WomenInWeb3 Summit Recap

Last week, WomenInWeb3 was hosted by d3crypto and Vancouver Tech Journal at the UBC Robson campus in downtown Vancouver. Local female leaders led talks and panel-discussions on the current state of web3, where it’s heading and discussed the impact that women can make on the emerging industry.

For those of us still learning about web3, it involves the next generation of digital applications and products which stem from the creation of decentralized blockchain technology.

It decentralizes ownership of products from corporations and puts it in the hands of the users. While most people have heard of cryptocurrency and NFT’s, these applications are just the beginning of a set of emerging applications which will influence how humans interact with each other both virtually and face-to-face.

WomenInWeb3 was a wealth of knowledge sharing. Topics ranged from web3 products, approaches to raising capital, privacy legislation, the evolution of blockchain applications and barriers which still exist for women in the space. Web3 is at a crossroads of tech and finance, two sectors which are primarily occupied by men. The summit is looking to change that in the early stages for web3. For those in attendance, the summit was a place for networking, idea sharing and gaining insight from those on the forefront.

Blockchain technology is heading in a more useful direction. Products are expanding from the currencies and avatar NFT's which launched awareness of blockchain and toward applications which solve real problems and serve a wider, global audience. Scalable, solution-based products will stand out, gaining attention from VC’s for funding, and employees who want their work to match their purpose and values. Major brands and industries are already developing products for early adopters;

Tiffany’s: The famed jeweller is now offering limited pieces to NFT holders to further promote the exclusivity of their brand.

Netflix: The streaming service is developing “token-gated offers” to viewers for advanced viewing and exclusive content.

Events: Links your avatar/NFT to your seat so you can find it easier and other attendees can recognize you

Artists: provides greater ownership for artists and musicians to realize income with a smaller fanbase and protect their ownership rights over songs.

Smart Contracts: Smart contracts are digital contracts stored on a blockchain that are automatically executed when predetermined terms and conditions are met.

Healthcare: Elderly home assistance, rural community medicare, and even “deathcare” where a company turns cremated ashes of loved ones and pets into diamonds.

Ethermail: web3 email connects a crypto wallet to an email address, which earns tokens. This will benefit the readers/audience rather than the domain/site owner.

Food Chain: Eliminating bottlenecks for food supply with complete traceability from soil to table while improving sustainability, monitoring and compliance.

Supply Chain: Increasing visibility and transparency with the ability to make changes to orders in real-time.

There were a few key themes which spanned across the whole event; community, mentorship, persistence, and solution-based innovation. Speakers shared their journeys, insights on best practices and suggestions for how to grow start-ups, all of which reflected a female experience in navigating today’s career landscape.

For more information on practical applications of NFT's and blockchain invocations see the event recap below.

One panelist made a comment I found particularly interesting. She mentioned that as Web3 is community-based it’s a natural place for women to work since fostering community is an inherently feminine trait. To me, this is a major advantage in talent retention, as focusing on the humanness of employees will achieve greater benefits for an organization than enticing recruits with free pizzas and bean bag chairs. She went on to describe the product as being masculine, something that is built and then hyped to gain interest and awareness. This is one thing I see changing. Product design and development has plenty of room for input from women which I think will occur naturally as these products evolve. If women who are equally as talented as their male counterparts are allowed to be heard, a more level playing field for women seems probable. The issue is that women aren’t occupying tech jobs at the rate which men are, at all levels of organizations.

According to a recent study by Boston Consulting Group (BCG) and diversity-focused innovation studio People of Crypto Lab, only 13% of Web3 startups include a female founder, and women represent just 27% of the top Web3 workforce. In comparison, women in large tech companies hold roughly 32% of jobs. In the financial services sector, women start on equal ground but get squeezed out over time, holding half of entry-level positions but only 19% of C-suite roles, according to research by Deloitte and McKinsey. An increasing number of US-based universities are focused on improving enrolment of women in computer science programs.

What stood out most at the summit was the level of support and mentorship in all of the talks. Women need better representation in the industry and the summit showed a willingness to help each other grow in the space while embracing the realities of competition. The aim to build a web3 community which is inclusive will draw talent to increase the involvement and skillsets of women at all levels. It was great insight on how a focus on collaboration will shape the digital community which benefits the users rather than corporations.

There was an emphasis for founders to create products which solve real-world problems and do it at scale. Like any industry there is a growth period fuelled by investment and hype before it stabilizes (see regulated cannabis in North America). With those initial waves of web3 subsiding, a broader set of applications are now being developed which will serve a larger purpose. The need for global solutions is more apparent than ever and we need the brightest minds in collaboration to do so. More women in the field will provide greater collaboration and creativity in all aspects of business from product to leadership. This goes for more than just web3. We need more women that enroll in computer science programs, and companies need to do their part in hiring and promoting as well. As with any new industry, this presents a huge opportunity for female innovators who are looking to make their mark and lead by example.

Special thanks to Erin Gee of d3crypto and William Johnson of Vancouver Tech Journal for hosting!

Click here for Vancouver Tech Journal's recap of the talks from;

Speakers and Panelists

Olivia Lovenmark, Co-founder & CEO, Repose, Co-founder & CEO Duchess cocktails

Megan Nilsson, Crypto Consultant & Web3 Educator

Tricia Pang, Co-founder, GuavaGirls

Talshyn Bolatova, Founder, Leetcore

Liv Diamond, Director of Partnerships, RefractionDAO

Pocket Sun, Co-Founder & Managing Partner, SoGal Ventures

Anastasia Hambali, Director of Partnerships, Boast

Julie Bogle, Partner, BLG

Jennifer Archer, Partner – Licensing, BLG

Jacky Wong, Counsel – Intellectual Property, BLG

Danielle Windt, Associate – Privacy, BLG

Mitoshi, Humans of WoW

Katreena Tecson, Web3 builder and crypto trader, Ceminted

Ashley Smith, Co-Founder, Fame Lady Squad

Carina Kom, Game Director, MixMob

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