Digital Currency Group’s Meltem Demirors discusses women’s role in the budding industry of blockchain. She notes that women make up a minority of participants in blockchain and cryptocurrency—but many see room for growth. Opportunities abound for mentorship, education, and other ways to encourage and support more women in the growing and rich field, providing what Demirors calls “a tremendous opportunity.”
Click through to read more about women’s prospects in bitcoin and blockchain, current statistics and the environment and demographic makeup in cryptocurrency today, some of the women who are already standing out in the field, and more.
When I first started my journey down the bitcoin rabbit hole, I never expected to be surrounded by so many women. People always seem surprised that there are a lot of women who work on various problems — whether technical, academic, commercial, regulatory, or PR — in both bitcoin and blockchain technology.
It’s been fantastic to be surrounded by such a supportive group of powerful, highly intelligent women who are tackling some of the most challenging problems the budding bitcoin and blockchain technology community will face over the coming decades. One of the things that I’ve been excited about working on is more efforts to get diversity into the spotlight — it’s still very much a man’s world, and the stats reveal some exciting opportunities for our community.
Important caveat: This post is not intended to be critical, but constructive so I hope it comes across that way. Feel free to leave critiques in the comments or send me a note at meltem at dcg dot co if you want to provide feedback or talk offline.
Numbers Don’t Lie
Just looking at the DCG portfolio of companies we’ve invested in over the last 3 years, here’s what I found (full disclosure — using mostly publicly available information from company websites, CrunchBase, LinkedIn, etc. so numbers are intended to be directional, not absolute)
- Our 67 portfolio companies collectively employ 944 people (amazing!). Of those, 163 are women. That’s 17% which is on the low end for tech, but it is much higher than I anticipated. The geometric average (mean) per company was 12%.
- 23 of our 67 companies, or over one third, employ no women at all. None of these companies have over 10 employees. This suggests women are typically not involved in the early stages of company building, which may be because:
- The most common role for women is (in order) Executive Assistant, Office Manager, PR / Marketing / Communications, Regulatory / Compliance, Finance
- There were only 4 female engineers in my sample set. Overall, there are probably about a dozen female engineers in the entire space.
- The company with the highest ratio of women employed 50% women, and it was one of only a handful of companies that employed non-white females. The second highest employed 46%. The next was below 30%.
What I see from looking at these numbers is a tremendous opportunity. We can build the community we want if we all work together to address issues at all stages of the funnel. I would love to bring together all of the leaders in the bitcoin community and identify how we can all become more aware, more proactive, and more pragmatic in building a rich, diverse community of stakeholders.