By guest columnists Francesca Tabor and Geoff Meenan
Question : what country in the world currently has the highest number of female business leaders and senior managers ? Well, it’s not located anywhere in progressive Scandinavia. Nor is it the good old US of A. Or indeed, the UK. The answer is actually the Philippines, where no less than 34% of those leading businesses are women. Very interestingly, the key factors behind this are largely twofold : one, strong and equal access to quality education, and two, a culture of working women in powerful positions which stretches back through the country’s history. Thailand and Singapore score very highly too, and mainly for the same reasons. There are, though, additional factors : the right demographics, and - crucially - the strength of the tech industries in Far East countries.
Whilst all of this is clearly both positive and in some ways instructive for much of the rest of the globe, the one thing we do know about technology is that the ground is constantly shifting under our feet. Never more so than now, where the revolutions that are blockchain, crypto and web 3.0 portend a wave of disruption the like of which we have very possibly not yet seen. Whilst the technical explosion of such innovations appears intrinsically progressive, though, there is a worrying gender imbalance in participation - recent figures show that the amount of women involved in new tech is currently lower than 10%.
Given the enormous opportunities involved, there would seem to be a real need for action to improve those figures, for the benefit of all : especially with the mounting evidence that businesses with strong female leadership and participation show greater, more profitable returns.
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One digital pioneer taking action to change this is Bridget Greenwood, whose organisation The Bigger Pie is bringing together a formidable selection of female talent to provide leadership, advice and the benefit of community to women who are either involved already or seeking to get involved in the blockchain/new tech space. Bridget, who studied sports science at Loughborough University and started her business life as a financial adviser, saw the potential for women to be strongly engaged in the digital world during the first decade of the century, and has gradually - in parallel with the life changes that many of us experience - moved closer and closer to the cutting edge of recent developments, becoming an evangelist for strong and growing female involvement for the good of all.
The Bigger Pie (thebiggerpie.io) has a worldwide reach, linking talented female innovators in many countries with the ambition to play a leading role in the coming creation of widespread infrastructure development for blockchain and crypto technologies. Whilst providing consultancy services and outstanding opportunities for collaboration, there is much more to the organisation than that : it platforms participants through its own programme of events, and through its wider scope leads onto a way into other, outside conferences and opportunities to speak and participate that are greater still. The comprehensive nature of its community makes it something of a one-stop shop for women who are either already in the blockchain space, or seeking to become involved.
One thing is for certain : as we look to the East for inspiration when it comes to empowering women in business, the pioneering spirit shines out as perhaps the crucial factor. Organisations such as The Bigger Pie are a heartening example to all of us that when it comes to tech innovation in 2021, sisters are definitely doing it for themselves - and doing it brilliantly to boot.