Technology sectors have long been dominated by males and lacked gender diversity. This is slowly changing with fintech enterprises attempting to address and push the shifting dynamic from the top.
Now, the ratio at conferences and funding rounds have a significantly different outlook. Such events, which historically lacked success stories reporting women moving the industry ahead to bigger and better things, can now boast of some of the industries prime movers.
Bitcoin News posted a feature on Australian women in the forefront of blockchain development earlier this year, but the US boasts of some of the major players in the industry.
Amber Baldet, co-founder of Clovyr, well known for her work at JPMorgan as a leader of blockchain products, and developed the Ethereum based Quorum software designed to accelerate financial databases. Baldet left Wall Street to develop her own software by founding Clovyr and get startups on the road to using blockchain technology more effectively. She says:
“I’ve had the opportunity to talk to people who see things very differently… Being able to transition back and forth, I can help people understand each other and build stronger products together.”
Of gender diversity in the tech world she suggests, “People have tried to call out crypto as being better or worse…Diversity is a challenge across all tech subcultures.”
There have been regular headlines of IBM and collaborators looking to enter the blockchain space. IBM started a partnership with Maersk and Agility, a global logistics provider, announcing their plans to track shipping containers using blockchain technology back in February.
IBM has been pushing for the lead in the race for adopting blockchain technology working alongside various industries and supporting giants like Visa, HSBC, and Walmart. At IBM, women run the blockchain show with Marie Wieck to her boss Bridget van Kralingen, to CEO Ginni Rometty. As spokeswoman Holli Haswell says “We have the blockchain sisters at IBM.”
Marie Wieck, the company’s general manager for blockchain, with 25 years’ service under her belt, is the driving force behind some of the companies biggest new innovations in the fintech/blockchain space. She still worries about the low numbers of women moving into tech positions and suggests that there are fewer now that when she started at IBM back in the day. Her aim is “to create a community of champions of both women and men who proudly support women in STEM.”
Linda Pawczuk now leads Deloitte Consulting’s US blockchain practice. Rising through the ranks, she opined that in the early years of blockchain it was mostly an obsession with “the engine room stuff”. But now, its more about cooperation and businesses working together, which she says she’s pleased to see is beginning to happen.
Gracie Wong who co-founded Liven alongside her brother William Wong perhaps puts it best when she suggests that blockchain needs as much expertise as it can get, particularly as it’s still in its infancy. Reflecting Baldet’s views that diversity is the key, she argues:
“While blockchain might be a newly-named technology, the reality is it’s a combination of existing technical competencies. We need people that are great data scientists, who understand governance, who are cryptographers… and AI experts. When you combine this together in a novel way, it becomes enlivened.”
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