From digital art and NFTs to gaming and virtual reality, creative talents have plenty of opportunities to break into the Web3 ecosystem. However, the gender disparities that have historically skewed the technology sector in favour of men have permeated Web3 as well. This hurdle has caused organisations, like She for Web3, Kode with Klossy, and Women in Tech, to crop up. Celebrity advocates for women in Web3, like Huda Kattan and Eva Longoria, have also emerged to address the lack of gender diversity in the new digital landscape.
Curious to crack this conversation open, we sat down with Lizzie Howitt, the Business Director of LIGHTBLUE, to discuss the need for women’s involvement in the ever-changing creative landscape.
“The crypto and blockchain spaces are currently at risk of being defined by its ‘bro culture,’” Lizzie reported in a conversation with GRAZIA. Her work at the creative experience agency overlaps with the tech industry, giving her the unique opportunity to research its current state while operating from within. She explained that “recent studies suggest just 13% of Web3 founding teams included at least one female and that all-male founding teams raised nearly four times as much as female-founded teams.”
“Different ideas plus different creative solutions equal innovation and growth.” – Lizzie Howitt, Business Director of LIGHTBLUE
“As Web3 continues to be defined and evolve, it’s important we have diverse voices with differing perspectives impacting the development and governance of these systems,” continued Lizzie. Female leadership in Web3’s creative industries is critical for its inevitable expansion, and she remains “hopeful that we’ll recognise this much faster than we have done previously.”
For this new dynamic environment to thrive, it needs to authentically connect with the audience it serves. One of the easiest ways to accomplish this is by having a diverse cast of voices in its leadership positions. When it comes to addressing gender bias specifically, Lizzie warns against stereotyping female leaders. “The default is to reference articles about women being kind leaders, more empathetic, more collaborative and how important it is to have these skills in the workplace,” she noted.
“While these skills should be welcomed in leaders, I disagree that these are inherently female characteristics. Perhaps for too long, men have mirrored the behaviour they’ve seen in the men who have come before them and have downplayed the attributes society would consider more feminine. With more women in the mix, men are recognising they too can display these skills and make for a better work environment for all.”
Improved work environments are just one of the many benefits to having a diverse team, others include better decision-making and heightened financial success for any company. “We’ve all seen the stats,” shared Lizzie. “Companies with female leaders on their executive teams were 25% more likely to have above-average profitability, and companies with at least 30% female leaders had a 6% higher net profit than those without,” she cited from her research.
“It always surprises me that people are surprised by these results, that somehow it comes as a shock that having a diverse leadership team with differing viewpoints, opinions, and perspectives somehow wouldn’t lead to improved results,” Lizzie stated. For her, it’s clear that “different ideas plus different creative solutions equal innovation and growth.” We couldn’t agree with this notion more, since inclusivity and diversity are invaluable assets to any team and will be helpful in the technology sector as Web3 continues to expand and define its identity.