In male-dominated industries such as financial technology, women are initiating projects in the blockchain space to ensure diversity of perspectives. They are forging their distinct paths and tagging like-minded women along to guarantee inclusion at the very start of a promising technology.
One of the prominent advocates of blockchain in the Philippines is TraXion Tech CEO and founder Ann Cuisia. In an interview with the Daily Tribune, she emphasized blockchain provides a huge potential to disrupt how businesses are conducted in the Philippines and women involvement in the core teams of blockchain projects would contribute to this shift.
“Due to the nature of blockchain, which is really for the poor and underserved, women have this nature of being more nurturing and more caring. That’s why it’s so natural for women to embrace such technology that highlights or encourages equality, transparency and trust,” she says.
TraXion Tech is a blockchain-based transaction management provider designed to accommodate the large societal segment composing of the poor and underserved. One of the company’s thrusts is building awareness on the impact the technology could create on modern livelihood, further connecting the segment of unbanked people to the developing digital economy.
As to women involvement, she said, “Once you have women in the core teams of these projects, you have diversity of perspectives and every time there’s diversity in perspective in every business, you really have much more creative solutions to all these problems.”
Cuisia was also a speaker during the launch of the Women in Blockchain Manila held last week. The launch, attended by women from across the technology, marketing and entrepreneurial industries, aims to increase participation around blockchain.
Several other small events have also been held prior to the launch, with volunteers providing experience and thought leadership to anyone interested in the technology.
“It’s really a group of volunteers who envision there are more women participating and learning more about the space considering it’s at its very early stage yet. So it’s a good time to participate to deliberately ensure that there’s diversity and inclusion at the onset.”
Women advocates like Cuisia are not just bridging the gender gap in an age when more companies are practicing equality in the workplace. Their struggles would also yield positive results beneficial to the country’s economy in the long run, she said.
A report from McKinsey Global Research Institute noted advancing women equality particularly in the Asia-Pacific can boost the countries’ economic growth.
“Advancing women’s equality in the countries of Asia Pacific could add $4.5 trillion to their collective GDP annually in 2025, a 12 percent increase over a business-as-usual GDP trajectory. This additional GDP would be equivalent to adding an economy the combined size of Germany and Austria each year,” the 2018 report stated.
Particularly in the Philippines, GDP growth opportunity is posted at 7.2 percent over business-as-usual GDP.
The report suggested prioritizing action in five key areas in bridging gender gap, one of which is addressing the regional and global issue of women’s underrepresentation in business-leadership positions.
“Companies need to embed gender diversity into their operations from top to bottom, with clear managerial commitment to equality in the workplace, processes to back up that standard, the provision of flexible working to ensure that employees can achieve work–life balance and programs that explicitly provide mentorship, skills building and networking for women.”
In blockchain, there is the promise of more legroom to operate and explore various possibilities as it can be integrated into the business ecosystem, with the ultimate goal of extending financial services to the millions of unserved and underserved.
Cuisia remarked that just like in the rise of internet technology, it started off with a small circle of audience usually composed of males. Eventually it expanded to include more women, but took time. She, along with Women in Blockchain, are mindful of this and are taking steps for an early start to create an opportunity for women to grow with the industry and not left behind.
“It’s a new technology so we’d like women to be more involved and to learn more about it and to take part in initiatives, because it will really shape how business impact will be carried out in a few years,” she said.