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At Keynote, we pride ourselves on being a company focused on inclusivity and diversity. And as a team, we strive to create events with safe environments for all who attend, regardless of gender, race, or affiliations of any kind. And The North American Bitcoin Conference will be no different. However, on the eve of the largest blockchain and cryptocurrency conference that the world has ever seen, we need to acknowledge an oversight.
Our conference programme is not as diverse or inclusive as it should be and the criticism surrounding this is entirely warranted. While we know that the industry is dominated by men, that does not mean that we can’t actively seek out and engage female leaders in the industry. While this was not an intentional oversight, it is something that we should have pursued with more diligence.
As an industry, we need to do more to correct diversity imbalance and to empower all members of our community, and that starts with looking at who we are within the industry and where we can do better.
As the leader of Keynote, I am proud of what we have achieved as an organization, and the place we’ve earned in this industry. As an organisation, we have always been committed to diversity, and our team is comprised of a balance of genders. In 2014, Andreas Antonopoulos and I decided to begin publicizing and enforcing an Anti-harassment Policy, which is evergreen in the footer on all of our event websites. We are acutely aware and grateful for the fact that our community made us – and as such – our philosophy remains simple:
We put our community first. We will provide more networking and education opportunities for attendees, which are unavailable anywhere else, and maintain an inclusive environment for all.
An honest look at our upcoming Miami event…
Miami is about glamour, hype and luxurious lifestyles – theming that’s evident in all of the marketing and advertising I’ve seen for the ancillary networking parties others are throwing around our event.
In light of recent criticisms surrounding diversity and inclusivity, and as the leader of the company which is putting on the main event, I now question…
“If I was a businesswoman dropped into the center of all this, how would I feel?”
And the truth is, I don’t know…
But I want to.
Although, as Keynote, we have no control over ancillary event marketing, we can lead the industry by example through designing events that truly reflect our thriving community. The lack of female speakers in our programme wasn’t by design, but the imbalance certainly is an oversight.
And for that, I take full responsibility.
We can, and we will, do better. But we need your help.
In order to create future events that are open and diverse, I want your input. How can I (and by extension, Keynote) make our events feel more inclusive of everyone?
I firmly believe that diversity is the basis for collective achievement, and am fully prepared and excited to engage in this conversation.
Everyone in our community has a voice, and I’m ready to listen.
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