WEF report suggests women underrepresented in blockchain, points to solutions

WEF report suggests women underrepresented in blockchain, points to solutions

A new report from the World Economic Forum shows that the gender gap will take 135.6 years to close due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted people across the world, yet a new report from the World Economic Forum suggests that women have been one of the hardest hit gender groups. 

WEF’s “Global Gender Gap Report 2021 found that the pandemic has pushed back gender parity by an entire generation. Specifically, the report notes that as the COVID-19 pandemic continues, the gender gap between men and women across various professional sectors will now take 135.6 years to close, rather than the previously expected 99.5 years.

Gender parity within fast growth professions

Vesselina Ratcheva, new economy and society lead for the World Economic Forum, told Cointelegraph that the “Global Gender Gap Report” is now in its 15th year of benchmarking the evolution of gender-based gaps in four areas: economic participation and opportunity; educational attainment; health and survival; and political empowerment.

Ratcheva further noted that the report focuses on gender parity within fast-growth professions — such as cloud computing, engineering, artificial intelligence, content production, people and culture, etc. — along with the types of skills needed for each. “Among the eight distinctive job clusters the report focuses on, only people and culture and content production are currently at gender parity,” said Ratcheva. 

While blockchain and crypto are not specifically mentioned in the report, Ratcheva explained that sectors such as cloud computing, data, artificial intelligence, engineering and product development are likely to strongly represent both blockchain and digital asset professions. As such, Ratcheva noted that while it’s apparent women remain a minority within the blockchain sector, there does appear to be a higher level of female participation compared to other fields:

“Between these sectors, female representation is on average 29%, which can serve as an optimistic estimate of the level of female representation in blockchain and crypto, but coordinated efforts are still needed to reach gender equality.”

Achieving gender equality after COVID-19

It’s important to point out that the “Global Gender Gap Report 2021” was published a year after COVID-19 was declared a pandemic. The report notes that the health emergency and the related economic downturn have impacted women more severely than men, further reopening gaps that could have been closed sooner.

For instance, the report found that women are now losing jobs at higher rates than men, citing findings from the International Labour Organization that show 5% of women have lost jobs compared with 3.9% of males since the pandemic began. The report states:

“This is partly due to their disproportionate representation in sectors directly disrupted by lockdowns, such as the consumer sector. Data from the United States also indicates that women from historically disadvantaged racial and ethnic groups are worst affected.”

Saadia Zahidi, managing director for the World Economic Forum, added that the pandemic has impacted gender equality in both the workplace and the home, hindering years of progress. “If we want a dynamic future economy, it is vital for women to be represented in the jobs of tomorrow,” she said.

Sue Duke, head of global public policy at LinkedIn, pointed out that women still aren’t well represented in the majority of fast-growing roles, which is leading to greater gender parity challenges moving forward.

In order to combat these issues, Zahidi suggests that both companies and governments need to focus on building diversity, equity and inclusion into their plans for recovery. “Assessing candidates on their skills and potential, and not just their direct work experience and formal qualifications, is central to that. Skills-based hiring is key if we’re going to make our economies and societies more inclusive,” she noted.

In terms of closing the gender parity gap in fast-growth professions, such as those related to blockchain and crypto, Ratcheva explained that a two-pronged approach is needed. She mentioned that it’s critical to keep building out the pipeline of women in science, technology and engineering fields. At the same time, she noted this growth should be supported by broader diversity, equity and inclusion across workplaces, particularly within fields where women are under-represented, adding further:

“It’s important to send a substantial signal to women looking to move into professions where they will be under-represented, that there are mechanisms in place for them to thrive and progress. Without such assurances we are asking women to make an irrational investment in STEM skills.”

Despite current challenges, it’s encouraging to see that a number of blockchain and crypto companies are taking steps to ensure female participation. For example, Denelle Dixon, CEO and executive director of the Stellar Development Foundation, told Cointelegraph that one of the main factors to increasing the impact of women in blockchain, and specifically in leadership roles, is through education and representation.

Dixon explained that the Stellar Development Foundation strives to educate women on the benefits of blockchain technology through frequent webinars and events. “By having a strong female leadership team, SDF is showcasing the importance of representation in emerging technologies for young women around the world.”

Ratcheva also remarked that it’s positive to see that governments and businesses have found effective ways to ensure equity and meritocracy in employment, noting that the majority of economic data shows women are gaining educational qualifications at the same rate as men.

With this in mind, Ratcheva believes that the tech sector is poised to start making gains in hiring a larger share of women for senior management roles, noting that there has been particular progress in female representation in product development positions. However, Ratcheva is aware that as businesses and governments attempt to revive economies, more gender-equal recovery strategies need to be implemented to ensure women can move into fast-growing, high-paying fields.

According to the report, the countries that have made the most progress on this front are the United Arab Emirates, New Zealand and Lithuania. “The UAE made gains in the number of women elected into parliament, as well as the share of women in leadership roles in business and public policy. New Zealand made progress in gender-equal remuneration and political empowerment for women,” said Ratcheva.


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A new report from the World Economic Forum shows that the gender gap will take 135.6 years to close due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Bank of America report extols the virtues of HODLing

Bank of America report extols the virtues of HODLing

New research from the multinational investment bank confirms what many of us knew all along: Investors should never try to time the market.

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When it comes to investing in the financial markets, panic selling often leads to missed opportunities – and waiting for the dip could rob you of the most lucrative days to hold a particular asset. Those are the general takeaways of a comprehensive study of the S&P 500 Index conducted by Bank of America. 

Using data going back to 1930, Bank of America strategists found that a basic hold strategy would have yielded total returns of 17,715%. If, on the other hand, investors tried to time the market, they could have missed out on the best trading days. Missing just ten of the S&P 500’s best trading days each decade would have diluted the total returns to just 28%.

For many investors, especially inexperienced ones, the natural impulse is to sell following a major downturn. But Bank of America found that the market’s best days often follow from the worst drops. Panic selling on the way down could lead to investors missing the best days.

Trying to time the market has been a futile affair. Chart via CNBC

Savita Subramanian, the bank’s head of U.S. equity and quantitative strategy, explained:

“Remaining invested during turbulent times can help recover losses following bear markets – it takes about 1,100 trading days on average to recover losses after a bear market.”

Cryptocurrency investors, and especially Bitcoin (BTC) holders, are known for having a low time preference. Industry data routinely shows that over 60% of Bitcoin’s circulating supply hasn’t moved in a year or more, which reflects growing conviction in the digital asset. Even during the latest price surge, only 36% of Bitcoin’s circulating supply has moved in the last six months.

Seasoned crypto holders – who are called HODLers for a meme that originated on the bitcointalk forum in 2013 when a user misspelled the word “hold” in reference to BTC – have become attuned to the fact that timing the market can cost them dearly in the long run.

Like stocks, Bitcoin’s ten best trading days per day are responsible for a significant portion of its gains. During the 2017 bull market, the BTC Price rose an incredible 1,136% in the best ten days of the year.

Some entrepreneurs have tried to apply innovations in artificial intelligence and machine learning to help traders manage their emotions. One example is Stock Cards, a browser extension created to help investors predict and prevent FOMO and panic.

Bitcoin’s long-term investors are reaping the rewards of their HODL strategy, with the 2021 rally reportedly producing thousands of BTC millionaires.