Op-ed: Funding isn’t the core solution to bridging the gender gap in Web3

Web3 has always felt like an inclusive and empowering community to be a part of.

In making the transition from traditional finance to DeFi, there has been no lack of support, encouragement, and guidance. Embodying a leadership role as a female has also felt free from obstacles or adversity.

Gender Gap Still Evident

However, despite personal experience, it cannot be ignored that the evident gender gap in Web3 has been brought to attention recently. With the recent celebration of International Women’s Day, the community must acknowledge that only 13% of founding teams in Web3 include at least ONE woman.

2023 data from Swiss Fintech Innovations also highlighted that only 3.5% of Web3 investment reached women-led Web3 business in the first half of 2023.Clearly, there is a disparity and a balance that needs amending. Powerful female leaders, with the innovative approaches they can bring, are needed for Web3’s continued evolution. But does the answer to bridging the gap simply lie in providing more funding?

Beyond Funding: Self-Empowerment As A Multi-Sided Solution

Partially, yes. But more money for female startups isn’t a complete solution. That’s one-dimensional. All women in Web3, founders or not, can continue to empower themselves in day-to-day approaches.

Three main areas to consider are: embracing fear, leveraging existing expertise, and building connections.

Embracing the Fear

Blockchain technology, decentralization, and Web3 ecosystems can be confusing areas to navigate. Nonetheless, acquiring new knowledge should breed excitement alongside any potential fear or doubt. It’s easy to allow thoughts of “not knowing enough” and “not being up to speed” take over. This can trigger feelings of inadequacy or overwhelm in a male-dominated industry. But women should embrace their unique ability to learn.

With a fluid and curious approach, women’s compassionate abilities often shine through in taking on diverse information. Complexities in understanding should not be feared to the point of freeze or flight. Instead, women must recognize their capabilities and choose to fight through them. Study; ask questions – with confidence. The more knowledge acquired, the more empowerment comes. The dissolution of boundaries and barriers follow, and the playing field will naturally level out.

Leveraging Existing Experience

Because Web3 is such a novel, unique space – it’s easy to slip into the idea that fresh and unique personalities, approaches, and ideas will be the only route to success. Again, doubt can creep in.

But women in Web3 need to remind themselves of the wealth of experience, leadership skills, and knowledge they’ve carried over from Web2 industries. Communication counts in Web3. Marketing counts in Web3. Creative arts count in Web3.

Traditional financial knowledge counts in Web3. HR counts in Web3. Event management counts in Web3. Gender is irrelevant when it comes to niche professional strengths. Women should constantly be supported to self-advocate for what they can bring from past careers. They must identify and utilize their strengths; this will serve best as they continue learning in conjunction.

Building Genuine and Empowering Connections

Ideas are the currency of Web3, and creative individuality is the compass. It doesn’t matter who it is coming from – so long as direction and purpose are expressed with confidence and conviction. That said, the opportunity to form potential partnerships and connections is abundant.

Women in Web3 should consciously sharpen their ability to spot and capitalize on this potential everywhere. It’s important to recognize and place faith in the mutual respect, collaborative energy, and inclusive environment found in abundance in Web3 communities. It is the cornerstone for the exponential innovation that has occurred in such a short period within the space.

Women in Web3 should consciously sharpen their ability to spot and capitalize on this potential everywhere. Strength in unity extends beyond any gender divide, and the more it is nurtured, the easier it gets for everyone.

Steering The Ship

Overall, Web3 is progressing in many different verticals, and inclusion must be one of them. Women in Web3 play a crucial role in upholding and nourishing the broader ecosystem. Whether within regulatory landscapes, creative industries, educational reform, or digital asset development, Web3 needs women. Funding is welcomed – but there is no need to wait for it.

Females can take the lead and be assured that the community will support and nurture their efforts. Initiative, confidence, and commitment will be the most significant determinants of an improved

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