We invited women leaders and innovators to share their perspectives and career advice on topics across blockchain and crypto. Here are some top highlights from our Women’s History Month events.
Throughout this past month, we spoke to women leaders, artists, entrepreneurs, and innovators, from the Binance.US team to the crypto community at large, in a series of online and offline events both large and small. Along the way, we gained valuable advice, from practical career advice on how to navigate and find success in the workplace to illuminating anecdotes and lessons that apply to everyday life.
Below, we recap five highlights from conversations that spanned a wide range of topics, from what it means to be a woman in the blockchain and crypto space, to the stories behind some important achievements women leaders have made in the realm of NFTs, web3, and more.
1. Building an inclusive workplace culture
Whether you’re an entrepreneur, HR expert, or simply belong to a workplace, organization, or club, the importance of organizational culture is sometimes overshadowed by external productivity or sales metrics. However, every high functioning organization starts with a strong culture.
On International Women’s Day, our Chief People Officer Carol MacKinlay spoke to the team behind Unstoppable Domains as part of an all-day Unstoppable Women of Web3 event. When it comes to creating a successful workplace culture, Carol shared the following thoughts:
My underlying theme in creating a workplace culture can be summed up in two words: calm and also inclusion. And if you get both of those right, you really do create a kind of a family. We all enjoy the sort of safe space that a family provides, where you're not looking over your shoulder, and the politics aren't high. So I use that as my baseline of what we would do to create a good workplace culture.
For those who couldn’t make the event, here’s a full transcript of Carol’s 10 tips to building an unstoppable workplace culture.
Finding success and inclusivity in the workplace
Throughout the month of March, we spoke to several subjects who shared obstacles and challenges they had to face in navigating traditionally male-dominated workplaces and industries.
2. The “crime-fighting” aspect to working in crypto and tech
Tammy Weinrib, our Chief Compliance Officer, shared some insights developed from her 15 year career in compliance, traditional financial services, and crypto.
“Historically, the tech and crypto space has not been the most welcoming environment for women. The prevalence of an almost fraternity-like culture and atmosphere can feel quite intimidating, to the point where many women wouldn’t even consider a career in the industry for fear of an unwelcoming environment.
There is also the historical message still resonating today that men are simply better at certain concepts such as math and science, two concepts that are key to succeeding in tech and crypto alike. However, if earlier on in children’s education, women were instilled with messages to explore all types of majors, especially those in science, tech, engineering, and math, as we moved into high school and we were making decisions about college, there could be the likelihood more women would choose careers in the tech space.
Unfortunately, history has shown even when women have the skills and abilities, their male counterparts are chosen first, sometimes even when those male counterparts are slightly less qualified.”
In 2022, there are more women attending college and in the workforce than in any other period of time in the last 50 years, yet we still have less prestigious jobs, and when we are in the same roles, we are still paid less than our male counterparts. These statistics are even worse for minorities. The fact is, women have consistently worked to better themselves in a male-dominated world, what we need now is for the men to acknowledge these efforts and allow us our due.
Simply because it is a woman at the helm, should not matter, but studies show that people are more comfortable taking instruction and orders and advice from a man, and this includes women. This skewed way of viewing the world is what must change. And the more we place women in high profile and powerful roles, the quicker this shift will come.
3. Fighting for what you know is right.
As our Head of Customer Success, Becky Wilkins leads efforts to solve problems both big and small for our valued customers. Staying up to date with the latest developments in crypto is no easy feat, especially for someone new to the space. In our correspondence, she reflected on her journey at Binance.US.
“As a woman who joined Binance.US with very little crypto knowledge, it has been an adventure! Some days are like roller coasters and others are a meaningful adventure as I learn more and more.
When I joined, I struggled to find a way to encourage more women to apply. I find that when women read a job description, they only apply if they meet all the criteria.
Overall, I would encourage women to take a chance. Bring the skills you have and learn the industry when you get here. Be open minded to women (and men) that do not come with industry knowledge.
I grew up in the age of cable and internet, but I am a leader at heart. Leadership skills are transferable to any company. Industry knowledge is learned while in the role; leadership skills are in the core of who you are.
It’s helpful to remind yourself that crypto is new for most people. As we work to educate within our communities, being compassionate and showing a willingness to teach is what makes people feel comfortable learning more.
NFT success stories with founders Maliha Abidi and Sara Baumann
While many NFT collections feature work from women founders and artists, there is still a large gap to bridge when zooming out to the overall NFT market. One recent report from Art Tactic’s NFT Art Market Report, shared by Bloomberg, noted that women artists still accounted for, “just 5% of all NFT art sales.”
We were fortunate to be able to speak to Maliha Abidi and Sara Baumann, two women who founded highly successful NFT projects: Women Rise NFT and Women & Weapons respectively.
4. Women Rise with Founder Maliha Abidi
As part of our #WomenInNFTs series, we interviewed published author and artist turned NFT founder Maliha Abidi about her experience running a successful NFT collection and community.
[When it comes to finding success in NFTs] I do want to say that firstly it will happen for you. It will happen for you faster than it would in the traditional art space. It took me six years to go commercial, and even then, there are a lot of hurdles and hoops that you need to jump through. Like with any space, building your brand and profile is very, very important. Whenever you’re in a Twitter Spaces, whenever you're putting a tweet out there, you're inviting people to look at this online portfolio that you’re putting out there. At the same time, it’s also important to think about finding success in a long term way as well, and not from the position of, “How can I make like one sale or two sales…” [if your goal is to make a career out of art].
Listen to a full recording of our Twitter Spaces conversation with Women Rise founder Maliha Abidi.
5. Women & Weapons with Founder Sara Baumann
To conclude our #WomenInNFTs series, we spoke to Women & Weapons founder and NFT artist Sara Baumann on what it’s like to launch an NFT collection that celebrates “diverse, beautiful, and badass women.” Previous to her career in NFTs, Sara worked as a full-time occupational therapist in the healthcare industry. After contemplating a switch to a full-time career in art for five years, she quickly recognized that NFTs had become “a global storefront for collectors.”
I had other opportunities where I could have left healthcare to pursue art full-time. But I just never really had that gut feeling of “it's the right time” until I got into the NFT space. All of a sudden it just felt very right. It felt like the right time to go ahead and go forward and pursue [art full-time].
When asked what it was like to transition from occupational therapy to crypto and Web3, Sara shared some of the challenges she had to overcome when it came to closing the knowledge gap.
I feel like a lot of people feel the obligation to know everything in [NFTs and Web3] and – you know – it’s not realistic right? We all have our strengths and like so many other artists, the tech was probably the biggest barrier for me. I really didn't understand it super well at first, because I’m a very tactile and kinesthetic learner, so that aspect was a little bit difficult… I really did have to do my research and dive into Twitter Spaces, asking questions that you know some might have found silly, watching YouTube videos, reading helpful articles, and so on. So I definitely had to do my research. Had to jump back into my learning self and you know, I was super blessed to have incredible people around me and an incredible community of people that are so welcoming. So loving.
Listen to the full recording of our conversation with Sara Baumann.
Continuing to honor all women in March and beyond
Even though we’re already at the end of March, our celebration of Women’s History Month goes on. Women’s History Month marked the latest milestone in our ongoing commitment to #DismantleBarriers and #ChampionDiversity at Binance.US.
As we continue to build a diverse team in an inclusive workplace setting, we encourage everyone to check out our Careers page, which we regularly update with new openings and positions.