Whether we like to admit it or not, the technology world has been under male dominance for a long time. Too long it seems. Unlike most of the other technology-based industries, blockchain is raw and unestablished. This is both a promise and a challenge for women in the industry.
Blockchain technology is incredibly different from other industries because of how distinctive its operations are compared to other types of systems. It incorporates many existing technological features into a single package, often designed for worldwide distribution and decentralization.
From the perspective of company leaders, the challenge is to proactively assess this landscape. To make sure that the teams you create can deliver on their assignments. This challenge creates the type of environment that is conducive to great work. By work, I don’t mean 9 to 5, but actually making a great product. We work to develop the foundation, this infrastructure for the future and realistically hope that it will end up a winner.
Blockchain supports more women compared to other technology sectors
These challenges offer a promise to do things better. To implement knowledge from previously acquired lessons and mistakes. The new wave of entrepreneurs funded by the global society through ICOs is taking charge. They are doing things differently and provide an equal opportunity for all, as long as they know what they are doing.
CEOs (some of them women) of these new companies understand this need to be all-inclusive as a culture. See, previously women in tech are thought of as unimportant, and not relevant. Blockchain technology is changing this, by accepting the fact that the professional capacities of women are equal to men in every regard.
It’s a knowledge-based equation in blockchain, and the more you can contribute, the faster you can grow and move forward. There is absolutely nothing stopping you from progressing.
Women in tech feel discriminated
A global survey of 500 women in tech conducted by Ivanti, an IT specialist reveals interesting results. 63% of them say that one of the biggest challenges is “being taken seriously”. More than half of the answers say that the best advice for women in tech is to “have thick skin” and “know your worth.”
What would be the main reason these people feel this way?
I’m not even guessing, we have the data. They feel ignored and dismissed. They feel that there is nothing they can do to warrant the same level of respect and attention as their male counterparts. And some of them are literally afraid to fight for their rights, due to fear of losing respect, being labeled with negative attributes, and even potentially being removed from their positions.
This is not the 1960s, but it seems that some of the elements that generated that male-dominated work environment at the time still exists to this day. There is a real danger for women to speak out, or is there? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.
Women’s voice in technology is breaking through to receive the respect and be treated with dignity. And women have accepted their responsibility in this process to change work culture. This type of attitude has generated positive results. Check the story of Laura Malcom about diversity in technology.
She says regarding the future of women in technology “I am now filled with hope about the future of technology and its impact on the world. Both business and society will benefit from the influx of a more diverse and digitally-savvy workforce.”
It seems like both of these worlds coexist, and they really do. But if you are a woman reading this, finding yourself in difficult and biased work scenarios, consider being the bravest person you know.
Defend your ideas and ideals
Success favors the brave, and that’s what I would suggest to any person that is looking to achieve greatness. Decide what you want and go for it. Know your worth, and have thick skin because your ideas are going to get shot down and destroyed if you let them become the punching bag for the company. If you succumb under the pressure of other people, your ideas may never come to light.
And please, don’t expect people to go easy on you.
I would give this advice to a lot of guys as well. There is a real need to stand your ground and defend your opinions. It seems commonplace that ideas are being challenged and this is somewhat necessary. Ideas need to be supported and defended. We need to have the strong belief in what we showcase to our peers in order to get it accepted as a valid solution.
Confidence is key to respect
Regardless of whether you are a male or female, your confidence in body language and speaking is going to play a big role in how other people treat you. Over the internet, communication is limited to text over email, voice and video for conference calls, and this means that the medium does not enable 100% communication. Just being aware of this truth helps you communicate better with your peers and team.
Women often report feeling ignored. Sometimes it’s due to gender-based reasons, but men often get ignored as well and it does not feel good either. It happens. People’s attention is a valuable resource. Just look at the advertising industry and how much money is invested into getting people to pay attention to brands if you’re looking for any proof.
The fact of the matter is that we need to compete for the attention of other people. Even the CEOs are competing for the attention of the marketplace, which is comprised of many people that are competing for somebody’s else attention.
Confidence is the number one tool that people can use to get their message across. This means that no matter what, we need to be 100% certain in what we say, and understand the reasons why we believe it is important for others to hear our message.
Self-awareness breeds confidence
If you are a woman working in tech reading this article right now, I propose we make a small experiment. I want you to think about a moment when you felt ignored at the workplace. What was the main reason your voice was drowned out? How much effort did you put into gathering attention before giving your message? Did you try just once or many times?
Why these questions, you may ask?
I’m worried. My suspicion is that women do not communicate the fact that they feel constricted in their ability to communicate at the workplace. It’s a limiting and vicious cycle. A cycle that we should not let grow into a culture. As difficult as it may sound to some women, emotions should not get in the way of clear communication.
In fact, I encourage the healthy, non-violent communication of all emotions. “I feel ignored because I often have to raise my voice so high in order to get your attention.” is a very different message to “You are ignoring me!” and it makes sense why you wouldn’t say the latter. The first example, however, is steeped in accepting full responsibility for how you feel. There are no accusations, and there is no repercussion.
The worst thing that can happen is to hear someone say “I don’t care if you feel ignored.” That’s literally the worst possible outcome. And the comeback to such a statement is worth dime a dozen. Depending on which person it comes from, it may also be a clear signal to start looking for a better company, where you will be treated with dignity.
It is our collective responsibility
Women in tech have a difficult time breaking through this male-dominated industry. Long-lasting tendencies for this type of culture and the behavior of negating female thought is ingrained and sometimes highly apparent in the language used by management teams. But times are changing.
Women experience more respect, acceptance, and freedom of speech in the blockchain industry. The novelty of this technological space is enabling those with the knowledge to educate all those that wish to learn, without prejudice.
There are many ways to integrate oneself in this new and exciting space. Development, Copywriting, Marketing, Account Management, PR, or even starting your own blockchain projects are all viable options, regardless of gender.
The novelty of these companies means that new, modern values are at the core of their foundation. They are paving the path for the future, and this includes women’s active participation.
There are remnants of old, broken behavior. Collectively it is our responsibility to address, communicate, and facilitate changes. Even if it means losing your job. Even if it means standing up for somebody. Even if it means going against the natural response.
Dignity is a basic human right, but respect, that’s an uphill battle.
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