Women on Web3, the association that aims to empower women on Web3

Anyone who has ever attended a major Web3 event (Paris Blockchain Week Summit, SurfinBitcoin, EthCC, to name just the French) has already noticed that women are an ultra-minority in this nascent industry. Born from this observation, the association Women in Web3 (WiW3) aims to change the situation.

Behind this project, we definitely find women, all active within the ecosystem. The initiator is Naomie Halioua, a decentralized finance (DeFi) engineer who currently works as a product manager at crypto-asset data provider Kaiko. She was quickly joined by Phoebe Beigbeder (co-founder of the NFT Paris conference and private equity project analyst at Atka), Ava Kouhana (student at Ensae and intern at PyratzLabs, a studio that supports Web3 projects), as well as by Anaëlle Guez (founder of Achyle, a start-up specialized in consulting and developing digital tools for legal services). Now they are twelve women working in the web3 sector to actively contribute to the development of the association, including Lucille Brunet, Dafne Saporito, Margaux Borgey, Tiffany Danscoine, Margaux Frisque, Chloe Semaan, Anastasia Melachrinos and Sophie Merdrignac.

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An association born from a call on LinkedIn

WiW3 came about “a bit by accident,” admits Naomie Halioua, whose appeal launched in May on LinkedIn far exceeded her expectations. “We proposed to the women of the ecosystem to meet for a drink on a “rooftop” and we thought about 30 people would be interested, but in the end more than 400 people responded positively.” The small troupe then organizes within a week to find partners for this first evening, and the French unicorn of the metaverse The Sandbox answers in attendance.

Since then, the community has organized two events per month, each sponsored by an industry player, such as Tezos (blockchain), Morpho (DeFi protocol), Avalanche (blockchain) or StakeDAO (multi-service DeFi platform). The next one will take place on January 12, at the University of Paris Dauphine, in partnership with APWine, a French protocol specialized in tokenizing DeFi returns. These workshops “in which we explain the technical specifics of a DeFi protocol, a blockchain or others,” aim to cultivate women in these professions that can sometimes seem reserved for men.

“Web3 and DeFi are too ‘BoysClub'”

If Naomie Halioua brushes off any discrimination in employment, she believes the problem arises more in terms of community. “Web3, and more DeFi, is very ‘BoysClub’. When I go to events, people often ask me if I’m in communications or marketing, I think it’s a cognitive bias present in web2 that has been carried over to web3 that we have to fight “, judges the president of WiW3.

Faced with the discomfort women can sometimes experience at the idea of ​​”networking” at traditional events, the association sought to build its community and educate those willing to do so. know more “Secondly, we will also aim to help women get started in Web3 and not focus more on education,” adds Naomie Halioua.

Connect, educate and empower women on the Web3

However, given the current state of the market, the time is more favorable for education and culture. In addition to organized events, Women in Web3 also offers audio (podcast) and video (YouTube channel) content, highlighting in particular female role models of success within the industry, including Claire Balva (founder of Blockchain Partner), Karolina Gorna (security expert cyber ), Charlotte Eli (co-founder of AtlendisLabs) and Léa Narzis (Blockchain Engineer at Polkadot) etc.

Within the association, an antenna dedicated to B2B culture has been created, which aims to highlight the women experts of web3, WeBlock, led by Anaelle Guez. Its mission is, among other things, to provide training sessions for companies. Safran, HEC and Havas, for example, have used it. Education must also be developed at the school and university level, where women are again largely underrepresented. Naomi Halioua has thus invited to give a course on this topic at HEC, and the association has also created a partnership with Ecole 42 and Paris-Dauphine University.

“Our goal is to help create tomorrow’s Web3 elite and for more women to find their place there,” concludes Naomie Halioua. That is why, from the beginning of 2023, WIW3 will organize themed dinners to unite and engage the women of the web3 ecosystem with those of the web2 ecosystem or large groups. The association is also conducting a study to accurately determine the share of jobs and positions held by women in this new industry. This will be published in the coming months.

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