Business FunctionsLeadership & ManagementSustainability & ESGTechnology

Women in Technology -The Challenges

By Genevieve Leveille, Principal Founder & CEO

Women have always faced challenges within society and that includes all societies across the world, from not having the right to vote, to using pseudonym names on books so that their book gets recognized, bought and praised just by having a masculine name; and please note, that in 2021 in some countries women still don’t have the right to vote. But, with this being said, women have come a long way from where they/we started – women are not just seen as child bearers but they are CEOs, inventors, scientists, doctors and more. Can we all agree that women, and women in technology, have been and are being more and more recognized for their achievements!

However, women in the technology arena are now, especially over the last decade, being treated with the equality and respect that they deserve, and trust me, in an industry that is male dominated, it is amazing to see more and more women being recognized, written about and supported. Let’s give all the women in technology all around the world a huge congratulations.

I am the principal Founder and CEO of AgriLedger. AgriLedger is an agricultural-focused Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) provider that seeks to revolutionize agricultural supply and value chains around the world through the use of disruptive technologies, including Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML). DLT has great potential to revolutionize the way Institutions, Corporations, Governments and the likes will interact.The disruption is happening everywhere! Industries such as finance, entertainment, pharmaceuticals, automobile are all joining the ranks. I predict this will be the growing deployment of blockchain technology #watchthisspace. DLT combined with agriculture can demonstrate the immensely disruptive power of the technology and tackle numerous challenges that have long existed before the industrial revolution!

An article by Sperax states that women, in a blockchain environment, represent only 10-30% of the workforce, but surprisingly, after the Initial Coin Offering (ICO) crash of 2018, one can observe that the majority of the surviving firms with products using blockchain technology as a base are being led by women: Leanne Kemp (EverLedger), Jemma Green (PowerLedger), Emma Weston (AgriDigital) and Susanne Somerville (Chronicled) to name a few. The number of women must increase over the next few years, as blockchain/DLT is becoming more understood and implemented.

Right now, we should be encouraging more females to join the World of Technology. One way to achieve this goal is via education. Education is a fundamental element for breaking down barriers that prohibit people and especially women from participation. AgriLedger has collaborated with a number of educational entities, including the ConsenSys Academy, with whom we created a flagship scholarships program for 20 female graduates from South Africa and Haiti. The program was designed to expose the participants to the Blockchain ecosystem, during a four-month virtual bootcamp of interactive exercises, assignments and hands-on projects. The world needs more projects like this; how do we expect women to be in technology when there is no-one opening the doors for them?

AgriLedger is looking to increase involvement in educational projects and create new initiatives at every possible opportunity. We are currently facilitating the creation of a meet up group for Haitian Women in Blockchain and designing a one year program for sixty youngsters aspiring to have a career in technology. I am particularly enamored with the collaborative work of our partners both on the ground and internationally.  The efforts are being led byGestion, Etudes, Comptabilite, Audit (GECA), Ecole Supérieure d’Infotronique d’Haïti (ESIH), 101 Blockchains and ConsenSys Academy, who will provide practical and business-aware training, in Distributed Ledger Technology, Mobile Development and basic business norms. Furthermore, the goal is to actively support the securing of internships and placement for all sixty students. This will build from the bottom up, a sustainable and dynamic workforce that can drive the future of technology in Haiti and beyond.

I am cognizant that this may seem like a small drop in the ocean and acutely aware that more can and should be done to facilitate access to the technology sector for women; however, I am unashamedly proud of the work that my team and I have achieved through the aforementioned programs and I encourage readers to think about how we can open more doors for women in technology. I challenge you to think about how, through education and mentorship we can secure the future of women in technology. if you think of any please, please reach out to me, I am always happy to get involved and promote women in technology.

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