Forbes magazine noted a few years ago that several prominent people speaking at International Women’s Day in March of 2014, decried the relative lack of women in technology fields, and in 2015, they warned of a growing gap. As a new initiative, we at Lex Proximus, will make an effort to highlight the achievements of women in legal technology.
There is reason for hope that as the blockchain develops, it will provide new opportunities for gender parity. It seems that 2016 will be the year that Blockchain 3.0 comes of age. Blockchain 1.0 was about currency, and 2.0 was about smart contracts. Blockchain 3.0 moves beyond fintech to incorporate other applications. Government, health care, science, cultural expression, and legal services are now looking for ways to adopt distributed ledger systems. While the earlier versions of the blockchain have been dominated by male leaders and early adopters, as the technology matures, many women are entering leadership positions in the emerging industries.
Blythe Masters, for example, whose picture graced the cover of the October edition of Bloomberg Markets. Masters is the CEO of Digital Assets Holdings, a company that uses blockchain technology to provide settlement and ledger services. An article in Institutional Investor reports that Masters is an innovator in the derivatives business and the youngest woman to achieve the title of managing director in JPMorgan’s history. Her new venture currently focused on three areas: syndicated loans, U.S. Treasury repos, and equity shares in private companies. In each area, the potential exists to transform the way business is done through smart contracts run on private chains.