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Breaking Barriers: Shades of Yellow Event Spotlights Women’s Empowerment and Inclusivity in Web3 Technology

Binance, the world’s leading blockchain ecosystem and cryptocurrency infrastructure provider, hosted the Shades of Yellow event on 07 March to commemorate International Women’s Month and the organisation’s continued commitment to equality and diversity. The MC at the event was Farai Ntuli, a well-known speaker and youth employment expert, bringing her unique brand of charm and insight to the proceedings. The goal of the event was to acknowledge and honour women in technology and to further unpack the essential change that has to take place to ensure it becomes a more inclusive industry.

A seasoned speaker, Hwalani Mabaso, hosted a fireside chat featuring Koshiek Karan, a leader in the fintech space and an advocate for women’s inclusion and growth within the crypto industry. The conversation, centered on how women are shaping the future of modern finance, also included insights from Yaliwe Soko, the Chairwoman of the United Africa Blockchain Association. Soko contributed to the discussion by unpacking insights on gender inequality and how to bridge this gap. Yande Nomvete, Operations Manager for Binance and another panelist, delved into the steps we can take to cultivate a culture where more women actively participate in the world of crypto. With the theme of “Embracing the journey of empowerment and transformation in Africa,” panellists unpacked crypto’s potential to drive financial inclusion and improve access to financial services for underprivileged and minority communities. There is a lot of potential to drive connectivity in townships, where crypto can bridge the gap between the unbanked economy.

“The technology industry can be perceived as intimidating for women, especially with its track record as an exclusive and male-dominated industry,” says Yande Nomvete, Operations Manager for Binance in Africa. “However, women are invaluable contributors to technology innovation, especially within the realm of Web3, and we are committed to bringing positive change to the culture of cryptocurrency so we can all benefit from this innovative potential. This event is designed to mirror our renewed focus on driving this inclusivity and diversity, not just within the company, but across the industry.”

The statistics back this up. According to a report from Research ICT Africa access to digital technologies is lower for women than for men, on both the individual and business fronts. At the moment statistics have found that 63% of women are using the internet compared with 69% of men, a percentage that is lower than 30% in developing countries. However, despite ongoing efforts to close the digital gender gap, it has increased by 20 million since 2019. The reasons behind these statistics remain the same – lack of access and cultural constraints.

Binance is determined to play a role in overcoming these challenges and cutting the amount of time it will take to close the gender gap which will take another 286 years to close at the current rate of progress.  To date, Binance has prioritised equality and diversity within its workplace and culture with platforms such as the Binance Academy, which provides free crypto education resources to people in more than 30 languages. The company was also a sponsor of the sixth Women in Tech Global Awards which allowed for the winner of the Regional Women in Web3 Award, Bernice Omiunu, to attend the ceremony held in Dubai on 16 November 2023. “We want women to feel empowered and inspired,” continues Nomvete. “We believe that events like Shades of Yellow are essential as they remind the industry and the women within it how invaluable they are. This sector with its rapid change and constant evolution demands versatility and agile thinking and this is ignited within a diverse and inclusive environment that embraces different points of view and perspectives.”

Binance is focused on empowering women across Africa in countries that include South Africa, Kenya, Ghana and Ivory Coast. The goal is to ensure they have the opportunities they deserve and need to become more engaged within the crypto, tech and web3 industries. It is time to shift the narrative from male domination within this space and to embrace the exceptional potential of women.

“We know that women leave this industry because they experience bias and the perception that men are better at technology,” concludes Nomvete. “However, we can break down these barriers and create a more inclusive and dynamic space through concerted efforts that bring women into the fold and celebrate their value.”

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