Cover Proud Limpongpan, CMO of Zipmex Group

Proud Limpongpan, chief marketing officer of Zipmex Group, Southeast Asia’s fastest growing digital assets platform, tells us why she feels hopeful about the new Web3 era and how she is enlisting more women to join this space

Throughout history, women have suffered disproportionately in times of disaster, with far-reaching implications for both their professional and personal lives. Covid-19 has been no exception; the pandemic has exacerbated pre-existing gender divides, leading to the emergence of a “she-cession” in which the rate of women’s unemployment has been higher than men’s. Despite this, we have also seen more female figures taking up leadership roles in 2021 than ever before, with about 30 per cent of global senior management positions now held by women, according to a Grant Thornton study

See also: 6 Female CEOs Leading Innovation Throughout Asia

Representation is slightly lower in APAC where slower change is also observed. Thailand stands out, though, as it ranks second globally for the representation of women in senior management. I feel honoured and humbled to work alongside other female managers and to champion women at Zipmex across our operations in Thailand, Singapore, Indonesia and Australia. Nearly half our employees are women, with more than 50 per cent in senior management positions. 

Responding to the pandemic is about more than redressing long-standing disparities; it’s also an opportunity to create a resilient environment that benefits everyone. The Web 3.0 generation aims to make up for the transgressions of Web 2.0 by expanding the digital economy.

I was lucky to have grown up gender blind—believing that I really could pick any path. From seeking leadership opportunities to work experiences that have included consulting with tech CEOs, project managing construction sites and running a fintech company, it all just seemed natural. It is my hope that we can use new technologies to create a more equal world where more kids grow up with this perspective.

See also: Using Artificial Intelligence and NFTs to Innovate a More Equal Future

Web3, at its core, is about paying creators for their work. Any kind of intellectual property, be it music, art, or fashion, is converted to or linked to NFTs, thus the work can be certified, tracked and transacted on a blockchain. This technology enables creators to be compensated for their work directly. It heralds a new decentralised era, with no single organisation in control.

Given the breadth of interest in Web3, the paradigm is shifting. We are not only attracting the usual ‘tech bros’, but also a growing number of women who want to rebuild and explore the opportunities in the decentralised web, despite the industry still being in its infancy.

With Web3 beginning to change the way the world views the internet, it is important to push our businesses to the forefront through innovation and diversity; talent and technical breakthroughs are and should be gender indifferent.

As women in tech, we can encourage the future leaders of tomorrow so that they know that success is not determined by gender, but by talent and the willingness to go above and beyond the obstacles before us. Creating a gender balance is not just about hiring more women—it is about taking both individual and collective responsibility for our purpose and impact.

It's encouraging to see others in the Web3 industry starting to break gender biases as we work together towards a common goal. World of Women and Women Rise are just two examples of pioneering female-driven NFT projects, and Web 3.0 is bound to appeal to an even greater audience as industries such as beauty and fashion embrace the blockchain.

I believe that initiatives to increase female participation are necessary, especially ones that are tailored to local communities of women in technology. Hands-on digital assets classes, thought-leadership workshops and networking opportunities have proven to be crucial and effective catalysts.  

As the tech industry sector increasingly recognises women’s achievements and gains awareness of gender prejudice, the industry will thrive; it will attract fresh talent and be more in tune with society as a whole. At Zipmex, we are focused on building the foundation of Asia’s financial architecture to empower everyone to experience the digital assets world. It is our mission to become the future of digital banking and break through the barriers of traditional financial institutions while building a better, more equitable society. 

This opinion piece is part of a collaboration between Front & Female and Asia Gender Network, the first pan-Asian network committed to mobilising capital for gender equality, whose influential members include Proud Limpongpan


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