Crypto’s Gender Divide Surfaces: Only 5% of Coders Are Women
By CCN Markets: Less than 5% of crypto developers are women, according to an analysis of the 100 most popular blockchain projects submitted to GitHub, Microsoft‘s code-sharing site. The results are not scientific because they assumed a coder’s gender based solely on their user name. Moreover, there was no verification of whether the user was actually male or female.
However, the results are not surprising considering the tech industry has historically been male-dominated.
Analyst: 95% of Crypto Developers Are Men
Journalist Corin Faife posted his analysis on Medium. Faife found that only 4.6% of “female” names were used for the various blockchain projects.
He then used that criterion to draw conclusions about the massive gender disparity in the crypto industry.
“I scraped data on 1,026,804 code commits across 100 projects. Of these, 691,134 were made by developers with male-identified names, and only 47,678 were made by people with female-identified names.”
“In total, GitHub users with female names account for less than 5% of the commits to the top 100 cryptocurrency projects — 4.64% to be exact.”
2017 Study Found Similar Gender Disparity
Faife’s findings mirrored the results of a larger, more-formal survey conducted by GitHub in 2017. That study found that out of 5,500 open-source developers, a whopping 95% of contributors were male .
Naturally, there’s a debate about why there are so few female coders in crypto. Some argue that it’s because women are being discriminated against.
Others say it’s more subtle in that women find the male-oriented tech industry uninviting. According to GitHub’s research:
“Women are more likely than men to encounter language or content that makes them feel unwelcome (25% vs. 15%) as well as stereotyping (12% vs. 2%) and unsolicited sexual advances (6% vs. 3%).”
Crypto Industry Is Also Male-Dominated
The crypto industry is also largely male. And as digital currencies like bitcoin become more mainstream, more women are entering the field.
According to a Google Analytics survey, men comprise 91% of the bitcoin community, while women make up just 9.9%.
Economists: Women Are More Risk-Averse
So why are there fewer women in the crypto universe? Anna Dreber, an economics professor at the Stockholm School of Economics, says men are more willing to take bigger risks, and studies appear to confirm this theory.
According to one study cited by the Financial Times, there’s a 64% chance that a random man is willing to take more risks than a random woman.
Similarly, a 2016 study presented at the Australasian Finance and Banking Conference indicates that women take far fewer risks (both with their own money and with others’ cash).
Duncan Stewart, the research director of Deloitte Canada’s technology unit, believes more women will enter the crypto-sphere if digital currencies prove they’re not flashes in the pan. “If that happens, women will show up to the party,” Stewart told the CBC. “Late, in this case, but they will show up.”
About The Author
Samantha Chang is a financial editor who writes about cryptocurrencies and business at CCN and about politics at BizPac Review. She is a law school graduate and an alum of the University of Pennsylvania who enjoys finance, flowers, and fitness. Email her at [email protected] or follow her on Twitter at Samantha_Chang.
This article was edited by Gerelyn Terzo.