Women have been working within the proverbial “Boy’s Club” for generations. While women have made significant strides — Kamala Harris was the first female Vice President, Angela Merkel was the first female chancellor of Germany, and Sally Ride was the first American woman to travel to space — there is still a long road ahead in the pursuit of equality.
According to the United States Census Bureau (USCB), women might achieve equal pay in 2059. The Equal Pay Act was passed in 1963, meaning it will take nearly 100 years to close the gender wage gap, as women today in 2022 still earn 82 cents on the dollar compared to their male counterparts. And as women begin to make progress along the financial spectrum, the cryptocurrency industry is leaving women behind.
Along Comes Cryptocurrency
“If you’re in crypto, you’re still kind of early. If you’re a woman in crypto, you’re even earlier,” says Kharly Stauber, AVP of Marketing at AscendEX, a global cryptocurrency platform.
According to a recent Pew Research Center survey, twice as many men as women are currently invested in cryptocurrency. Approximately 19 percent of women ages 18 to 29 say that they have invested in, traded, or used cryptocurrency, compared to 43 percent of men in the same age range.
Diversity in Blockchain, Inc. published a report stating that the percentage of women in cryptocurrency and blockchain industries is between 4 and 6 percent. This is significant and concerning considering that the early days of any emerging industry is when the largest fortunes are made and influences are established, as its pioneers determine the direction of that industry’s future. It’s time women stake a claim in the cryptocurrency industry.
Kharly Stauber is ready to lead the charge. “Inclusivity expedites adoption,” explains Stauber. “Aspirations for a decentralized financial future will depend on the trust and integration of 49.5 percent of our population.”
“To build ungovernable, peer-to-peer networks, the crypto ecosystem can’t afford to replicate the gender disparity of traditional finance and expect to survive,” continues Stauber. “The notion of another ‘boy’s club’ can be daunting, but women in blockchain have begun breaking the pattern early.”
Bitcoin was designed to encourage financial equity. In many ways, it’s been an encouraging trend as crypto seems to have helped to break down some socioeconomic barriers. A report from CNBC shows that people of all races are almost equally likely to own cryptocurrency.
The bad news is that gender equity in this area remains elusive, with men being twice as likely to invest as women. According to a 2021 State of U.S. Crypto report, 75 percent of crypto holders are men.
“It’s important to remember that as leadership roles adapt, so do consumers,” said Stauber. “Women in decision-making seats encourage a welcoming and familiar environment to an under-tapped female market. Crypto is already proving itself fast to adjust.”
While cryptocurrency seems futuristic, women must stake their claim if they want to maintain the strides they have made in the last century. If systems aren’t built to include women, we are sure to see a reemergence of the inequality witnessed in finance, and women losing their hard-fought gains.
“By motivating female creators and thought leaders, bringing in talent, and encouraging women to join the community, crypto’s reputation as a whole will continue to advance.”
History of the Gender Wage Gap
Many believe that the gender wage gap issues have existed since the end of World War Two, when women entered the workforce to step into roles left vacant by men fighting overseas. Once the war ended and the men returned to work, many women struggled to revert back to exclusively working within the home.
The fact remains: the gender gap has existed for centuries. The colonies enacted laws in 1769 that prevented female workers from maintaining control over their earnings. It took 151 years for women’s suffrage to succeed, with women only obtaining the right to vote in 1920 — hardly a century ago. Wage codes from the National Recovery Administration established in 1933 set lower minimum wages for women, even though they performed the same tasks. This is not to even scratch the surface regarding historical sexual harassment and other disadvantages women in the workplace face.
If the UCSB report is accurate and women will finally realize equal pay in 2059, this means that if you are a 30-year-old woman in the workplace today, you will not achieve true wage equality until you are 68 years old. When one considers a new game-changing industry like cryptocurrency potentially excluding women from its criticall development stages, 2059 might be sadly optimistic.
Taking the Bull by the Horns
Often left out of the old Wall Street “Boy’s Club,” women must be proactive to ensure they have an equal footing in cryptocurrency and the world’s economic future.
“Women are shaping the future of crypto through new approaches to leadership, advanced innovation, and shifting antiquated practices tied to traditional finance,” adds Stauber.
Women are waking up to the benefits of the crypto industry, determined to close the education gap, learn about the crypto markets, and assume leadership roles. While crypto emerges as a significant player in the financial future, it’s more important than ever for women to take the lead and demand diversity in this economic system, ensuring a more inclusive future.
Bio: An emerging woman in the world of blockchain, Kharly is the AVP of Marketing at AscendEX, a global cryptocurrency platform. With previous experience in market strategy, brand development, and content management, Kharly oversees all things public relations, events, and digital media. She empowers a unique vision for the future of decentralized finance through her unorthodox, innovative approach. When she isn’t paving the way for natural blondes in crypto, Kharly can be found pretending to read for the aesthetic, writing for entertainment magazines under miscellaneous pseudonyms, and being extremely philanthropic when people are watching.