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Why are blockchain, Web3 still male-dominated industries?

A recent Boston Consulting Group (BCG) study, 13% of Web3 founding teams include a female member. However, women founders of Web3 companies are at a staggering low of 7%.

Web3 blockchain technology is estimated to become a $6 trillion industry in 2023, with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 44.6% by 2030. Clearly, the world sees potential in this industry, as reported by Analytics InsightAnd yet, Web3 appears to be a male-dominated segment.

The question is: how far will nations progress in encouraging women’s empowerment via blockchain and Web3? Here’s what statistics suggest.

Apparently, men raise more funds than women founders

The BCG report specified potential reasons for such a wide gender gap. Surprisingly, the main reason was capital. Apparently, Web3 startups founded by men raised more capital compared to mixed and only-women founders.

Thus, the average funding capacity of all three categories stands at:

  • All-men team: $29.2 million
  • Mixed team: $26 million
  • All-women team: $7.8 million

If this is the situation with founders, is the gender gap better or worse among investing teams?

The study stated that only 15% of Web3 investing teams are women. Moreover, 6 out of the 10 major funding entities in the industry don’t comprise even a single woman partner.

These figures raise another question—are women present more in mixed teams or single-gender ones?

Metrics of mixed teams

As per the figures mentioned before, teams comprising both female and male members also have a comparatively good capacity to raise capital in Web3 startups. Although a positive metric, it exposes another issue.

The report indicated that in 78% of cases, women founders of Web3 startups are present in mixed teams, but the same is not present in the case of male founders.

In fact, it’s the exact opposite. There is a 74% chance that a male founder may not be a part of a mixed setup. However, for representation’s sake, including one woman in an all-male team cannot be termed as “mixed.” Neither is it the right kind of women empowerment. Rather, it might just reek of token representation.

The more pertinent question to ask, however, is what can be the reason behind this wide gender gap in Web3 industry? Some say the reason has more to do with women’s investment behavior. Others blame the current use cases of blockchain and Web3 technology.

Digital currency: 2nd most widely-owned asset among women

Latest data by eToro and highlighted by Cointelegraph points to a surprising fact—digital currency is currently the second-most widely-owned asset among women, particularly within the 18-34 age group. Cash, however, remains the leading asset.

This statistic is part of eToro’s latest Retail Investor Beat initiative, which surveyed 10,000 retail investors spread across 13 countries.

Survey data reveals that digital currency ownership among women has been on a steady rise in the past four quarters of FY2022.

  • Q1: 24%
  • Q2: 25%
  • Q3: 29%
  • Q4: 34%

From this increased adoption, it’s safe to assume two things—a, Women have become more interested in digital assets like digital currency, non-fungible tokens (NFTs), etc., and b, Their understanding and awareness of blockchain technology are also on the rise. This is a clear indication that women’s investment behavior is evolving.

Now, let’s consider the issue of use cases.

Current use-cases limited to gaming

The BCG report states, “If you take the gaming and immersive gaming industry as a proxy of what the metaverse could become, the experiences offered in the metaverse will be very gender stereotypical.”

Currently, several use cases of the metaverse, blockchain, and Web3 are being tried and tested. But those about gaming have gained the most amount of traction.

Undeniably, a considerable chunk of women are interested in gaming. But these use cases mostly attract the male gender and signal no women-centric utility. If this situation is improved, more women might climb onto the bandwagon of Web3 technology.

This suggestion can be added to creating a trifecta—more awareness, opportunities, and role models.

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