The world of Web3 has created exciting opportunities for individuals to participate in a more transparent internet and generate wealth. However, women continue to face significant challenges within the industry, including lack of representation, policies, and unfavorable settings. These issues were discussed at the Bull or Bear event held during the Philippine Blockchain Week on September 20, 2023.
Organized by edutech platform Bitskwela, the event titled “Bull or Bear: On-Chain Inclusivity: A Debate on Women Empowerment in Web3” featured six female representatives in the Web3 space who shared differing views on the obstacles that women face in thriving in the decentralized web.
Dr. Nataliya Ilyushina, an economist and research fellow at the Blockchain Innovation Hub at RMIT University, argued that the lack of regulations in Web3 exposes women to higher risks, leaving them vulnerable to scams and workplace injustices without protective measures. On the other hand, Belinda Lim, co-founder of Embolden Ventures, contended that Web3’s inclusivity offers protection from discrimination compared to traditional industries with more regulations.
A poll conducted after the debate showed that the audience was divided, with 50% supporting the idea that regulations provide essential protection and structure, while the other 50% appreciated the potential for reduced discrimination in the decentralized nature of Web3.
Ida Mok, president of Women in Blockchain Asia, highlighted the difficulty of fostering women-led initiatives in Web3 due to the industry inheriting the male-dominated nature of Web2 sectors like finance and agriculture. She referenced studies showing that only 7% of the blockchain workforce is comprised of women and that only 13% of Web3 projects have a female position at the founding table. However, Ivy Gutierrez of the Lady Traders of Global Miranda Miner Group argued that Web3 provides a newfound niche for women to achieve financial independence.
The audience was also divided on this matter, with 56% perceiving the male-dominated legacy from Web2 as a hindrance to women-led initiatives in Web3, while the remaining 44% believed that Web3 presented a promising avenue for women to attain financial independence.
Juliane Indiongco, an entrepreneur and Web3 advocate, emphasized the importance of prioritizing women’s empowerment in Web3. Irene Umar, the CEO of We Guild Games (W3GG), stressed the broader concept of human empowerment within the realm of Web3.
Before the debates, keynote speakers from various companies shared how their platforms are promoting diversity in the Web3 ecosystem.
Bitskwela is actively working to advance Web3 education in the Philippines by localizing educational content and fostering a collaborative environment that promotes understanding and awareness in the space. The company’s Chief Product and Tech Officer, Camille Puentespina, expressed the goal of increasing the number of women engaged in the Web3 industry. Bitskwela recently announced a strategic partnership with W3GG to support Web3 platforms and community members in several Southeast Asian countries.
The “Bull or Bear: On-Chain Inclusivity” event was co-presented by GCrypto, Tekkon, ICP Hub Philippines, and Blockceler8 by Uniquecorn Strategies PR, and supported by the Philippine Blockchain Week, OctaFX, CoinVault, and TikTok.
Bitskwela is a Web3 EduTech company that aims to help Filipinos own a piece of the internet through educational engagements, management services, products, and events that foster Web3-educated decision-makers and communities.
In conclusion, while Web3 presents new opportunities for individuals to participate in a more transparent internet and create wealth, women still face significant challenges within the industry. Initiatives like the Bull or Bear event and organizations like Bitskwela are actively working to address these challenges and promote inclusivity and empowerment in the Web3 industry.