By Melissa Quinn
tl;dr: More than a thousand women are coming together this weekend in Vancouver, Canada to hold space, explore and celebrate the women who are pioneering web3 at F3STIVAL.
My team at UMA and I are excited to be a part of the two-day conference for several important reasons.
Crypto and web3 continue to claim that we want this industry to be different than the beginnings of web1 and web2. We want to be a movement that welcomes women so they actively lead the change.
Sadly though, sometimes it feels like the industry as a whole hasn’t moved the needle and instead, we continue to fall back into the same patterns and stereotypes.
For instance, less than 3% of all VC funding goes to women-led ventures and jobs, leadership roles and recognition for women is laggard — and especially unequal depending on where you live in the world. There is a lot to be said here, but I feel there is no one reason to blame. It’s really hard to find women representation in certain roles, specifically for technical jobs.
Now that’s systemic. It’s an issue that goes back to education, and I am sure it’s also because our industry is a little intimidating. But coming off of ETHNewYork and seeing the diversity and talent that is willing to explore this ecosystem, I feel more optimistic that the potential is there. We just need to push harder to hire and support diverse, talented women so that they become movers and shakers in this industry.
We’re seeing progress but more work needs to be done
Much of the hard work has happened, is happening and will continue to happen to make the industry and the teams that compose it more diverse, more inclusive and stronger. Crypto teams and protocols that have more women, more people of color and more diversity in general are just better, and have brighter futures. We do have the right intentions, I just think we, as an industry, need to push harder in some ways.
UMA is sponsoring child care as part of our involvement in F3stival.
The conference is family friendly, providing children a free ticket or offering childcare during the events. We felt this sponsorship was both helpful and symbolic. It feels like an unspoken reality that women have responsibilities and expectations that extend beyond both their day job or their full time job of mom.
This isn’t to say that men don’t as well, but the pressure to master the juggling act isn’t quite the same. Some of this comes from natural capabilities (eg., breastfeeding), but some of it is just social pressure. The latter is what we need to address, and this is why we’re passionate about this type of sponsorship becoming more of a standard for conferences in web3. We wanted to provide some childcare support in this moment, at this event, while also shining a light on the unequal need for this support by professional women and women of all backgrounds and walks of life.
We call on all conference organizers to do their part in offering this type of support moving forward so we can be supportive to all the superhero moms and dads out there doing their best.
Free child care prompts many to convert to in-person attendance
F3stival is setting a standard and leading the charge. It’s also just a good business decision.
Immediately after we announced free childcare, 35 guests converted their ticket from virtual to live. This proof made us feel passionate about our support here. So bring your little one to the event and trust that they will be taken care of, freeing you up to explore and connect.
The event is designed to focus on the roles, projects and ideas involving women in the space, but it’s important to note that the event is gender inclusive and everyone is welcome.
F3stival takes place July 9–10 at Emily Carr School of Design in Vancouver. Check out the schedule here.
It will include dozens of speakers, discussions, learning sessions and plenty of space to connect and network focused on web3 topics such as DAOs, NFTs, DeFi and blockchain technology. It’s an event designed for newbies but also veterans of the industry who want to connect and collaborate and push their boundaries. Meanwhile, 10 women-led companies will pitch for $25K in venture funding at the event that will be provided and voted on by the attendees.
Join me and fellow panelists on Saturday July 9 at 1PM PT to explore WTF is web3. Our panel will explore the relationship between crypto and blockchains, the significance of the ecosystem and the ways that crypto is impacting the real world.