Women looking for a way to enter a male-dominated space like crypto and blockchain may be drawn in by nonfungible tokens, according to Women in Blockchain Talks founder and host Lavinia Osbourne.
Though the ongoing pandemic has left people in many countries in financial trouble — whether by losing their jobs, being unable to physically go to banks, or other concerns — Osbourne told Cointelegraph the event may have pushed many women into crypto and blockchain once they were forced to move on from other careers. She said the recent surge and media coverage of nonfungible tokens, or NFTs, had made crypto “more relatable” to many people in the arts and other creative fields.
“People look at NFTs and it’s like ‘it’s different — I don’t actually get the technology,’” said Osbourne. “When they’re hearing all these stories about people making money on NFTs, it’s like ‘how can I get involved?’ I think NFTs are a good pathway to entice people into the space.”
Though Osbourne was likely referring to men and women of all economic backgrounds, her assertion would seem to be supported by the popularity of an NFT project recently launched by That '70s Show and Family Guy star Mila Kunis. The actress said she developed an interest in crypto during the pandemic, noting it to be a “very masculine area.” She later pioneered the NFT project "Stoner Cats," which featured prominent names from Hollywood and the crypto space, including Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin. The project sold 10,420 NFTs in under 35 minutes earlier this week and streamed its first episode several days later.
Osbourne said that although NFTs were one path to entry, there was still the problem of the underrepresentation of women in crypto and blockchain firms. Women account for roughly 34% of those working in the tech industry but only 12% of those in blockchain, according to the Women in Blockchain Talks founder. She proposed closing the gap with a campaign “to show women that tech, blockchain, science, STEM is a space for them.”
“If these women want to have a career that has some longevity to it, then they have to look at these spaces,” said Osbourne. “Traditionally it’s just been overwhelmingly male, and there’s been nothing to counteract that.”
“If we want to bring in more women, then we need to shine a spotlight on women, so that other women can see those other women and feel comfortable to know that this space is for them as well.”
As part of these goals, Osbourne and others are working to bring in 50,000 women into blockchain by 2023. The campaign encourages women to sign up and learn more about the benefits — financial and personal — of entering the space.
Cointelegraph’s acting editor-in-chief, Kristina Lucrezia Cornèr, will be speaking with Osbourne on the second anniversary of Women in Blockchain Talks in September.