A look at the industry’s gender imbalance

Yuree Hong, a digital marketer based in Singapore, is determined to change that.

Her blockchain community, S/HE Blockchainers Asia, invites only female speakers, but opens its doors to everyone.

While many blockchain events draw few women, at least 30 to 40 percent of the attendees at Hong’s events are female, she said. Hong explained that having female speakers encouraged women to participate.

Hong told CNBC she began to study blockchain technology more deeply last year, attending seminars and events where she frequently found herself the only female, or, at best, one of a handful in events of about a hundred people.

She tried to look for communities with better gender ratios, and, when she couldn’t find any, she decided to start her own in Singapore last year.

After about six months, the group has more than 500 members and has hosted events in Singapore, Seoul and Ho Chi Minh City.

Hong wants to challenge the perception that there are few qualified women in the blockchain space. In fact, when she first told people she would only invite female speakers, “people told me it is going to be difficult.”

She was pleasantly surprised to find it was “not difficult at all,” Hong said, and she has invited women from a variety of roles in the blockchain space — including Liu.

Blockchain conference and community organizers are taking note of the gender imbalance.

Last week, Singapore-based blockchain conference De/Centralize, which had been criticized for having only a few female speakers on its roster, partnered with Hong’s S/HE Blockchainers Asia and offered discounts to her community.

Kenneth Bok, a De/Centralize organizer, told CNBC via email that the conference had found it challenging to get female blockchain experts for the conference. He said the goal was to have female speakers make up a third of the roster next year.

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