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Tackling The Web3 Gender Diversity Problem

Data shows that women are massively underrepresented in the growing Web3 space and investors favour all-male teams

Photo Credit: CoWomen on Unsplash

Web3 companies and projects strive to achieve the next iteration of the internet, with core focuses on the metaverse, blockchain and crypto. However, for a space looking toward the future, it is bringing over outdated values.

BCG X, the tech build and design unit of Boston Consulting Group, along with People of Crypto Lab, an innovation studio looking to boost diversity, equity and inclusion in the Web3 ecosystem, has analysed data from Crunchbase regarding the gender diversity of founders and investors of Web3, this research included data from nearly 2,800 participants.

Diversity and equality in the workplace for women has been a long and continuous battle and as we build our future online spaces, there is growing concern that these issues will persist.

Only 13% of Web3 startups include a female founder, with only 3% of companies having an exclusively female team

Women in Web3

The results of the data analysis were not reassuring and highlighted some key issues. Data showed that only 13% of Web3 startups include a female founder. Within that group, 10% of founding teams include both men and women, with only 3% of companies having an exclusively female team. All of these numbers present lower-than-average results for startups overall.

Gender disparity also extends across the overall Web3 workforce. Among all of the employees at the top Web3 startups, the share of women is approximately 27%. While presenting a higher figure, these numbers predominantly account for non-technical roles such as HR and marketing.

Regarding funding, the divide is even more prominent. All-male founding teams were found to raise nearly four times as much, on average, as an all-female team. This creates gaps of around $30 million for a male team compared to approximately $8 million for a female team. Among companies that have raised over $100 million, the percentage with all-female founding teams is zero.

All-male founding teams were found to raise nearly four times as much, on average, as an all-female team

Diversity in the workplace

Data such as this is disheartening for female-led teams and represents why many women may feel wary about embarking on their Web3 or tech startups. Not only is this lack of representation unfair for the individuals, but it could also impact companies in the long run. A separate study showed that diverse leadership teams are better at innovation and ultimately more profitable. When you cut out the ideas of half of the population, it’s difficult to make products that then speak to those audiences.

There’s also the matter of how the Web3 space is already beginning to present itself. When looking at the metaverse, the default avatar option is often a white, cisgender male. This representation often speaks to those behind the projects, given that many brands and digital platforms entering Web3 are created and designed by that demographic. Web3 and the metaverse,  at its heart, is promoting the individual user experience, which will be far better if those offerings are designed by diverse groups of people who can then share their knowledge and insight to create inclusive spaces.

Web3 and the metaverse,  at its heart, is promoting the individual user experience, which will be far better if those offerings are designed by diverse groups of people

Changing the space

Web3 is still considered to be in the early stages of its development and yet to see mass adoption, therefore there is time to correct these issues. Firstly, it’s essential to raise awareness of these diversity issues. If nobody talks about it, the problem is left unrealised and unfixed. Women should also be represented on investment teams. Some venture capital firms now require that investment teams include at least one woman.

Mentorship and networking are other aspects that can see progress. It’s important to build supportive spaces where companies invest the same time and resources into their female employees, founders and investors as they do with male employees. Web3 summits and conferences can look toward sponsoring events that showcase a healthy representation of diversity among speakers.

While the investment ecosystem for Web3 still massively favours that of men, the space is growing and can begin to implement these changes. In doing so, we can create an online future with better representation and inclusivity and will see products that can target a broader audience. Despite an overall lack of leadership roles for women in Web3, some continue to change the space for the better, ensuring that Web3 reflects all of its users.

Written By

Paige Cook is a writer with a multi-media background. She has experience covering video games and technology and also has freelance experience in video editing, graphic design, and photography. Paige is a massive fan of the movie industry and loves a good TV show, if she is not watching something interesting then she's probably playing video games or buried in a good book. Her latest addiction is virtual photography and currently spends far too much time taking pretty pictures in games rather than actually finishing them.

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