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Closing the Gender Gap: Why We Need More Women in Web3

NewsMarch 7, 2024

One of the most significant promises of web3 is democratization. By shifting the power and decisions from a numbered few to a much greater, often decentralized community, web3 believers pledge an internet accessible to and controlled by all. However, there is still a gender diversity gap that spotlights inequality in every sector of web3, from the workforce to cryptocurrency traders.

Only 27% of positions at major web3 companies are held by women, mostly in non-technical roles. The gap becomes broader regarding funding: female NFT artists claim a mere 5% of all sales, and all-male founding teams raise, on average, four times more than all-female teams. While these numbers might raise the alarm for those who work closely with Web3 Women, other industry natives may not intrinsically comprehend the detriment caused by this lack of diversity. This calls us to answer the question: So What?

At the RARI Foundation, we benefit from the unique perspective of an organization led entirely by females (including for the recent launch of RARI Chain). Although our collaborations are, of course, not exclusively female, the five of us (Jana Bertram, Head of Strategy; Addie Giese, Community and Operations Lead; Xenia Soborova, Ecosystem Growth Manager; Aubrey Terrazas, Content & Social Media Lead; and Xenia Vyazemskaya, Communications Strategist), we have experienced first-hand the advantages created by a more inclusive playing field.

We could tell you that communities that embrace diversity are better equipped to respond to challenges, offer new perspectives that lead to innovation, and bring a broader set of experiences that respond to customer needs. Instead, To answer this question, we called upon our team as well as other badass women in the space to show us how women are shaping web3 from their perspective and why more women should be involved.

Lorraine Ye, Head Curator at HUG, an inclusive global community for creatives to showcase, sell & connect over their art.

In 2022, I joined Web3 by putting forth a tweet into the world with a wish to work in Web3 on International Women's Day! Within 45 minutes, that wish was fulfilled and I had an interview with Debbie Soon, Co-Founder and CGO of HUG that next Monday. Since then, I have joined HUG as the company's Head Curator and am proud to work at a women-led business dedicated to helping artists become multi-modal creators of the future. Without women helping to build and illustrate a picture of the foreseeable future, we cannot truly build equity in the arts and tech space.

Since then, I've helped grow HUG from 300 to 13,000 artists to connect them with partners like the United Nations, Adobe, & L'Oreal to leverage data-driven curation to promote diversity, inclusion, and accessibility while awarding over $60,000 in grants to date. People of marginalized backgrounds aren't always afforded the same access to opportunities, which is why we bring those opportunities directly to artists when they sign up for a free HUG Artist Profile.

Leen Al-Taher, Product at Rarible, a leading aggregated NFT marketplace

Growing up, my mother's achievements in tech-inspired me with a belief that women must shape the industry from the start. I'm dedicated to empowering women builders and artists, where their voices are not only acknowledged but celebrated. Looking at a decline in women in tech, from 28.8% in 2020 to 27% today, our mission is vital. These gaps have consequences, impacting women's lives daily. It's about more than minor inconveniences; it can be deadly, like the lack of safety tests accounting for women’s measurements in cars.

At Rarible we are working in Web3 to rebuild an industry with women's & other marginalized voices instilled from the start. I envision a tech world where inclusivity is foundational, where women's perspectives are not just respected but essential.

Women and queer individuals should be building the tech from the ground up.

Xenia Soborova, Head of Ecosystem Growth at RARI Foundation

Web3 culture has been shaped predominantly by a male perspective. About 90% of the people I encounter at work and during industry events are men. I believe that increasing the representation of women and promoting overall diversity in the Web3 space will help our community pose different questions, view things from new angles, and foster further progress.

Moreover, it's great to have role models with similar background as you have higher chances to be understood and perceived as an equal. It's just good to know there is a person out there with the same experiences who made it; if she made it I can make it too.

Recently, I joined the RARI Foundation. For the first time in my 6-year career in Web3 I am working in a fully female-led organization. Throughout my career, I encountered men telling me that success in this highly competitive environment requires sacrificing family, and as a woman, I must make a choice. Therefore, it is encouraging to see women around me succeeding as professionals in Web3 while also being mothers.

Addie Giese, Community and Operations Lead at RARI Foundation

In my experience, women are not just participants in web3; but active drivers of the industry. While there is still plenty of work to do, I believe what makes web3 unique is the convergence of global diversity where backgrounds from every corner of the world contribute to shaping borderless and permissionless systems. Our voices coupled with our unique insights and experiences, are crucial in designing an open internet that resonates with all, while avoiding echo chambers and embracing a broad spectrum of solutions focused on a more inclusive digital future.

Aubrey Terrazas, Content & Social Lead at RARI Foundation

Inclusivity isn’t just about hiring women and minorities; it’s also about incorporating the ideas and experiences of a diverse group of people. I’ve worked on less-inclusive teams, and seen how a lack of perspective has led to knee-jerk reactions, and how they try to cater to people like them instead of the actual community. I find that groups that have been marginalized, like women, are often more open-minded because they’ve seen the negative repercussions of narrowly focused decision-makers.

As more communities and messaging are created to make women feel welcome, I feel that web3 is getting supercharged with fresh ideas and voices.

Which women do you see reshaping web3? Join the conversation on our Discord and follow our announcements for our Grant Programs to invite female founders to join RARI.

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