Celebrating women in blockchain – #IWD2021
As International Women’s Day 2021 celebrates digital advancement and champions the women innovating through technology, we spoke with some of the incredible women on the TAAL team who are leading the global blockchain movement.
A thank you to our participants; Deborah Rosati, Board of Directors, Delphine Forma, Chief Compliance Officer, Bettina Humphrey, Human Capital Manager, Tina Weber, Executive Assistant, Sandra Castelo, Financial Controller, Angela Holowaychuk, CMO and Board of Directors, and Kristina Meldere, Officer Manager.
WHAT SPARKED YOUR OWN INTEREST IN THE TECH SPACE?
Delphine: Technology is transforming our society and the way we interact with each other and our environment. I have always found it fascinating to see all the positive changes it can bring to our lives, and I am very curious of what will happen next. Will everything be governed by tech in our houses like in science fiction movies? Will we be flying in our cars or on skateboards?
Sandra: It is clear that all aspects of our lives will very soon involve some form of technology so I had to get involved and learn about emerging technologies so that I can be part of the conversation, help share it and understand how to use it. The alternative was to either become of victim of technology or hope that the ones developing have my best interest in mind!
Angela: The real spark happened when I was part of an international remittance business, we were a team that had firsthand experience seeing the impact regular payments made on families living in countries where financial inclusion was limited. We were a small team and with a few lines of code, we created a platform that connected families, offered money transfer corridors and banking solutions that did not exist before. It was the use cases and the results that made a huge impact on me and made me realize that tech is just a tool that allows anyone to solve the world’s greatest challenges. Just keep building.
Kristina: The growth of the industry in so many different directions and how people in the industry are led by such passion and feeling of being unlimited in their creative minds. I am still learning about the various aspects about the tech space and the more I learn, the more I am amazed how it will in fact contribute to a more sustainable future.
WHAT SHOULD WE BE TELLING YOUNGER GENERATIONS OF WOMEN INTERESTED IN TECHNOLOGY?
Delphine: Younger generation are born with tech, so I am sure that we will see more women in that field. I would advise them to go and learn how to code.
Sandra: Be curious and learn about it. A simple thing like knowing the lingo allows you to follow a conversation instead of feeling like you don’t understand anything.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO NEXT GENERATION OF FEMALE LEADERS?
Delphine: Dream high and never give up on your dreams!
Tina: During my childhood and where I came from, women were housewives, they had no education rights, no one would listen to their voice, even being a newborn baby girl, they had a very high rate to abscond, because society did not need so called weak labour. But nowadays, more and more women are extraordinary in their field, doing outstanding jobs, in ways that are already beyond expectation. My advice for the next generation of female leaders is do not bury our voice, do not wait to be seen, be open to learn and believe in ourselves.
Sandra: Become the best you can be at whatever it is that you have an interest in… once you are that good, you will have the confidence to deal with the hurdles that will show up along the way.
Bettina: Believe in yourself and remain authentic. Say what you want and why you judge a certain situation like this. Stand by your opinion and convince the others.
HOW DO YOU ANSWER THE QUESTION OF WHETHER WOMEN LEAD DIFFERENTLY THAN MEN?
Tina: Let’s start with a post I have seen; a mom who works 80% is asked who will pick kids up and who will take care of them after school, but when dad works 80%, people say they are good dads because they have more time for the kids. Is there any difference? Yes, gender! But as woman, we share and work to the same responsibilities, duties and challenges. So, do women lead differently? The answer is no. It is how people think women lead differently.
We are grateful to the woman and also men who are paving the way for gender equality. It is really great to see the company I am working with cares about it. Thank you. 😊
Sandra: Maybe maternal instinct shapes women’s leadership style slightly but I think that everyone leads differently, so it’s not just a men/women thing.
DESCRIBE SOME OF THE ADVANCES YOU’VE SEEN IN DIVERSITY AND GOVERNANCE IN RECENT YEARS… HOW IS THIS HELPING BUSINESS?
Deborah: Research supports that empowering more women to boards generates better financial performance, including a higher return on sales and better stock growth. Just as importantly, non-financial performance—such as the contribution of diverse viewpoints, skills, and experience—can improve overall decision making, enhance a company’s capacity to build a pipeline of potential future women executives and encourage innovation.
WHO INSPIRED YOU, AND WHY?
Deborah: I always wanted to be a businessman like my father. He was a self-made man, entrepreneurial and a well-respected leader in the community. My father was fearless in taking on bold projects, his creative passion and ideas lead others to follow. He inspired my every day to be persistent, passionate, and purposeful on my own bold projects, to never give up and to believe in myself. Thank you, Dad!
Kristina: My colleague Delphine has inspired me. Before I joined the company, I was very happy to see that a strong, young woman in a leading position and speaking with such passion and knowledge about her field!
WHAT ROLE CAN MALE TEAM MEMBERS PLAY TO BEST SUPPORT THEIR FEMALE PEERS IN THE BUSINESS AND TECH WORLD?
Sandra: Let go of the stereotypes and just allow anyone to bring their skill set to the table. The diversity of approach, idea, reference framework, experience is invaluable when trying developing original ideas that have value.
Kristina: Involve them in the conversation, in the project, in the training or discussion. Women are extremely curious and great, compassionate leaders and feeling their support encourages us to ask questions and strive for more alongside their male team members. Personally, I experience this daily, in how my male co-workers speak to me as an equal and that encourages me even more to learn about the industry and ask questions and start discussions
Bettina: Accept them as equal team members, and make no distinctions in the distribution of work and support flexible working hours. It should not matter if a woman has children at home. Her potential is therefore not limited if family life is well organized.
DO YOU HAVE OBSERVATIONS ABOUT THE CHALLENGES WOMEN FACE THAT ARE SPECIFIC TO THE TECHNOLOGY SECTOR?
Sandra: The best way to help change happen is to be the change so women take ownership of their careers and go for it. There are very little barriers to entry now so anyone with an internet connection can get all the knowledge they need and tinker on a project in their own house. You don’t need to wait for someone to help you or give you a chance, you need to create your luck.