When I just started my consultancy business, I was approaching many great Fintechs and repeatedly got rejected. Most of the companies liked my profile and were willing to hire me as an employee. They saw compliance as a strictly in-house function and did not want to have a strange part-time arrangement with someone who was not ready to commit to them full time. It was not a question whether I could do the job, it was a question of control and leverage over someone who works for you.
It reminded me a discussion with one of my girlfriends about advantages and disadvantages of a nanny that lives with the family versus a babysitter who comes and goes. My friend was in favor of au-pair or nanny who stays with the family, because it makes this person dependable and always available. A babysitter can cancel any time, be late or have some other excuses.
Fast-forward 18 months. I am often conducting interviews for compliance and other leadership roles, and several people who interviewed me for various roles in the last years, either as bosses or peers, are interested in jobs that would be now to some extent reporting to me. They all have the same story: “My job is boring, the most exciting things are happening in blockchain and crypto, I want to get in, even if I have to take a salary cut or lower-level job first”.
In the vast majority of cases, these candidates don’t have any professional experience with crypto. Some have traded. Many just read occasional news about ICOs or bitcoin prices. Everyone says they want in “because crypto is the future”. Except for ladies, who often say that “crypto” profile of the company is not an attraction, but rather a risk factor for them.
Here are the most common reactions on why many women don’t own any crypto and don’t even want to try:
- I don’t have any crypto, because I don’t know why would I need it.
- Crypto is a bubble, I don’t want to speculate, it’s immoral and a waste of time.
- This is something too technical, and I am just an (accountant, analyst, secretary, project manager, sales person, teacher, journalist…)
- Crypto is the men’s world, full of freaks, geeks and hackers.
- They work with dirty money and shady businesses.
- I want to wait and see until more people from my circle adopt it, then I will know it’s safe for me to join.
Excuses, excuses. Women are less comfortable taking risks and dealing with uncertainties, but it also means that women are missing out on a lot of opportunities. I attend a lot of meetings between various Finteh startups and crypto players, where new initiatives are discussed and new partnerships may be formed, and in 95% of cases, I am the only woman in the room. It’s not a coincidence.
So, here is my advice to all women, regardless of what you do or where you live or how much money you have – find a way to get into crypto, buy some symbolic amount of virtual currencies to have this experience, learn how to manage your private keys and understand the key principles of blockchain now. Here is why:
- There will be many jobs created in this space in the near future for everyone – for accountants, project managers, lawyers, secretaries, recruiters, financial analysts and practically anyone. If you have a previous experience with crypto, you will have an advantage, potentially higher salary and more senior role in the organization.
- Crypto community is extremely friendly, you will find enormously supportive people, who will guide you through your first crypto steps and show you how it works. Just go to any random crypto meetup in your city and say that you want to try. Why? Because there is a strong sense in crypto community that this is just a beginning and there is a potential for everyone to make something out of it. In big companies and traditional industries, you are always competing – for promotional quotas, for budget, for projects or other resources. In crypto the pie is still big enough for everyone who wants to join.
- Opening a crypto account is as easy as registering with Amazon. Seriously.
- After you made your first transaction with bitcoin or ether (it could be with 2 EUR amount, does not matter) – you will feel extremely proud and accomplished. You’ll see you can do it. You will feel more independent. You will feel that this is another new thing that you can easily do. It’s not scary. It’s actually pretty cool.
- Then, when you go to your next job interview, and a hiring manager asks you about the recent learning experience or some initiative that you have recently taken, you will tell them about how you bought your first fraction of a bitcoin (or whatever it was). And it will make you stand out 🙂
If you are reading this and you need an extra nudge to finally get into crypto, tell me – what’s stopping you now?