How the Web3 world can be made more inclusive
At YourStory’s Metaverse Summit, we looked at what could be done to make the world of Web 3.0 more inclusive!
Metaverse, Web 3.0, and blockchain are the biggest buzzwords going around these days. And yet, when it comes to the representation of women, the world of Web3 has a lot of catching up to do.
Whether it is investors in cryptocurrency, or women developers and leaders in the space, the segment is significantly underrepresented. According to several media reports close to two-thirds of the US cryptocurrency investors are men. Of these close to 60 percent are white. In India, 15 percent of the cryptocurrency exchanges are represented by women.
At a roundtable discussion at YourStory’s Metaverse Summit, 2022, Kaavya Prasad, Co-founder, Lumos Labs, and Roshni Aslam, along with YourStory’s Rishabh Mansur, and Sindhu V Kashyap, talked about what can be done to get more women participating in the Web 3.0 world.
Increase the number of engineers
“While women are significantly underrepresented in the Web 3.0 universe, we need to understand that this is an engineering movement. So the problem arises with the fact that there are fewer women engineers. The gender ratio is already skewed towards men. And a way a smaller group of women enter the web 3 world,” said Kaavya.
She explained most of the work done is in the engineering space, and there is overall misrepresentation.
“Many women don’t stick to engineering and there are multiple reasons, subtle sexism, biases, or overall peers discouraging them. It is important to encourage women to continue with engineering,” added Kaavya.
Security risk in a volatile industry
It is no secret, the crypto world in the Web 3.0 universe is still volatile and nascent. Roshni believes it could be one of the reasons why women feel discouraged. “We women tend to look for security, and most of our decisions are risk assessed. And by nature we think ten years ahead. So joining a volatile space can be a little more riskier,” added Roshni.
This, she said, needs to change. If you feel it is something you are passionate about, please go ahead and work on what you want. “There is a shift, and it is time to be fearless. Open up your wings a little and try soaring into the industry,” adds Roshni.
Where can women participate?
With NFTs becoming popular, several women are entering the Web3 ecosystem through NFTs. “I also see a lot of women coming into the Web3 universe, with world building. It is also how I personally got into this space. I am an architect and city building is part of the curriculum, and you can translate that into the world of metaverse,” added Kaavya.
She said areas like healthcare, recruitment, education, and law, have been strong women representation. And women from these areas and fields can come into the Web 3.0 world through these segments.
Roshni adds that even then things are slowly shifting. Within the Web 3.0 communities, there are women led communities for women to help them get into the world of crypto and blockchain.
“There are resources coming up now that are aiding women. Experiences are being shared, also there are changes where people are discouraging others who are being discriminatory or biased,” added Roshni.
Dealing with biases
However, that doesn’t mean biases do not exist. Roshni explains initially both her age and gender were a problem. There were people who wouldn’t consider her opinion or point of view.
“Many times I jumped in to add on to what the others were saying. Being a younger woman, people just don’t take you seriously. And while I would get these comments or statements, I would simply disregard,” added Roshni.
Adding to this Kaavya said, it makes it harder to talk to clients, when people view you younger. “It has nothing to do with my competence, and most women in tech face it. There are subtle comments like - ‘Oh! You’re a founder?’ and we have to prove ourselves. But give it time,” said Kaavya. Advicing women, Roshni says, Find your own unique way of doing things.
The duo say - “Reach out to people. Don’t be afraid to reach out and ask questions. The community is open and helpful.”
To join The Metaverse Summit login here or visit the website.
Edited by Ramarko Sengupta