The “one thing” these Bossbabes advise for those going into tech & crypto
In an alpha space where analytical skills and boldness are favored, tech can be a bit unforgiving to those who aren’t “on the inside”.
Common male-dominant careers like finance and software development make up the majority of this workforce. And their prowess is met with great paychecks.
But that doesn’t have to be the reality, according to a few female powerhouses in the blockchain space.
In fact, even acknowledging gender in the discussion could be a contributor to the imbalances, as I learned.
Tech is a Savage Space for Everyone Involved
I’m also aware of the challenges we face as founders in pitching investors and attempting to get “on the inside” or into “the boys club”.
And I know how heartbreaking it can be to feel boxed out – by investors, hiring managers, and more.
But, WE persist. Not because we have to, but because we want to.
Because we’re charged with a bigger mission.
As I connected with each of the women in this story, I found that they each had their own story of resilience, hard work and purpose. This consistent narrative was quite inspiring as I downloaded their mindsets.
So I asked these 5 female role models of mine a few important questions.
The biggest question I wanted answered?
“How can other young female founders who want to make a mark in tech and blockchain go about it?”
Here’s how they responded.
The Women Leading Blockchain & Tech Forward
We’ve culled together the most paramount learnings into a thoughtful roundup of the top women in blockchain.
“What’s the one piece of advice you’d share with with other women who want to enter the tech / blockchain space and really succeed?”
JURGITA RHODES, COO AT ELECTRONEUM
Don’t concentrate on getting into blockchain or tech. Concentrate on developing your skills. I got really excited and good at my work and attracted to it, from a leadership point of view. Just think about that first.
Understand your niche, skill, and potential.
If you’re genuinely interested, you’ll learn, and find an attraction to it. You’ll become accepted as you pursue the space. It does not matter the space, as long as you’re pursuing what you want.
I do a lot of talks for women in leadership.
I talk about it like one day we’ll talk about “leaders” not “woman leaders”.
I don’t come from a deep tech background, yet I’m in the most technical space in the world. Don’t think about yourself as a woman – think about yourself as a person who can offer unique skills.
APRIL WEI – CHIEF COMPLIANCE OFFICER, BITMART
One thing I always keep in mind is that you need to be open-minded in this [blockchain/crypto]. Attorneys normally tend to be more conservative – while entering the blockchain space, one has to understand that while technology is changing the world each day, the legal professionals should deal with the legal issues with a forward-looking vision.
It is also important to keep in mind that even if people always say that women have nothing to do with technology, that is not true.
I met numerous female developers and professionals who do not have a technical background, but who are eager to learn about blockchain technology.
You don’t actually have to learn how to program, but it is vital to know the technical principles behind blockchain technology.
CANDY BEHUNIN – CEO, DIGITAL SWEET MEDIA
As an American spirit, we were raised in an environment that taught us to create what we want, regardless of what people say. Very Disney, if you can dream it, you can be it.
focus is key to any idea, industry, or ambition.
People often tell you what you can’t do – it’s up to you to change their mindset by turning talk into action.
Aside from confidence, the ability to sell yourself is critical. Services, products, and ideas all need to be sold and communicated. Everyone should become a salesperson: negotiating, understanding human psychology, social skills and for leadership – a strong sense of EQ.
Smart people are creating opportunities wherever and however they can regardless of location, time, or resources.
Those things can help, but don’t let less than ideal situations ever be a hindrance.
When making choices earlier in life, negative comments from others often fueled my drive – meaning whenever someone doubted me, I loved proving them wrong. Now I do it for myself, less for competitiveness or comparison – as we mature, we realize we don’t live to please others.
I was told I wasn’t smart enough for the law school of the fashion designer stereotype from Los Angeles. They joked I was “Legally Asian” instead of the movie “Legally Blonde,” so clearly I applied to law school and was not only honorably accepted as the token art major, but received a scholarship for entrepreneurial endeavors – Boom!
I actively volunteered as a community evangelist bringing people together. I was a relentless American bred spirit with international DNA, turning life’s lemons into lemonade.
In law school, they had a saying, “ people who scored perfect A averages became excellent professors, people who received B averages become great lawyers, but those who were C students – they were driven to become entrepreneurs.”
I learned early on during university studies that we need networks to succeed
I started doing events to network and meet as many interesting like-minded as possible. I often spoke with founders that inspired me. I quickly realized the best access to meet the right people was to be a media personality so, at events, I began reporting as for press and gathered insights, thus did a lot of interviews with established players, but more exciting for me was focusing on innovative, fast growth projects and new rising talents.
I went from attending events to organizing them, to marketing the brands that spoke at them. I never trained for this career – my natural passion for communication and learning fast, kept me at the pulse of technology.
Berlin took me in after my studies in Hamburg and a high profile CEO gave me the chance to lead my first team. I admired working beside him because he inspired me to be the best version of myself and I took that principle with me to every company after – to lead teams with inspirational leadership, not through fear or power trips.
On leading teams, people should never be afraid to hire people better than themselves. You WANT them to be better than you or at least have the potential to. We should all be replaceable – that is actually a good thing for everyone in an organization – to maintain growth & development.
To anyone wanting to enter blockchain or tech – don’t be afraid to know nothing.
Don’t make excuses for not understanding things. Instead, just start trying to understand. If you’re afraid to ask people or look stupid, just Google. Reading is plenty of knowledge in itself to get started.
Next step is to just start working! We only learn by doing. The blockchain is not scary, it’s a business. It requires all kinds of people to make it happen – not only technical developers. Someone told me when I was teaching myself crypto last year I would never make it unless I learn to code – well, she was wrong. Not only did I find jobs in it, but was noted as a rising influencer, and to be honest, learning to code was inefficient advice – the opportunity cost to learn to code just for reference sake, can be a waste of time, especially if you won’t code for a living. My time was better spent learning vital content, to communicate, educate, and promote mass adoption.
Find out what you’re good at and apply that to any industry. Everyone is constantly learning – and the industry is still young and evolving so no one can fully claim themselves the ultimate expert.
It’s the best time to be an amateur.
TRACY LEPARULO – POLYMATH CMO & CEO UNTRACEABLE
I was a 23 year old girl with pink hair, in a male dominated space. I had no finance background. No development experience.
However you want to do it, you CAN make a mark. There’s room for everyone to contribute to. And make a big difference. Even if you’re not a developer or a finance person.
Volunteering is the BEST way to get into a space.
Volunteering allows you to meet prominent people, and chat with the speakers.
MARCIE GRAMBEAU AT MENLO ONE
I don’t feel I am at any disadvantage, and I don’t consider my gender when working in this space at all.
There are things that are annoying or that women take personally. But I choose to let a lot of things that other people might take more seriously, I let them roll off my back.
Approach it with levity and lightness.
Not all the tech space is so male dominated that there’s no more room. In fact, there’s tons of room.
So much room for women. Women can come in here and rock it.
Some people get hung up on the small things and lose sight of the bigger picture, but I found an opposite effect in many cases. Having female leaders can bring a lot of balance to the team, and have heard men thank women for bringing that balance to the workplace.
Focus on developing yourself and you’ll become unstoppable
One of the most interesting findings from this experience was that some people’s largest career leaps came from volunteering. Giving, without expecting anything in return.
I think this is an amazing networking skill, but also a great life lesson.
Give yourself love and expecting nothing in return. Have no expectation for what it should feel like.
Give yourself education and don’t fault yourself for not knowing enough.
Give to others and watch as they return the favor.
Give your time to something you love.
Give your effort and forget about the immediate return.
Now let’s give them tech nerds something to talk about, ladies!