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Augusta Riddy

Special projects writer, New Statesman

Blockchain publicist says whole gender will disrupt your business

Yesterday I and hundreds of others received an email from a press officer, promoting what exactly was quite hard to understand. From what I could decipher between the buzzwords and outdated graphics, there seems to be some kind of event taking place at Blockchain Week. “Mind shifting series 2019”, anyone? Form an orderly queue.

One section did capture my attention, however. Under the sub-heading “The Hackathon Been [sic] Upgraded for 2019” (erm, what?), there was a list of three things “set to disrupt your business”. Indeed, the email claimed that these three factors “are set to completely disrupt and improve your business faster and more spectacularly than you will imagine.” How exciting! The first thing that will “disrupt” your business?

“Women.”

I mean, we are great. We’re also not a digital phenomenon. Or are we? Next up on the list was “Blockchain and Frontier Technologies”. Wow – what excellent company over half the population is in! The email continued: “Empowering women in business to thrive to their full potential is a huge opportunity and advantage.” This I agree with. Personally, it’s a huge advantage as it enables me to pay rent, occasionally go to the cinema or the pub, and buy food for my cats. “But let’s face it,” the PR joyfully informed us, “most of us are missing the boat here.”

No! Don’t miss the boat! Get on board the “women” boat – it’s the best boat! Honestly, it won’t even feel that different to a man boat. You may even find that our creativity, empathy, and tea-making skills lend a whole new dimension to your business, which could even benefit your blockchain-generating capabilities (does one generate blockchain?).

To be fair, this utterly opaque event will feature three female “social impact leaders … together in one room”. I can’t even imagine the scale of disruption taking place in that room! Whether or not these successful blockchain experts have seen this promotional email, I don’t know. I should hope not.

I might be doing myself and my sisters a disservice. We are pretty disruptive, after all! Last weekend at a wedding, after a full day of near-constant drinking, myself and another woman were very disruptive on the dance floor, and I may have disrupted a table full of empty glasses. Is this the kind of disruption the fintech industry is after? If so, I’m ready.

At this event, you can also “find out how to ride out the crypto-winter”. As a woman, I think I’d be perfect for that. Where do I sign up?

Augusta Riddy is a special projects writer at the New Statesman