. As founders, leaders, users, and everything in between. Women of all ages, all backgrounds, all over the world.

If Web3 is serious about onboarding billions of users, first, they need to get serious about onboarding girls and grandmas, and all women in between.

Mariana Krym is the COO of Vyvo Smart Chain ( VSC), a HealthFi ecosystem that leverages Web3 technology to promote positive lifestyle habits through anonymized health data monetization.

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