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Alizee Carli From Casper Network Explores Representation in Web3 on International Women’s Day

Last Updated March 8, 2024 11:57 AM
Teuta Franjkovic
Last Updated March 8, 2024 11:57 AM
By Teuta Franjkovic
Verified by Peter Henn

  Key Takeaways

  • Web3’s innovation suffers from a lack of women, slowing progress, and questioning inclusivity.
  • Casper Network’s efforts (inclusive culture, women leaders, diversity partnerships) tackle the gender gap in blockchain.
  • More women in Web3 means fresh ideas, better financial tools for all, wider reach for Web3 tech, and a stronger industry

In the ever-evolving landscape of technology, Web3 promises decentralization, transparency, and boundless opportunities.

Yet, amid this, there’s a glaring absence. Women are vastly underrepresented. This not only stifles progress but also undermines the very essence of inclusivity and diversity.

Pioneering Women in Web3: Breaking Barriers and Forging the Future

Recent studies have shed light on the stark reality. Just 13% of Web3 projects  have women in their founding teams, while a meager 7% of blockchain professionals are female. This gender gap not only raises concerns about equality but also poses a significant threat to the future of innovation within the digital realm.

On International Women’s Day, it’s imperative to confront this disparity head-on. That’s why we have the privilege to speak with Alizee Carli, Director of Strategy & Ecosystem at Web3 company Casper Network. Her experience includes six years in leadership roles at McKinsey. Her dedication to fostering female-led projects within the Casper ecosystem makes Carli uniquely positioned to dissect the challenges, opportunities, and imperatives surrounding women’s representation in Web3.

Research from McKinsey  underscores the undeniable benefits of diversity. The data shows how businesses thrive when they embrace inclusion. Alizee Carli’s insights delve deep into this, emphasizing that female representation isn’t merely a checkbox. Instead, it’s a prerequisite for sustainable progress and innovation in the digital age.

Join us as we explore the pivotal role of women in driving Web3 forward, dismantling barriers, and shaping a future where equality and empowerment reign supreme. In this exclusive interview, Alizee Carli explains why women’s voices are imperative for the evolution of Web3.

CCN: Can you share your journey into the blockchain industry? What inspired you to advocate for women’s representation in Web3?

Alizee Carli: I was in a completely different field, working as a strategy consultant and leading teams in energy transition and sustainability at McKinsey for seven years. I loved it and learnt so much from it, working with exceptional minds, serving clients on challenging pathways and learning the consultant toolkit. However ,I’ve always been super excited by innovation and tech, which is where I started my career

When Bitcoin, crypto and blockchain emerged I was interested and explored it in my own time. Since I come from a family of art patrons I was very interested in the NFT aspect of crypto and web3.

After my time at McKinsey I wanted to experience web3 firsthand. I saw the potential and loved how transformative yet complex it was. When something is complex and innovative, I believe that’s where you can make a difference and it gets really fascinating.

I think it’s very important to have more women in web3 especially in leadership positions. When you don’t consider women’s problems while developing products and offerings, you cut yourself off from a very big pool of users.

Blockchain enables access for underrepresented segments of the population, including minorities and women. It makes illiquid things liquid by creating secondary markets with fewer intermediaries. When you remove intermediaries, you remove barriers to access.

Blockchain can intrinsically help women and any global population that has been cut out of traditional finance opportunities. It’s more democratic for anybody — including women.

That being said, the best gift anybody can give their daughters is financial acumen and education. As we raise our daughters and sons we need to prioritize this more.

CCN: How does Casper Network currently support and promote gender diversity within its team and wider community?

Alizee Carli: We are working with Proof.io  to address our impact and performance across ESG and diversity. We monitor our performance across gender, geographical diversity and a whole suite of aspects including sustainability. We look at how energy intensive our validator and nodes are. 

It’s really about the culture. If you refrain from ‘bro culture’, which is why we’ve seen women in web3 not feeling supported or sponsored; that’s what you need to do. We put a lot of emphasis on this – giving the stage to more women — supporting them and giving them opportunities. One key example is that I pay attention to opening doors to my female colleagues by taking them to large events for instance, even though their role wouldn’t require it. Because it gives them exposure and broadens their network.

Finally, one thing that I think could unlock more women in this space is everything about motherhood support. You need to establish what’s been established in leading companies such as McKinsey and many others around maternity leave, paternity leave and all these benefits. I think they should be applied to startup environments as well.

CCN: In your opinion, what unique perspectives do women bring to the blockchain and Web3 spaces that are essential for the industry’s growth?

Alizee Carli: Women make up half of the population and typically have household economic power in many geographies.

According to a recent study by Gemini , 47% of “crypto-curious” people are women and in France, nearly half (45%) of crypto investors are women. According to an eToro study, ownership of crypto-assets is increasing significantly among women aged 18 to 34, rising from 29% in the third quarter of 2022 to 34% in the following quarter. After cash, crypto-assets are the second most commonly owned asset by women, especially young women, continues the e-Toro survey. According to a BlockFi study , 20% of Generation Z women consider Bitcoin to be the best long-term investment – more than for stocks (19%) but less than for real estate (41%).

Given those numbers, it would be foolish to ignore or underestimate the female consumer. Blockchain-based companies are missing out on a significant user-base when not building with women in mind: any specific need, desire and decision-making factor.

The good news? There is a massive need for education around crypto too — for everyone. Although women often have economic power in the household, they may not be as financially educated as men. DeFi and web3 seem to have a role to play there. The existing financial infrastructure and system weren’t set up with women in mind – it’s basically a patriarchal structure. 

I think it’s unintentional but when you don’t have specific personas in mind, you end up creating something that doesn’t specifically serve women’s interests. That’s why I would like to get as many women leaders as possible in this space.

CCN: What challenges do women face in the blockchain industry? How can companies like Casper Network help overcome these obstacles?

Alizee Carli: One of the challenges is that the blockchain industry is highly technical. Job vacancies are often advertised with long lists of required skills and programming languages. This can work against women, who may tend to rule themselves out if they can’t tick every box in a job advertisement.

Companies like Casper Network  can help overcome this by being more growth-oriented in their mindset and training someone who has potential and will bring a lot to the table, rather than always requiring 20 years of experience as a full-stack Rust developer for example. If you apply those types of requirements, you often end up with the same profile – typically white males. The criteria may need to be reconsidered.

Another challenge is the “bro culture” that can exist in web3, where women don’t feel supported or sponsored. Companies need to put a lot of emphasis on creating an inclusive culture, giving the stage to more women, supporting them and providing opportunities.

Finally, support for motherhood — such as maternity and paternity leave and other benefits that are established in larger companies — should be applied to startup environments as well. This could help unlock more women’s participation in the blockchain space.

CCN: Casper Network is known for its innovative approach to blockchain technology. How do you see the role of diversity and inclusion playing a part in fostering innovation within your company?

Alizee Carli: I believe that when you look at innovation and investment in breakthrough technologies, blockchain and AI could compete with each other. However, blockchain hasn’t had a clear “iPhone moment” that changes everything. Or, maybe, it has had a lot of small iPhone moments that didn’t get noticed.

I’m hopeful that as the technology matures. With so much building going on, there will be this clear iPhone moment that will change everything. We need that crazy, easy, user-friendly solution or application.

Diversity and inclusion play a crucial role in fostering this kind of innovation. When you have diverse perspectives and backgrounds within your team, you’re more likely to consider a wider range of problems and come up with creative solutions that cater to different user needs.

At Casper, we recognize the importance of diversity and inclusion in driving innovation. That’s why we actively work to create an inclusive culture, support women in leadership roles and collaborate with organizations that promote diversity in the blockchain space.

By bringing together people with different experiences and viewpoints, we can push the boundaries of what’s possible with blockchain technology. We can create those groundbreaking, user-friendly applications that will drive mainstream adoption.

CCN: Could you highlight any initiatives or programs that Casper Network has implemented or plans to implement to encourage more women to participate in blockchain and Web3?

Alizee Carli: I personally am working on several initiatives to encourage more women to participate in blockchain and Web3. One key area I am focusing on is collaborating with organizations like H.E.R. DAO, Women in Web3  and Crypto Girls Club . These groups organize local events, hackathons and other activities to onboard and support female talent, especially in technical roles.

We actively engage with these organizations and their events. For example, I will soon be participating in a panel to celebrate women in web3 through the Switzerland chapter. And it’s not just me – my colleagues are also involved in supporting these local efforts.

In addition to external collaborations, we are also looking at ways to create a more inclusive internal culture. This includes things like ensuring a balance of male and female candidates are interviewed for each role. We also want to provide opportunities for women to attend major industry events and build their networks and offering support for working mothers.

CCN: From your perspective, what can be done at an industry-wide level to attract and retain more women in blockchain-related fields?

Alizee Carli: First and foremost, work with professional recruiting agencies that are mindful of presenting diverse and qualified profiles. This can help you source the appropriate candidates for your needs, whether tech or otherwise.

You should recognize, sponsor and promote the visibility of female talents in your organizations. The Association for Women in Cryptocurrency spread a pledge to “unmanel your panel” to encourage more diverse thought leadership. Movements are already underway to encourage this shift from leaders and organizations like Pete Townsend,  Association for Women in Cryptocurrency and Women in Web3 Switzerland  (WiW3CH)

There are also organizations like Women in Web3, Women in Blockchain (WiB), Les Hackeuses, or TechyGirls. In recent years, women’s collectives in Web3 and crypto have multiplied. They are crucial in creating sorority networks and generating new opportunities for members (speaking slots, jobs, media coverage, etc.). We need to grow our advocacy of them.

We should onboard women from web2 into leadership and product design. Not only are these voices a part of key discussions but there are opportunities for women to take a hands-on role in creating and shaping web3’s products and strategies. The pool of talent is much larger than web3. Let’s tap into the vast pool of exceptional female leaders from web2 in Product, Engineering, Analytics, Sustainability, etc. This will help the industry mature and attract more qualified professionals. Other roles to emphasize could include developers, analysts and UX design. The foundation is to adopt this as part of the core company strategy.

For investors and VCs, partner with dedicated funds supporting women entrepreneurs.

CCN: How do you envision the impact of increased women’s representation on the trajectory of Web3 and blockchain technology?

Alizee Carli: I believe increased women’s representation will have a significant impact on the trajectory of Web3 and blockchain technology. When you have more diversity in the people building and shaping these technologies, you naturally bring a wider range of perspectives and ideas to the table.

Diversity of thought is crucial for addressing the unique challenges and opportunities presented by Web3 and blockchain. Women bring different life experiences, priorities and problem-solving approaches. This can help identify new use cases, design more intuitive user interfaces and create products with a broader appeal.

As we’ve discussed, blockchain and Web3 have the potential to create more accessible and inclusive financial systems. By removing barriers and intermediaries, these technologies can open up opportunities for populations that have historically been underserved or excluded, including women.

However, to fully realize this potential, it’s essential women are not only represented but also empowered to take on leadership roles and drive decision-making. 

I try my best to act as a role model for women in the industry, and for those thinking about entering the industry too. The responsibility that comes with this is to act as an active sponsor for my female colleagues and network and to personally encourage them toward leadership roles in web3.

As more women enter the space and rise through the ranks, we’ll see a shift in the industry’s priorities. There will also be a greater focus on building solutions that benefit everyone.


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