Large technology companies have regularly failed to recruit women for new projects, or promote them in management and executive positions. But with blockchain, women have paved the way for some of the most important projects, both in technology companies and in start-ups.
None of this was taken for granted. Blockchain came into prominence because it is the software behind bitcoin, whose first supporters were largely masculine. In January, a party at the North American Bitcoin Conference in Miami took place in a strip club and presented unclothed women. Less than 5% of speakers at the conference were women.
With blockchain, women have been leaders in several important projects, and companies that develop corporate blockchain products have promoted women.
"Diversity is a challenge in all technological subcultures," said Amber Baldet, who ran the blockchain programs by JPMorgan Chase before leaving to found his own company. "People have been trying to call cryptography as better or worse." What's different is that from a rather nascent stage there has been a very open discussion throughout the community about how to promote inclusion, of all the types of populations Since we are having that conversation before, we are seeing the results before.We hope, this time, we will do better. "
A IBM directs the show, from the director general of the blockchain Marie Wieck to her boss Bridget van Kralingen, to the managing director Ginni Rometty. "We have the blockchain sisters of IBM," says spokeswoman Holli Haswell.
Here are four women leaders in blockchain:
Blythe Masters, CEO, Digital Asset Holdings
Masters became CEO at JPMorgan Chase at the age of 28. He has built the largest commodity banking business on Wall Street and is credited with the help of creating derivative products such as credit default swaps. When the Masters left in 2014, he had no concrete plans for what he would do next. Blockchain stood out as a great opportunity once he realized it could be "incredibly constructive, not just disruptive," for financial services. "Having come to that space for almost 30 years, I have learned in great detail the nature of the waste, the inefficiency, the delays." Digital Asset raised over $ 110 million from investors including Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan. It is collaborating with Alphabet (ticker: GOOGL) to offer blockchain tools to developers and has won a contract for the remake of the Australian Securities Exchange compensation system and stock regulation. Maestri is also the head of the board of Hyperledger, a non-profit organization that brought together developers to build some of the most used blockchain platforms for businesses.
Marie Wieck general manager for blockchain, IBM
For a company that has recently found itself in step with the times of technology, IBM is betting big on the blockchain. Wieck, who has been in the company for over 25 years, is leading the company's efforts to collaborate with the biggest names in the business world, from Walmart to the giant Maersk.
Wieck, who went to a school for all girls and says that she was encouraged as a child to pursue mathematics and science, is worried about the small number of women who now go to tech professions, even less than when she grew up 25 Years ago. Among its solutions is "to create a community of champions of both women and men who proudly support women in STEM".
Amber Baldet co-founder, Clovyr
Baldet has always worked in the financial sector, but is equally comfortable in the world of computer programmers. As a leader of JPMorgan's blockchain products, he led the development of the company's Quorum software, a competing competitor to accelerate outdated finance databases and slow settlement times. The product is based on Ethereum, a public blockchain better known for its cryptocurrency network, but Quorum is removed from the cryptographic world and allows banks to protect sensitive information.
Baldet left and started his company called Clovyr at the start of this year to develop software that helps start-ups and more established companies to use blockchain technology more effectively. It is uniquely positioned to fill the gaps that now exist. "I had the opportunity to talk to people who see things very differently," he says. "Being able to switch back and forth, I can help people understand each other and build stronger products together."
Linda Pawczuk American blockchain leader,
Pawczuk quickly climbed the ladder to Deloitte, where she was recently appointed to lead the company's blockchain practice in the United States, only a few months after being elevated to lead the financial blockchain group. Prior to that, he led the company's blockchain efforts into insurance for three years.
In the early years, blockchain was too obsessed with "the engine room stuff," he said. To make the blockchain work, companies have to do something that is not always natural: "They need to work cooperatively with their competition". Lately, he sees that it is happening more and more. "It's a good sign."
Write to Avi Salzman at [email protected]