UBRI Panel: Increasing the Number of Women in Blockchain

This article was first published on Insights – Ripple

Although having a diverse workforce makes a company more profitable, the number of women in the tech industry is still increasing at a slow pace. Girls tend to opt out of the STEM career track at an early age, and women often leave the field early for any number of reasons including a lack of role models, unconscious bias in teaching, unfriendly work environments and long entrenched gender norms. 

Panelists at the recent Women in Blockchain event hosted by Ripple’s University Blockchain Research Initiative (UBRI) reinforced the need to address these challenges, but also highlighted the unusually high level of gender diversity already in the blockchain industry. The discussion, held on International Women’s Day, provided a view into some of the leading women contributing to the field today and outlined ways to engage even more women in technology and blockchain tomorrow. 

Jocelyn Weber, Director of the Blockchain Xcelerator & X-Labs at Berkeley Engineering, sees a next generation of women coming to the fore. One of the reasons that blockchain might present a more powerful opening for women is because it involves more than coding. Blockchain touches a number of disciplines beyond traditional STEM fields and can be used in a wide range of applications. 

Dr. Floran Syler-Wood of the Blockchain Learner Podcast and Associate Professor of Accounting and Data Analytics at Stillman College said this diverse range of in-demand skills and the fact that STEM is not a prerequisite means female entrepreneurs, supply chain experts, finance professionals and other occupational backgrounds can all be vital contributors to the industry. And the fact that it’s so new means there are chances to get in on the ground floor with novel ideas that have a chance to make a profound difference. 

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