Published on Arabian Blue Ocean on January 22, 2018
Barbie? Mothers? Partners? Nobody in the audience dared to connect barbies and women when Efi Pylarinou, co-founder of Daily Fintech and Fintech/Blockchain advisor asked the public what comes to their minds when they think about women, but she suggested the word barbie and men held their breath in the event of a scold.
Her intentions were too far from recrimination but to wake us up and to contextualize the fact that the gender gap is usually thought of as our participation of lack of in the workforce. Efi Pylarinou wanted to sound the alarm that there is much more than that to consider. As females make most of the home purchasing decisions; there should be increased focus on product and services design for women, targeting the female customer audience and taking into account women’s criteria for the development of user experience. The estimated $17trillion global value of the women’s market should increasingly be the focus of Fintechs. But this is not the case, yet when assessing tech products and services.
Have you ever wonder why women find Bluetooth earphones challenging? One part, because women find pairing with their devices challenging (so, first poor user experience), and the other part, because it gets tangled with their hair and their earrings (further downgrading of the UX). Men, who give priority to performance, rate highly Bluetooth earphones and technology in general, because tech for them is meaningful per se. But women always have more holistic approach towards the values technology brings, as the enabler to do something else with it, not its performance per se.
Is technology a male-issue only? Or does technology have a female dimension? Most probably it has, same as we all have male and female sides in the sense of prioritizing one side in the pairs of relationship & power, family & individual, empathy & competition, emotions & logic decisions.
Nature operates in a decentralized, invisible, and harmonious way. This is closer to the way blockchain technology aims to change our business models and closer to female soft values. Women for example, give priority to social alignment and relationships, rather than competition and out-performance. Female´s soft values are more aligned with trust and authentication, which are the pillars of the blockchain. Males overweight costs and speed of performance.
“Blockchain is a technology whose core idea is a decentralized process that automates trust among strangers, and trust is predominantly a female value,” says Pylarinou.
If Bluetooth earphones shall enable a better communication –with or without earrings-, FinTech shall produce something else than just cryptocurrencies for itself. Everyone has similar goals in life -house, kids, mortgage, and education- so FinTech can help us to achieve them in a single, harmonious transaction. It has nothing to do with a faster and cheaper transaction; it is not just the transaction performance per se with a chronometer in the hand.
Pylarinou walked us through a list of pioneers of FinTech with a different purpose than performance per se: Elizabeth Stark (solving the scalability problem of bitcoin through Lighting), Leanne Kemp, Everledger (worked with supply finance chain applications), Mette Skjold Rotbøll (cofounder of Think Yellow, offers robot advisory personalized for your portfolio on gender equality), Sally Krawckech´s Ellevest (helps women to decide their investments), Miss Kaya (invites Asian women to control their money), Lisa Gus (WishKnit allows referrals in communities).
Their missions transcend the reality to become digital tokens and go back to the society with a high impact because they focus on social values. What would be the culmination of FemTech in FinTech? Women´s Coin, a crypto currency that uses blockchain technology to allow men and women to transacts on their common values (tangible or intangible). Barbara Mellish (Seratio) and Christine Bamford (Women´s Coin Education Foundation) are leaders in this breakthrough approach.
Then again, as in the Bluetooth example, is not about the performance, but about achieving your goal by using the technology. Goals can be social, communication, inclusion, education, empowerment, etc.