WOMEN IN CRYPTO – TANJA BIVIC PLANKAR: Education is an asset similar to Bitcoin; No one can take your knowledge without your permission.

Today is International Women’s Day, and in that honor, we wanted to share with you an inspiring story of our dear Tanja Bivic Plankar.  

Tanja is one of the prominent women in crypto, currently acting as the president of the Blockchain Alliance Europe. She mastered her skills in television broadcasting, public speaking, and communications, and gained precious experience in managing digital and social media as well as numerous marketing projects. 

Being an active member of the regional blockchain community, she has participated in multiple blockchain-related media campaigns and engaged in several blockchain technology projects.  

For the past four years, she has been the head of the Blockchain Alliance Europe, a non-profit organization that is working towards mass adoption of blockchain technologies and cryptocurrencies and aims to transform Europe into a number one global blockchain destination. 

We had a brief conversation with her about how she got started in crypto, and this is what she had to say.

In 2017, I needed a career change, and blockchain technology was a natural decision since my husband is a founder of a blockchain company. I was fully aware of crypto and started to explore it myself during the 2016 DAO Ethereum hack because it completely ruined our family vacation. Since March 2018, I am also the president of Blockchain Alliance Europe. Blockchain Alliance Europe is a non-profit organization that connects companies and legal entities that use or implement blockchain technologies or are a part of the blockchain ecosystem. Blockchain Alliance Europe advocates for mass usage of blockchain technologies and cryptocurrencies and aims to transform Europe into a global blockchain destination. The alliance was established with the purpose of mutual assistance in business development, networking, cooperation, and education, all with the goal of mass adoption of blockchain technology and digital assets. 

I am also a passionate blockchain advocate, speaker, and blockchain technology content creator. Education is the key to mass adoption of various blockchain technology use-cases; that is why a lot of my time is dedicated to connecting communities, speaking, and lecturing engagements.  

We could not help but bring up the subject of gender, so we asked Tanja to elaborate on the impact that gender has on her work. 

I remember the blockchain and crypto conferences in 2017: the attendees were primarily men, and there were almost no women speakers. Times have changed, and more and more women are participating in blockchain and crypto space, especially in progressive countries, like the Netherlands. The Netherlands is undoubtedly one of the European model countries in terms of the inclusion of women, also among Nordic countries. 

I must regretfully say that I am still battling prejudice and doubt in my knowledge and expertise in my homeland, Slovenia. Although Slovenians like to perceive themselves as western Europeans, with a progressive set of ethical standards, I am often mansplained at meetings how to do my job. I sincerely doubt that men with the same experience and knowledge would be treated the same.  

We must speak up about injustice and demand inclusion. On the other hand, we must also be active and exploit the opportunities open to us. We have a voice, and it must grow louder. For CEOs worldwide, the awareness of how mixed teams are more successful in terms of profit is imperative. Also, women deserve to be paid equally for equal work, without any excuses. We must talk and educate about those important topics. And last but not least: there are more and more women initiatives that give women support and services needed for their success. I welcome and salute each of them and their impact on the inclusion of women. 

We know that Tanja is viewed as a role model by many women, and here is her message to them.

I am generation X; I grew up in the Eastern European society, and since I was a girl, I was not encouraged as much as the boys to follow my dreams. 

 I want to say to all the girls around the globe: 

  1. You are important. Everything that you share with the world is essential: every word, every thought, every move. That is how you contribute to the world’s diversity; you are a crucial unique tile of the world’s mosaic. 
  2. Educate. Education is an asset similar to Bitcoin; No one can take your knowledge without your permission. Learn wherever and however you can and also pass your knowledge to others. 
  3. You are allowed to follow your dreams. Following big dreams sometimes requires significant effort, but you can do it. If you are determined and want to do this, you can certainly do it. 

To round up this piece, we would like to leave you with some research findings that Tanja shared with us.

The impact of gender diversity on the performance of business teams

  • Teams with a lower percentage of women have lower sales and lower profits than teams with a balanced gender mix.
  • Profits increase as the share of women increases up to 50%. For higher shares of women, the relation between profits and the share of women is flat.
  • The study suggests that teams with an equal gender mix perform the same as teams with a majority of females, but the distribution of their data does not allow conclusions about the effect of female-dominated teams.
  • The study finds no evidence to support the underlying mechanisms that improve performance on teams with an equal gender mix. The study found that conflicts, friendships, decision-making, atmosphere, learning, and mutual monitoring were all unrelated to the gender composition of the group.

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