The role of diversity in blockchain

Updated: Nov 15, 2019

How are inclusion and diversity important in blockchain innovation? Here are some of our thoughts on the topic

Blockchain has the potential to create liberating technology solutions that can transform the way we interact and transact across most industries globally. Essentially a distributed digital ledger system, blockchain was originally developed to record transactions for bitcoin, a well-known digital currency.

Today, the true value of blockchain can be seen in solutions that are being developed various industries including financial services, supply chains, agriculture, healthcare, governments among others. Innovators are exploring ways to use blockchain to disrupt and transform traditional business models. Similarly, business leaders starting to understand the significant benefits that could be achieved through blockchain application, including greater transparency, enhanced security, improved traceability, increased efficiency and speed of transactions, as well as reduced costs. However, blockchain will not reach its full potential if diversity is absent in its development.

Diversity is a critical element required to avoid any unconscious bias that could seep into in the resulting algorithms and technology solutions being built. In addition, the blockchain tech industry is one of the fastest growing areas of business where new opportunities, roles and jobs are quickly emerging. Traditional hiring practices without prioritizing workforce diversity could end up ignoring a wider pool of talent that is currently in demand. The lack of diversity in the industry also negatively impacts the underlying culture and organizational practices of blockchain companies.

The overall the industry currently lacks diversity and this is painfully evident in blockchain-related events. We need to make the events more inspiring for women, for example by including more accomplished blockchain women speakers and panelists. Additionally, there needs to be a more balanced approach to the level of public exposure and recognition for the existing women in the blockchain and crypto space. There is an increasing number of women getting involved in blockchain, not only from the technology side, as new opportunities for career paths and roles emerge that would offer women a chance to stand out and grow professionally.

Diversity In Blockchain Switzerland (DIBS) aims foster greater diversity and build knowledge among leaders to not only understand, but also be able to drive blockchain application in their industries. Beyond just holding events for women to attend, we also want to embed them in the knowledge and development of the community. One way to do this is to offer the opportunity to contribute to the ecosystem. For example, think tank sessions focused on addressing critical business challenges with blockchain start-ups such as funding and investments, business development, marketing and PR, as well as technology.

In addition, we hope to support the numerous corporations currently looking to explore blockchain technology in developing their internal capabilities in htis area. We also want to showcase female role models who will be able to motivate more women to explore blockchain technology and work in this industry.

Several studies have been published that prove teams composed of individuals from a wide range of backgrounds and experiences help facilitate progress across the entire industry. Teams with a range of rich and diverse perspectives to draw from increase their performance ability when it comes to problem solving, as well as finding innovative solutions. For example, a report by Morgan Stanley, found that highly gender-diverse tech companies returned on average 5.4% more on an annual basis than their less diverse peers. Our goal is to seed the community in this early stages with more overall diversity, resulting in technology solutions that will deliver positive results to a broad spectrum of people and leverage the full potential of this technology.