Blockchain Association launches Diversity and Inclusion Working Group
Today, the Blockchain Association is launching the Diversity and Inclusion Working Group (DIWG). The Diversity and Inclusion Working Group will drive public policy discussions to promote financial inclusion using open blockchain technology and promote the diversity within the blockchain industry. Ruby Sekhon at Polychain Capital and Jasmine Shergill with eToro will co-chair the group, which is open to all members of the Blockchain Association.
Diversity and Inclusion in the Blockchain Industry: Opportunities and Challenges
Blockchain-powered businesses have the potential to set a new standard for diversity and inclusion in the U.S. economy. The DIWG will spur the broader blockchain industry to proactively address persistent issues related to diversity and inclusion.
For example, blockchain-powered services have the potential to dramatically expand access to financial tools, a stubborn barrier to full economic participation for under-served constituencies. According to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation’s (FDIC) most recent data, approximately 8.4 million U.S. households are unbanked and 24.2 million U.S. households are underbanked, amounting to over 84 million individuals. Moreover, more than 1.7 billion individuals worldwide lack basic financial services.
Blockchain-based services, including those currently being developed and deployed by Blockchain Association members, could provide these under-served constituencies access to the global financial system without having to set up an account with traditional financial institutions. Addressing disparities in financial access using blockchain will begin to tackle imbalances in economic opportunity and inclusion: 16.9% of black and 14.0% of Hispanic households were unbanked in 2017, compared to 3.0% of white and 2.5% of Asian households.
As blockchain businesses promote economic inclusivity in the United States and around the world, the blockchain industry must advance diversity and inclusion from within.
The blockchain industry sits at the nexus of the technology and financial sectors, two critical industries that, historically, have suffered from a lack of diversity and inclusion. The Blockchain Association and the Diversity and Inclusion Working Group will seek to advocate for diversity and inclusion across both sectors.
Not only is the promotion of diversity and inclusion simply the right thing to do, but it is also good business. For example, studies have found that diverse teams: boost growth, outperform on profitability, and drive innovation and new market opportunities.
The Blockchain Association has already taken steps to highlight and promote diversity and inclusion by being the lead sponsor offor a delegation of female blockchain leaders to the Women of Color in Blockchain Congressional briefing. The Blockchain Association’s Diversity and Inclusion Working Group will ensure that the industry leads by example on these vital issues.