22 April, 2019
Blockchain isn’t just for the guys anymore. Staggering new growth in the industry and a glut of blockchain jobs is providing a huge opportunity for STEM Moms and women in tech.
Take the data from a recent survey by job placement firm Hired: 2018 saw a whopping 517% increase in demand for software engineers with blockchain skills compared to 2017 – and demand is higher today than it’s ever been in the past.
While the blockchain sector is still heavily male dominated, more and more women are entering the industry and taking on leadership roles.
So where are the jobs? Luckily for those already in STEM, a good technical skill set is in high demand, with companies seeking talented blockchain engineers and app developers, project managers, quality engineers, web designers, and even interns. Experience with blockchain tools like Hyperledger Composer and Solidity is increasingly in demand as well.
Major enterprise companies in the United States are leading the global blockchain hiring arms race, with IBM, Oracle, Deloitte, ConsenSys, and Facebook, among others, at the front of the pack. San Francisco, New York, and Atlanta were further identified as hotspots of demand in LinkedIn’s 2018 U.S. Emerging Jobs Report. This surge in blockchain-related job openings in a landscape where widespread adoption hasn’t happened yet signals a potentially massive wave of opportunity for savvy job seekers.
And as a still-emerging technology, blockchain also represents a great opportunity for increased diversity and inclusion as the nascent industry grows. Jenna Pilgrim, director of partnerships and business development at Bloq Inc., exhorts her female peers and colleagues who are interested in blockchain to “go out, ask for opportunities, and demand a seat at the table.”
However, one of the biggest barriers to entry is undoubtedly education – and lack of knowledge especially impedes women’s participation. Fortunately, they don’t have to go it alone.
One group working to bridge the gender gap is CryptoChicks, a Toronto-based non-profit organization with a mission to improve the economic, professional, and leadership potential of women in blockchain.
“At [typical crypto] meetups there would be one or two women, out of hundreds of men, who would be afraid to ask stupid questions,” said Nataliya Hearn, director of youth education, commenting on the crypto scene prior to the founding of CryptoChicks. “So we said, ‘there are no stupid questions. Come and join us.’”
Her words reflect the fact that there’s a certain amount of self-initiative required to achieve success in the blockchain world. There are resources, programs, and mentors available, but if you’re interested, you’ll have to seek them out.
Online blockchain and crypto programming has proliferated over the past few years. For a comprehensive list of resources primarily aimed at helping women get into blockchain – but suitable for people of all ages and genders – check out BitIRA’s compendium here.
Those interested in STEM and blockchain can also take advantage of the resources and networking opportunities offered by organizations such as Women in Blockchain Global, CryptoChicks, Global Women in Blockchain, Women on the Block, Blockchain Ladies, Blockchain Learning Group, Women Who Code, Girls Who Code, and Black Girls Code – not to mention the free video content published on YouTube by channels like Khan Academy and Blockchain at Berkeley.