Celebrating Success of Second Women in Crypto Event
Key Takeaways from the Success of the Second Annual Women in Crypto Event, held by Durlston Partners
Last week, we had the pleasure of hosting our second Women in Crypto event, where over 60 women came together to share what it means to be a woman working in the space. It was a memorable evening and while so many topics were addressed throughout, we thought it was worth sharing some key takeaways from our panel discussion, as they can serve multiple purposes.
Being a woman working in the tech industry can often feel lonely and alienating – something that was apparent from the Women in Crypto event – and we hope this can offer you comfort in sisterhood and knowing you are not alone in your experiences.
We know many organisations are trying to do better in their inclusivity efforts – we hope this can offer you some suggestions for improvement based on what truly matters to women.
Having the pleasure of speaking to Mia, Lucy, Carly and Yi in our panel enabled our discussion to have a 360° view across the different stages of a woman’s career (from first job to 20+ years in the industry). And while it was interesting to see that many women shared the same experiences today as they did decades ago, it was also clear that a lot of progress had been (and still is being) made, which left everyone hopeful. So let’s dive deeper into some of the hottest topics we touched upon.
You can be whatever you want
All panellists agreed and identified as the key to getting them to where they are now, was having a network of people supporting them to pursue their passions from a very young age. Early school years is when we start losing little girls, who very often are (more or less overtly) encouraged to pursue humanities subjects over STEM ones.
So be it parents or teachers, the importance of having someone who will encourage you to keep at what you are passionate about and you enjoy doing, someone who will tell you there’s no such thing as a “girl’s job” or a “boy’s job”, is one of the first key aspects in getting more women in the technology space.
The panellists noted that having more women in leadership positions and participating in conferences, events, and discussions helps to create a more inclusive and welcoming environment for women in the space. When women see others like them succeeding in the industry, it can serve as an inspiration and motivation to pursue a career in tech, crypto or DeFi.
With finance being a heavily male-dominated industry, and the tech world equally so, the crossover of the two industries can often translate into a “boys club” environment where women can feel unwelcome or like they don’t belong. The good news is that mountains don’t need to move to change things – it can be as small as seeing a woman on a company website, which can change the experience of another woman looking to join the same firm. It gives women hope and a vision: it allows them to identify, see a path, and what the future could look like for someone who *actually* looks like them.
Imposter Syndrome is real
This feeling is often heightened for females in male-dominated fields – many women may feel like they don’t belong or that they are not as competent as their male counterparts, or that they are a “diversity hire” (a highly damaging term, as it actively reinforces imposter syndrome).
All panellists emphasised the importance of acknowledging and addressing imposter syndrome and normalising it as something most (if not all) women experience. They all noted that, while it is a common experience, no woman should allow it to make them feel underserving of what they’ve achieved and of the positions they’re in, nor let it hold them back from pursuing their goals and aiming high.
No one would ever give you a job you are not capable of doing, simply because no company can afford to lose money. If you were chosen to do something, it’s because you were the best person to do it, and this is what you have to keep telling yourself to combat the little imposter syndrome voice.
Advocating for yourself is key
It can be challenging to find the balance between standing up for yourself and being labelled aggressive. Advocating for yourself can be hard, but is crucial when it comes to securing a promotion or a pay raise. Unfortunately, gender biases and stereotypes can still be present in the workplace, leading to women being undervalued and underpaid.
By advocating for yourself and highlighting your accomplishments, skills, and contributions, you can challenge these biases and demonstrate your worth. Don’t be afraid to ask for what you deserve and be prepared to negotiate. Remember that advocating for yourself is not only important for your own career advancement, but can also pave the way for future generations of women in your industry.
Small things can have a huge impact
Companies have the privilege of playing a key role in addressing gender imbalance and promoting diversity and inclusion. One initiative that was particularly stressed was that of parental leave, which can help women balance their work and family responsibilities while also encouraging men to take on a more active role in caregiving.
By providing equitable parental leave policies, companies can both help reduce the stigma surrounding caregiving responsibilities and create a more supportive work environment for all employees. Encouraging men to take up parental leave not only benefits women, but also helps men develop stronger relationships with their families, break down gender stereotypes in the workplace, and further level the playing field, both at home and at work.
We wanted to thank our speakers once again for being so open and vulnerable, offering everyone a true insight into what it means to be a woman in the industry. We hope that these takeaways will result in more conversations being had with the women in your lives and offer more understanding of where they’re coming from and their lived experiences.
As highlighted by our panellists, one of the reasons why the DeFi space is exciting for technologists is the rapid pace of change and innovation in the industry. As a constantly evolving ecosystem, with new technologies and products emerging all the time, the DeFi world offers technologists endless unique challenges to tackle and solve, providing a constant need for developers and technologists to adapt and innovate to keep up with the latest developments.
This is a highly stimulating and dynamic environment for those in the industry, and one in which women can leverage their skills to new extents and push the industry to new heights. And we simply can’t wait to see it happen.
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