Why Are Blockchain & Web3 Still Male-Dominated Segments?

March 29, 2023

By Anjali Kochhar

According to a recent study by the Boston Consulting Group (BCG), a mere 13 per cent of Web3 founding teams include a female member. However, women- founders of Web 3.0 companies are at a staggering low of 7 per cent.

Web 3.0 blockchain technology is estimated to become a USD 6 trillion industry in 2023, with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 44.6 per cent by 2030. Clearly, the world sees potential in this industry, as reported by Analytics Insight. And yet, Web 3.0 appears to be a male-dominated segment.

The question is – how far will nations progress in encouraging women empowerment via blockchain and Web 3.0? Here’s what statistics suggest –

Apparently, men raise more funds than women founders

According to a recent study by the Boston Consulting Group (BCG), a mere 13 per cent of Web3 founding teams include a female member. However, women-founders of Web 3.0 companies are at a staggering low of 7 per cent.

The report further, 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: USD 29.2 million
  • Mixed team: USD 26 million
  • All-women team: USD 7.8 million

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

The BCG report stated that only 15 per cent of Web3 investing teams and women. Moreover, 6 out of the 10 major Web3 funding entities don’t comprise even a single woman partner.

These figures raise another question – are women present more in mixed teams or in 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, its exposes another issue.

The BCG report states that in 78 per cent 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 are 74 per cent 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 behaviour. Others blame the current use-cases of blockchain and Web3 technology.

Crypto: 2nd most widely-owned asset among women

Latest data by eToro and highlighted by Cointelegraph points to a surprising fact – cryptocurrency 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 crypto ownership among women has been on a steady rise, in the past four quarters of FY2022 –

  • Q1: 24 per cent
  • Q2: 25 per cent
  • Q3: 29 per cent
  • Q4: 34 per cent

From this increased adoption, it’s safe to assume two things – a. Women have become more forthcoming to digital assets like crypto, NFT, etc, and b. Their understanding and awareness of blockchain technology are also on the rise. So, clearly, women’s investment behaviour 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 technology are being tried and tested. But those pertaining to gaming have gained the most amount of traction.

Undeniably, a considerable chunk of women is 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 the creation of a trifecta – more awareness, opportunities, and role models.

About the author

Anjali Kochhar covers cryptocurrency stories in India as well as globally. Having been in the field of media and journalism for over three years now, she has developed a sharp news sense and works hard to present information that goes beyond the obvious. She is an avid reader and loves writing on a wide range of subjects.

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