While cryptocurrencies are not the exclusive domain of men, men are nevertheless twice as likely to get involved as women. Yet another inequality in the world of finance and tech, which some “cyber-feminist” communities are trying to combat.
It’s the same old story every year. On the occasion of International Women’s Day, the media take the opportunity to point the finger at the under-representation of women in the world of tech. And the world of cryptocurrency, at the crossroads of technology and finance, is no stranger to such inequality.
According to a American investigation conducted by the company Acorns and the media CNBC published in August 2021, men invest twice as much as women in cryptocurrencies (16% against 7%). Yet 43% of those interested in investing in Bitcoins are women, according to estimates by another study published in 2019 by the American investment fund Grayscale. So what’s stopping them from getting started?
“Cryptocurrencies are among the riskiest financial investments today. However, risk aversion is stronger among women: because it is less rooted in our social construction, but also because women earn salaries lower than those of men. They are also often the ones who manage the expenses related to children. All these reasons make them less likely to get into cryptocurrencies”, analyzes Léa Lejeune, economic journalist in France and founder of “Provide money», a feminist newsletter (in French) « which talks about money ».
Some would argue that the fact that cryptocurrencies are emerging at a time when more efforts are being made to support women in tech may work in their favor. An opinion that does not necessarily share the impression of Léa Lejeune on the landscape in France: “There are certainly initiatives to bring more women into tech, but not into the heart. The number of women in engineering schools is falling, and the number of women developers or miners is still insufficient.
“As for women hired in crypto companies, they are still too often relegated to positions in communications or human resources. I think we need to take a step forward in the representation of women in tech so that this applies to crypto as well. But unfortunately, we are not there yet,” she adds.
“Girl power” and the world of crypto
However, we are witnessing the rise of cyber-feminist communities: accounts on social networks, private discussion groups, etc. Let us cite, for example, the “Boys Club”, founded by the American Deana Burke. This collective of women and non-binary people, closed to cisgender men, describes itself as “a no bro zone for the crypto curious”. A way to counter some of the male enclaves cultivated by some masculinists in the industry, who describe themselves as “crypto bros”.
Similar initiatives also exist in France. Especially The Miner, an Instagram account founded by Amandine Claude that provides advice to women who want to get into cryptocurrency and NFTs. Or the “Crypto Baddies,” a community for girls, gays, non-binaries, and “Web3 baddies.”
There is also Françoise Gadot, alias “Mamie crypto” (Crypto grandmother), who organizes learning workshops on blockchains and cryptocurrencies, through her program “Hackers”, which encourages women to claim their place in blockchains and cryptos.
“It would be a shame to leave all this money to men!
These “safe spaces” put women in the spotlight, where they can learn about cryptocurrencies and ask questions, without fear of being ashamed or feeling illegitimate. “Knowing that we are talking to a real person and not just a pseudonym without knowing who is behind it also represents a guarantee of trust”, underlines Léa Lejeune.
By dint of covering the subject, the journalist herself ended up engaging in this mode of investment on a personal basis: “I started at the end of 2021, when prices started to fall (and have continued to fall since ). I decided to invest after studying the subject and the level of risk I could afford to take. I waited for the “right time” to take the plunge,” she says.
“Of course, the point is not to jump into ‘crypto-everything’ and move all your savings there, but rather to think about a strategy: what stocks you decide to invest in and why, etc. So it is accessible, even to women.” who have to manage child-related expenses,” she says.
She adds: “While no one can predict this with certainty, I think there is a high probability that cryptocurrencies will continue to grow strongly in the years to come. It would be a shame to leave all this money to men! – AFP Relax News