Photo: Web3 Equity
"My vision is that Web3 is gender equitable — that’s the fire in my belly," says Michelle Abbs.
In response to interest from women, Abbs started Web3 Equity, which provides events, workshops and connections to inspire and prepare women for the next tech transformation.
Founder/CEO, Web3 Equity, Miami
Michelle Abbs’ leadership journey started 16 years ago in a fifth-grade Miami classroom.
There, as a teacher and later as part of Teach for America’s Miami leadership, she learned to create lessons envisioning the outcome she’d like to achieve for her students in Miami’s poorest areas.
After nine years with Teach for America, Abbs joined education-technology company Nearpod, experiencing the fast-moving, high-growth startup environment, where there was not much diversity among employees. A few years later, she became executive director of Babson WIN Lab Miami, an accelerator for women business founders, where she saw firsthand the difficulty female founders had raising money and getting important meetings. She created a curriculum to help the women succeed.
After she produced a non-fungible tokens (NFT) event last year, she was flooded with interest and questions from women. In response, she formed a chat group that grew into Web3 Equity. With more than 1,500 creators, entrepreneurs and investors as members, Web3 Equity provides events, educational workshops and connections to inspire and prepare women for the next tech transformation that many believe will feature advanced augmented and virtual reality (the metaverse), blockchain technologies, cryptocurrencies and NFTs.
Web3 Equity is designed to change the trajectory of the previous white-male-dominated web 1.0 that ushered in the internet and the social media-focused 2.0. Today, only one in four software engineers is a woman. Female CEOs run just 5% of Fortune 500 tech companies, and female-founded companies receive a single-digit sliver of venture capital.
With Web3 in the early stages of development, it’s the “right moment” to make change, says Abbs. Partnering with like-minded organizations and male allies is part of her strategy. “My vision is that Web3 is gender equitable — that’s the fire in my belly.”