Why we need everyone at the design, development and deployment table

United We Stand!

The Bigger Pie is an organisation founded to support gender equity in the blockchain/Crypto/DLT/De-Fi space.

Half of the global population is female, and we come in all sorts of shapes, sizes, creeds, backgrounds, cultures, experiences, and capabilities.

By focusing on diversity and inclusion in one metric (gender, including gender minorities) we hope to foster diversity and inclusiveness across all measures.

Blockchain technology allows us to reshape how we do business, interact, recognise value and fundamentally shift our thinking and behaviours. It’s creating another massive transference of wealth because of it, and it is vital half of the population don’t miss out on this just because of their gender.

We need everyone at the design, development and deployment table.

Research shows that businesses which embrace diversity and inclusion in gender, ethnicity and culture are profitable and successful.

It shouldn’t be a difficult problem to solve, however inherent systems and biases means the reality is not so straight forward. We can’t do this alone, and The Bigger Pie partners with others who believe the same.

Our purpose is to focus on actions that will help make a difference. This includes visibility for the women in the space, shared learning and opportunities, helping companies find the female talent they’re looking for, investing in female led start-ups and much more. As we’re often asked by men, ‘what can we do?’ I’ll focus on some simple actions anyone can take.

We aim to get to the stage where never again do you hear ‘we can’t find the women’.

You can’t be what you can’t see. The power of role models.

History shows that we have a habit of erasing the names and work of women, people of colour and LGBQT pioneers leaving a dearth of role models. We should never under estimate the power of a role model.

Cynthia Dwork was instrumental in Proof of Work, Elizebeth Smith Friedman, Agnes Meyer Driscoll and Grace Murray Hopper are examples of women who pioneered in cryptography and we should be as familiar with their names as we are the men often cited.

This erasing of names is literally happening today, just look at what’s happening with Joy Buolamwini’s work tackling biases in AI.

Seeing someone that looks like you, that represents you, excelling in their field, making a difference is everything.

If you’ve always seen people like you in leadership roles, then it’s impossible to understand what it’s like to not have that. If you’re fortunate enough to look at every field of business and government and see role models that look like you in senior positions, then hear us when we say, let’s stop removing that for others.

It’s vital we give the incredible women in this sector visibility. There are a number of ways to do this. We have a #SmashingIt campaign that allows women in the sector to share their background, how they got into the sector and advice for others looking to enter it.  Nominate the amazing women you know to submit their videos, if you are that amazing woman, submit your video so we can share your story.

We work with event organisers to help them access female expertise. I’m in awe of the vision, purpose and expertise the women in this space hold, and we need to hear their voices next to the incredible men in the space. If you’re an event organiser, make sure you don’t fall foul of the Bingo excuses for not having proper representation at your events.

Image credit: Jezebel’s Female Conference Speaker Bingo

And if you don’t have the women in your network yet, reach out to organisations like The Bigger Pie, Women in Blockchain, Crypto Chicks, SHE256, Women in Blockchain Talks etc. You’ll be blown away by the global expertise in their networks.

For the men who ask, ‘What can we do?’

Only agree to talk on panels with diversity.

Make sure your sponsorship money matches organisations that share your values about diversity and inclusion and have gender parity with their speakers and panelists. Check to see if women in your organisation are being passed over for the opportunity to share their voice and expertise, and if they are, do something about it. If you’re looking to hire more expertise, remember that it’s not a case of fixing the women.

There’s the often quoted “a woman won’t apply for a job unless she ticks all of the required skills and experience (or at least 80% of them) and that a man will apply if they have just 20%”, or in another way, a man will apply for a role 2 years before they’re ready for it and a woman 2 years after they’re ready. Imagine 4 years in emerging tech and what gets built in that time.

Nobody benefits from that disparity.

Use language that is inviting and inclusive, there are tools to help with this, it will foster more applications from more diverse candidates.

As Keir Finlow-Bates said, if you have a cv that’s exactly the same, but one is from a man and the other a woman. It’s most likely the man has fallen into his career choice and path, but a woman has actively chosen hers and has overcome challenges the man didn’t have to.

Based on that assumption, who would you prefer to hire?

If the boy’s network is still the best way to hear about roles, and get your foot in the door, then actively work to create inclusive networks.

Actively go out to the networks where female talent are comfortable and hang out and become allies (see interest communities mentioned above). Mentor women. Advocate for women. Recommend women. Create opportunities for women to connect with peers at the work place.

If you don’t have women, or only one or two women in your firm, reach out to other companies and communities for these women to have a number of ways to feel supported and part of a more gender balanced ecosystem, at least until such time as your company has that internally.

There is a shortfall of people with the necessary skills to fulfil the growing demand across all disciplines in the blockchain sector.

We’re seeing more women who are well educated, successful, driven individuals enter the space, they are learning and discovering about the industry through their own research and learnings. Why not open up your doors to let these women have some experiential learning, to see behind the curtain of what it looks like to work in one of these companies, in your company?

Gintare Geleziunaite is one example of someone looking at entering this sector.

An accredited and experienced project, programme and change management practitioner (mostly in the public sector). Delivered numerous transformation, business and culture change initiatives. Keen to find opportunities to ‘peak behind the curtain’ in order to understand; how solutions are being applied in real life, how projects are initiated, how stakeholders are brought together and what cultural impact these projects could have on people and organisations.In return, she’s happy to contribute her P3M and change management knowledge and skills wherever they may be of use.

If you’d like to learn more about the various ways you can support the initiatives of The Bigger Pie then we’d love to hear from you bridget@thebiggerpie.io