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Opinion article: Funding is not the main solution to closing the gender gap in Web3

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Web3 has always seemed like an inclusive and empowering community to be a part of.
During the transition from traditional finance to DeFi, there has been no shortage of support, encouragement, and guidance. By taking on a leadership role as a woman, one also feels free from obstacles or adversity.

The gender gap is still evident

However, despite personal experience, it cannot be ignored that the obvious gender gap in Web3 has recently attracted attention. With the recent celebration of International Women’s Day, the community must recognize that only 13% of Web3 founding teams include at least ONE woman.

The 2023 data from Swiss Fintech Innovations also highlighted that only 3.5% of Web3 investments went to women-led Web3 companies in the first half of 2023.Clearly, there is a disparity and balance that needs to be changed. Powerful women leaders, with the innovative approaches they can bring, are necessary for the continued evolution of Web3. But does the solution to closing the gap simply lie in providing more funding?

Beyond financing: empowerment as a multidimensional solution

In part, yes. But more money for female startups is not a complete solution. It’s one-dimensional. All Web3 women, founders or not, can continue to empower themselves in daily activities.

Three main areas to consider are: accepting fear, leveraging existing expertise, and building connections.

Embrace the fear

Blockchain technology, decentralization, and Web3 ecosystems can be confusing areas to navigate. Nonetheless, acquiring new knowledge should engender excitement alongside any potential fear or doubt. It’s easy to let thoughts of “not knowing enough” and “not being aware” take over. This can trigger feelings of inadequacy or overwhelm in a male-dominated industry. But women should harness their unique ability to learn.

With a fluid and inquisitive approach, women’s compassionate abilities often shine through in taking in diverse information. We must not fear the complexities of understanding to the point of freezing or fleeing. Instead, women must recognize their abilities and choose to fight through them. Study; ask questions – with confidence. The more knowledge one acquires, the more empowerment increases. The dissolution of boundaries and barriers will follow, and the rules of the game will naturally level out.

Leverage existing experience

Because Web3 is such a new and unique space, it’s easy to slip into the idea that new and unique personalities, approaches, and ideas will be the only path to success. Here again, doubt can arise.

But Web3 women need to remember the wealth of experience, leadership skills and knowledge they have inherited from Web2 industries. Communication matters in Web3. Marketing matters in Web3. Creative arts matter in Web3.

Traditional financial knowledge matters in Web3. HR matters in Web3. Event handling matters in Web3. Gender doesn’t matter when it comes to niche professional strengths. Women should constantly be supported to advocate for themselves what they can bring from their previous careers. They must identify and use their strengths; this will serve them better as they continue to learn together.

Establish authentic and stimulating connections

Ideas are the currency of Web3 and creative individuality is the compass. It doesn’t matter where the information comes from, as long as the direction and purpose are expressed with confidence and conviction. That said, opportunities to form potential partnerships and connections are abundant.

Web3 women should consciously hone their ability to spot and capitalize on this potential everywhere. It is important to recognize and trust in the mutual respect, collaborative energy, and inclusive environment found in abundance in Web3 communities. It is the cornerstone of the exponential innovation that has occurred in such a short time in space.

Web3 women should consciously hone their ability to spot and capitalize on this potential everywhere. The strength of unity extends beyond any gender divide, and the more it is nurtured, the easier it becomes for everyone.

Pilot the ship

Overall, Web3 is making progress across many different verticals, and inclusion needs to be a part of that. Web3 women play a crucial role in maintaining and fueling the broader ecosystem. Whether in regulatory landscapes, creative industries, education reform or digital asset development, Web3 needs women. Funding is welcome – but there is no need to wait.

Women can take the lead and rest assured that the community will support and nurture their efforts. Initiative, confidence and commitment will be the most important determinants of better female influence – not money.

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