Women in Tech – This Is What Web3 Has to Offer

Mar 08, 2024Reading Time: 5 minutes

The blockchain ethos knows no borders, no nationality, and no gender. But is the Web3 industry living up to its lofty standards? To celebrate International Women's Day, we turned to Rebecca Jones, CEO and founder of Block3 PR, for a reality check.


“One of my clients wants to pay me in bitcoin. Is it safe?” 

She was a financial journalist – I was a blockchain nerd. When Rebecca and I first met at the Sivananda yoga studio in Saigon, she turned to me for advice. (In case you are wondering, the answer was “yes – and hold”.)

Six years later, Rebecca still has her bitcoin and runs a successful Web3 PR agency. To understand what it means for her to be a woman in Web3, I reached out to her. And this is what I learned. 

Rebecca, there are much fewer women than men in Web3. Is the Web3 industry not friendly to its female members?

There exists a common misconception that Web3 is a bad place for women – for a good reason. Attendance at any crypto conference reveals that the industry is, indeed, dominated by men. And largely white men, at that. In this way, Web3 physically mirrors the traditional Web1 and Web2 worlds. However, this is where the comparison largely ends. 

In fact, Web3 is potentially one of the most female-friendly industries on the planet thanks to several factors that are largely unique to it. One of those is its location agnosticism. Very few Web3 companies have any kind of physical headquarters – staff are scattered all over the world, making us in the business all experts in time zone coordination and flexible working. To work at a Web3 company is to be prepared to crunch some code or compose content on your laptop or phone in the car on the way to the airport. 

For many, this would be a nightmare, but for those looking for flexible work, it’s a godsend. And as we know, it is women who benefit most from the ability to work flexibly. We tend to shoulder the responsibilities of caring for children and other family members that men have still not quite picked up.

If Web3 offers a better work-life balance than traditional tech companies, what’s the impact on your business?

We attract unique female talent! I am lucky enough to employ some of the most uniquely talented women in the industry at my PR agency, Block3 PR

We have experts who have handled some of the world’s biggest PR crises, including the General Motors bankruptcy. Some of us have led the launch of DeFi and DePIN giants like Nexo and Helium, edited national newspapers like The i in the UK, and – perhaps more interestingly – climbed some of the most dangerous rocks on earth.

Currently, the workforce of Block3 is around 90% female. While I am a female founder, that was not, in fact, my intention. But it has been the result, thanks to the inspiring nature of Web3 for women. 

You mentioned that Web3 physically mirrors the Web2 world. How do you experience the cultural gap between the two worlds?

In the Web1 and Web2 worlds, women often feel suffocated by strict hierarchical structures governed by male gatekeepers. Perhaps nowhere is this more evident than in traditional finance. In this aggressively macho environment, a woman has to make any number of sacrifices in order to succeed, often including her good conscience. 

My PR director and I know this all too well, having begun our careers as financial journalists in London. I could spend the rest of our conversation recounting horrifying episodes with aged white male asset managers commenting on the size of my chest, or forcing me to listen to the merits of blondes over brunettes at an award ceremony at the Savoy. But perhaps I’ll save that for another time. 

Suffice to say, though, we both became quite quickly disillusioned with the traditional finance world and soon segued into the sustainable finance sector. However, after a few years there, we discovered that things weren’t that much different – there was just more virtue signaling by slightly milder-mannered public schoolboys. 

Disillusioned by TradFi and sustainable finance, what made you jump into Web3? 

The Web3 world attracted us with its promise of opening finance to the masses, and we continue to be inspired by the promise of blockchain technology as we work with our clients – all of whom are striving to make a positive change to existing structures and systems. I think this resonates with many women, lending another unique angle to the attraction of this industry. 

Web3 is also, generally speaking, a place of collaboration and camaraderie. Everyone is largely on the same team. We want to see the sector succeed. Again, this is a refreshing change from the dog-eat-dog world of traditional finance and many other male-dominated Web1 and 2 industries which is particularly appealing to women. 

Then, Web3 is a great place for female founders, with low barriers to entry in terms of starting capital, staffing, and infrastructure.

Given all the positives, why is our industry still male-dominated?

While we have lots of women in PR and communications, we have much less on the development side. The extremely technical nature of blockchain means that it attracts extremely technical people, and it’s still true that these tend to be men.

But this is not a problem inherent to Web3. This situation is thanks to cultures and education systems that still encourage girls to take “softer skilled” humanities subjects rather than math, engineering, and finance. 

Again, though, I believe there are more female developers than we might think. I would be very curious to see, for example, how the number of female developers in Web3 compares to the number of female developers in Web2. If somebody wants to sponsor that study, I’ll do the PR. 

Look, I’m painting a pretty picture here. But of course, Web3 is not currently a Nirvana for women. While it has all the ingredients and potential to be, we have not yet recruited enough women to join the revolution. And that lack of representation affects the industry’s appeal. 

In addition, Web3 suffers from the crash-and-burn work ethic of the startup machine. Flexible hours can also mean unstructured hours and unrealistic expectations from founders who expect their teams to work as tirelessly as they do. This can lead to unsustainable situations within Web3 teams, and women are often among the first to fall off. 

You have a 90% female team. What can the industry learn from you to attract more female talent?

At Block3 PR, we are very focused on implementing structured working hours and being efficient to ensure that our clients are getting the absolute best results possible because our staff are happy and healthy. The more that Web3 companies focus on such important success metrics, the more women we can attract that will benefit from the flexible working hours, non-hierarchical structure, and inspiring nature of this industry. 

In Web3, there is truly no limit to what a woman can achieve, no matter where she lives, how many children she has, or how much money she has in the bank.

About Rebecca Jones

Rebecca Jones is the Co-founder and CEO of Block3 PR, a boutique public relations agency in the Web3 space. Rebecca has more than a decade of experience in financial journalism and public relations. She has written and edited for the business pages of national newspapers such as the Independent and the Daily Express in the UK and led PR strategies for asset managers in-house and at Edelman – the world’s biggest PR agency. In 2019, she moved into the Web3 sector with her own content agency and later led the global content and communications strategy for digital wealth management platform Yield App as Head of Communications before founding Block3 PR in 2022.