Last week, on LinkedIn, I called out the North American Bitcoin Conference for having merely 1 female speaker, out of 85 male speakers, and for having their afterparty at what essentially is a strip club. All that, accompanied by event photos from last year’s conference, made one stop to consider whether it was an event one would even want to attend as a female.
In fact, many women – and even some men – publicly proclaimed on social media that they were boycotting the conference for these reasons.
Well, the good news is that conference organizers heard. Organizers have released a statement reflecting on diversity and inclusion in the space. Organizer Moe Levin wrote;
“In light of recent criticisms surrounding diversity and inclusivity, and as the leader of the company which is putting on the main event, I now question … If I was a businesswoman dropped into the center of all this, how would I feel?”
“And the truth is, I don’t know… But I want to.”
He went on to explain;
“Our conference programme is not as diverse or inclusive as it should be and the criticism surrounding this is entirely warranted. While we know that the industry is dominated by men, that does not mean that we can’t actively seek out and engage female leaders in the industry.”
He added, “We can, and we will, do better,” and asked for feedback on how they could make their events more inclusive of everyone.
As for the strip club, Keynote has removed all exotic dancers and lap dances from the afterparty.
It’s heartening to hear that the event organizers are willing to listen, and vow to take a more inclusive approach in the future. The crypto space is a brave new world—let’s make that world a place for everyone.
Amy Wan, Esq.CIPP/US, is a Senior Contributor to Crowdfund Insider. Amy is founder and Chief Legal Hacker at Sagecoin, a Bootstrap Legal Legaltech blockchain project, and is a consultant with ICOinvestor.tv. She has authored many legal publications, including the upcoming Bloomberg Law ICO offering practice guide. Amy was previously Partner at a law firm that specialized in crowdfunding and syndication law, and was the General Counsel of a real estate crowdfunding platform. She has been named one of ten women to watch in legal technology by the American Bar Association Journal in 2014 and was Finalist for the Corporate Counsel of the Year Award 2015 by LA Business Journal. She is the founder and co-organizer of Legal Hackers LA.