This week’s topic for Tapx Talks is an extremely important one, as we discuss Women in Web3.
Why is this an important topic to discuss?
As we move from the restrictive constructs of web2 towards a decentralised and more open web3, there is an opportunity to make big steps forward in the important areas of diversity and inclusion across gender, race, age, education level, socio-economic background, and geographic location.
We were proud to be joined by some of the most talented and creative individuals in the space — Rhian Lewis of Boson Protocol, Yevheniia Broshevan from Hacken, Vasilike Grezios of Code Arena, and Monika Sviderskė from Lossless to talk about Women in web3.
During the discussion they explained what excites them about web3, what challenges they are facing, and what helped them become who they are today.
You can listen to the conversation on Tapx Twitter.
Now, let’s dive deep into the discussion, shall we?
What excites you about web3?
Our speakers spoke really really enthusiastically about web3 and it made us wonder what makes them so excited about the industry as a whole.
Rhian Lewis mentioned that she’s really excited about the challenges people haven’t solved yet. She also mentioned that it’s really amazing to see people in web3 are so excited by what they’re doing.
It really is one of those things that you feel very privileged to have the opportunity to earn a living and really the only limitation is time, she says.
She adds that the opportunities in web3 are endless and if they had 48 hours in a day, they’d be involved in even more projects doing even more exciting things.
You’re just constantly learning new stuff. Getting exposed to new ideas. And I just think while the expression what a time to be alive is overused, I think that really is the case with where we are now in web3.
Yevheniia has mentioned that she’s excited by the challenges and new technologies as well. But she also highlighted that she really likes how fast everything moves in web3 and there is the feeling that you can build everything from scratch and see the impact almost immediately.
There are a lot of tooling, processes, procedures and policies that work and should be adapted in web3. And it’s good that you can try and build this from scratch and definitely impact and challenge that, she adds.
What is the current situation being a woman in web3?
The statistic says that there are only 5% of female founders in web3 and only 19% of crypto is owned by women. So it was interesting to hear the thoughts of our speakers about that problem: are we making good progress in the inclusivity of web3 or not?
Vee said that while the statistics are true and while crypto is still a male-dominated space, it’s definitely more welcoming and a lot quicker to shift towards diversity compared to traditional industries like finance or tech.
Web3 can close this gap very quickly due to its potential for social transformation, she says.
The social impacts lie within the very nature of this technology as well as within the mindset of the people that are currently building the space. It means solving some of the hardest problems that we currently face such as data ownership for access to financial services for minorities and other representative groups, and many others.
So if you think about it, it only makes sense that women enter crypto at a much quicker pace compared to other industries.
Rhian Lewis agreed that because web3 is still a new and developing concept, women now have a great chance to shape the world that they want to be part of.
She also thinks that a lot of people painted a bleaker picture than it really is. There are a lot of women in web3 who choose to stay away from social media, but they are actively building the products and are involved in many projects. And it’s really hard to evaluate the exact number of women in the industry because of the pseudonymous nature of the blockchain.
Monika says that this new space gives us different opportunities from what you’re used to.
Since web3 is a young industry, we can definitely attract more women to come and join us. First of all, this should be done through education and joining communities, she says.
Crypto is difficult to understand and it is still challenging to gather information about how it’s built and what value it has.
This space is providing different opportunities for women that want to achieve revolutionary things.
However, Monika adds that she does have a few examples of bad experiences of being a woman, such as your knowledge is somehow immediately diminished just because you’re a woman.
But this attitude comes from our society, not from the industry itself, she adds. There is a very long-living stereotype that women are not supposed to know that much about technology and this disbelief is definitely still here.
Our generation grew up with strong beliefs that investing is for men. Tech is for men. Being an entrepreneur and taking risks was mainly associated with an activity that men do.
And this concept can be seen everywhere. Just take some time and recall the cultural products that we used to consume in the 90s, men were successful, were portrayed as successful businessmen, and women have oftentimes seen as a trophy or someone who was in need, in distress, or need to be offered a better life through financial stability provided by a male figure.
Vee mentions that despite all these stereotypes, we are now able to break some of these concepts that have been deeply imprinted inside each and every one of us.
It’s important to see how these things, shape narratives, and how narratives shape their identities within us. And this goes both for men and women.
How is the community-centric nature of web3 helpful to you?
The power of community movement can’t be overestimated in web3. So we asked our speakers to share with our listeners and readers their experience of finding the community that supported and inspired them on their journey.
If you find, for example, projects that you like or you’re interested in, community helps you a lot. It’s like a fast track to understand how this industry works, you see how people communicate. There’s a lot of different things that community can teach you, and definitely worked for me as a key to better understand web3.
I’ve got so many amazing male friends who I’ve made in the community, but there’s always that thing if you see other women doing something you do, you have them as role models or you start to see the new possibilities and feel more empowered to do it.
Meeting some amazing women in the space was really good for me, not as a kind of separate thing but as complementary to my presence in the community as a whole.
I started learning maths and physics in school and we were like a couple of girls and a lot of boys. And then the same situation in university, then the same situation at work. And yeah I totally agree that’s more about our mentality and way of thinking because of the same story in cyber security.
The power of community here because you are uniting different ideas and it’s good and it creates an easier entrance to the sphere and really helps to onboard a lot of female specialists.
These rules and codes of conduct to the organisation itself, the community, and I think this is what will make this whole effort to be more long lasting. I think building this sort of mentality from day one.
Does web3 give equal opportunities for everyone?
All our speakers agreed that the decentralised and global nature of web3 brings equal opportunities to everyone regardless of their geographical location, gender, age, and university degree. Not only that, but also it shapes the brand new organisational structure too.
Yev says that in general, IT and technology are not restricted by geography. As web3 grows and evolves, it provides a lot of opportunities internationally and it opens a lot of doors for specialists from different countries.
It becomes really hard now to identify where the web3 company is based: it’s based where the founders are based or where the biggest part of the team is based. And we also have DAOs, decentralised autonomous organisations, and it just getting international and opens tremendous opportunities for people all over the world.
One of the things that I think we’re just starting to see the tip of the iceberg is these new organisational structures which are happening across national boundaries and I think the growth of DAOs and the opportunity for people to work for DAOs is one of the most interesting social trends that we’re likely to see in our lifetime — Rhian Lewis.
Now we see that all these traditional, very monolithic hierarchical employment practices when somebody has one job and they report to a manager and their manager reports to a manager are being replaced by this kind of looser horizontal networks of people working for DAOs doing different tasks for different shielding networks with people in different countries.
So that’s a really powerful tool for people to make connections and network outside their geographic area.
The whole COVID thing has obviously accelerated remote working, but the growth of DAOs takes that remote working to another level, and it’s opening up opportunities for all sorts of people in all kinds of countries. And we can’t underestimate the level of social change that this will ultimately bring.
Rhian adds that it is a really interesting way to challenge all our preconceptions and also to have a real diversity of thought on a project. Because if everybody’s working remotely from different countries, it means that you end up building products for a much wider spectrum of people in the end since you have a whole wide-ranging group of people thinking about subjects in completely different ways. That’s just such an amazing, healthy thing that we haven’t been able to achieve before.
Vee adds that this remote work culture actually has the ability to bring people really close together:
I have this experience in every conference and now I know that if I travel to literally any country on Earth, I will have some friends there, so I can just go on Twitter and see who else is there from the community and I can immediately connect.
This is something that I think it’s really unique in our community and it’s really difficult to find in other industries.
So depending on your end goal, whether it’s to find a job in web3 or just better understand how the industry works, you need to have at least one person who can lead you through this journey.
It was the people who invited me to come and work into a project that got me into this and gave me a ticket to understand better how web3 performs and what I can find here. So definitely, connections in your circle are extremely important.
Name one project you’re excited about
These are the projects that have a huge potential and are worth looking at according to our speakers. Make sure you check them out:
Rhian — Boson Protocol and Lens Protocol
Yev — Code Arena, Hacken Proof
Vee — Lens Protocol.
Monika — invites you to have a deep dive into Lithuanian crypto projects
like Basketballverse, Engines of Fury, Codyfight.
It was an amazing Twitter space and we hope you’ve enjoyed this conversation as much as we did.
Web3 is a truly unique environment and we are happy to see how many positive changes web3 culture brings in terms of gender equality, new work ethics, and the power of communities.
Thanks to our brilliant speakers for sharing their experiences and wisdom!