This is the second installment in our “Women’s History Month” series this month.
What has been so interesting in this series has been asking the same general questions, and getting vastly different answers from the women asked. This further proves that women do not exist as a monolith, but as multi faceted entities in the world. The next featured woman making incredible waves in the blockchain community is Betty Waitherero. Betty’s background is in media, political science and communications. Like most individuals within blockchain, she was introduced to the concepts via a dear friend who is an engineer. This friend shared their passion for renewable energy within countries that would greatly benefit from the change, such as Kenya where Betty is from. During our interview, Betty further educated me on the benefits of blockchain technology, web3 and how this can be put into terms of creating equality for all and her methods of bettering the world through these methods.
Q: How can we as a community focus on bridging more women into roles such as yours within the community?
A: Betty states that this work should start before children and young adults have entered into the workforce. She recalls when she attended high school in Kenya and that even though every student took the same exit exams in high school, subjects such as tech and medicine were discouraged for the girls even though they received some of the highest scores on these exams. Betty explains that this is just the beginning of the misogyny that many women face when entering male dominant career fields. When women are discouraged from an early age from these introductory topics, you see an uneven playing field later in life. When we discourage women from even trying it becomes an unsupported idea that women are not intelligent enough to pursue these careers, even though there is no fact to support that claim. Betty states clearly, “It is my expressed opinion that women are smarter than men when it comes to science based subjects.” “If men can do it, it really isn’t that hard.”
What are some of your personal goals you would like to see for Web 3.0 and blockchain technology within the next year and within the next five years?
A: As we further discussed the general basics of blockchain technology and crypto, Betty explained to me that the use of tokens within the blockchain system should move towards accessibility outside of financial gain and profit, but accessibility to individuals who may not possess much capital power in the existing mainstream world. She says that her goal would be for mass adoption and accessibility of various coins that benefit many different communities and many different purposes. To make mass adoption accessible, there needs to be, in Betty’s opinion, a more concise, easily understood communication system to the numerous communities around the world. Betty explains that without a universal communication system, people who already know how to use digital monetary systems, do not know that human readable wallets and crypto currencies are things that they already know how to use and are even more secure than current centralized banking.
Were you familiar with Women’s History Month prior to this meeting? How did you celebrate? Who are women in your life that you look up to?
A: Betty is very aware of Women’s HIstory Month and attributes her knowledge of the month to her time at university in Kenya. She says that it was very important to not only know about Kenya women, but women all around the world. The women that inspire Betty in her lifetime and the work she has dedicated herself to are, Wangari Maathai, one of the biggest influences in renewable energy in Kenya, and her approach to environmental activism. Arumbhati Roy. One of the thinkers around community and activism. Toni Morrison and Maya Angelou, and most specifically, one of Maya Angelou’s most famous poems, Still I Rise.