This crypto community is making sure women aren’t left out of Web3
Good morning, Broadsheet readers! Erin Jackson is the first Black woman to win speedskating gold, The Wing gets a new CEO, and two cofounders want to make sure women aren’t left out of Web3. Happy Valentine’s Day!
– MyBFF. Hello, Broadsheet readers! As you may have read on Friday, Kristen and Claire are taking a step back from the Broadsheet—and I’ll be bringing you the news five days a week from now on. I’m honored to be taking the reins of this storied newsletter (I was a subscriber long before I worked for Fortune!), and I’m excited to deepen our relationship after writing alongside my coauthors for the past three-and-a-half years.
The Broadsheet will continue to bring you news and analysis about the world’s most powerful women in business, politics, culture, and beyond. And at this moment of transition, it’s a good time to hear from you. What do you want to read more of in the newsletter? Send me your ideas and thoughts, as well as your news, scoops, and exclusives—I’ll be eager to share them with our passionate readership. You can reach me at email@example.com.
Now, back to today’s programming. We’ll kick things off with—what else, after last night’s Super Bowl ads?—crypto.
As Web3 has gained more and more mainstream attention in the past six months—moving beyond digital currencies to NFTs and more—some involved in this space became concerned. What if women missed out on yet another opportunity for wealth creation? (About 16% of men invest in the $1.7 trillion crypto market, compared to just 7% of women.) In the words of Brit Morin, the founder of the lifestyle brand Brit + Co.: “If this is truly going to be a $10 to $100 trillion industry, we need women to help craft what that will look like or else we will be left behind yet again.”
Morin and Jaime Schmidt, the founder of Schmidt’s Naturals, last month launched BFF, a platform for women and nonbinary people to learn about, and start investing in, crypto. In just about a month, the community has grown to 14,000 members, who exchange tips about setting up your first wallet, flagging crypto scams, and realizing the potential of digital ownership. “You can be open about what you don’t know, and people are eager to jump in and help,” says Schmidt.
My colleague Jessica Mathews (author of Broadsheet sister newsletter Term Sheet) and I spoke to the BFF cofounders about their new endeavor and just how important it is to make sure the next generation of the internet includes people from all backgrounds.
Lots of power players agree. BFF has 70 founding members, who include actors Gwyneth Paltrow and Mila Kunis; Rent the Runway CEO Jennifer Hyman, Eventbrite CEO Julia Hartz, and ClassPass founder Payal Kadakia; and investors Alexa von Tobel and Kara Nortman, among many more.
The BFF founders are drawing people in with perks like covering gas fees, or fees paid to Ethereum miners to validate a transaction on the blockchain, and giving out tokens that can be exchanged for an NFT PFP (profile picture).
So who is behind those ape PFPs you may have seen around social media, anyway? If the BFF founders have their way, it’ll be more women. Read our full story here.
The Broadsheet is Fortune’s newsletter for and about the world’s most powerful women.
ALSO IN THE HEADLINES
- Go for gold. Erin Jackson—who you may remember got a spot at the Olympics from a friend after she missed out on qualifying—won the women's 500m gold medal in speed skating. That makes Jackson, an American, the first Black woman to win an individual medal in the sport. Eileen Gu is facing some backlash in China for her response to a commenter who called out Gu's privilege in her ability to use platforms like Instagram that are blocked for millions in mainland China. A U.S. Olympic snowboarding coach, Peter Foley, is facing allegations of sexual harassment, which he denies. Former Olympic athlete Callan Chythlook-Sifsof says Foley took nonconsensual nude photos of female athletes. Women in winter sports that require a helmet are wearing the same hairstyle.
- State suit. A lawsuit filed against Tesla by the state of California last week alleges that racist abuse and slurs were a daily occurrence at the automaker's factory. The suit alleges that Tesla segregated Black workers into separate areas and only required Black workers to scrub floors on their hands and knees. Tesla worker Kaylen Barker filed a suit with similar allegations earlier this year, and Tesla employees have also alleged that sexual harassment was common at the factory. Tesla says the company has investigated about 50 discrimination complaints and found no misconduct. L.A. Times
- Winging it. The Wing's latest comeback attempt will be under the leadership of Jen Cho. She joined the struggling women's coworking space as CMO in 2021, and will be its new CEO as cofounder Lauren Kassan steps down. Cho will be strategizing an expansion in Europe and the introduction of more flexible membership options. Wall Street Journal
MOVERS AND SHAKERS: Elizabeth Martin, a partner in Goldman Sachs’ global markets business and the global head of electronic equities trading, will join the bank's consumer division, Marcus by Goldman Sachs, as head of large partnerships and embedded consumer finance. Childcare company Vivvi promoted Lauren Hobbs to CMO. Jennifer Kuperman, Alibaba Group’s former head of international corporate affairs, and Jen Crichton, former communications director for Frito-Lay, join TrailRunner International as managing directors.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
- Party politics. Conservative French presidential candidate Valérie Pécresse is struggling after members of her party defected to the more moderate party of President Emmanuel Macron. As she attempts to win back support, Pécresse held a rally during which she pledged to crack down on immigration to France. Guardian
- Screening progress. New scientific papers published in Nature find that doctors and scientists could soon be able to predict a woman's risk of four different cancers using just one sample collected during cervical screening. The method would be able to catch ovarian, breast, cervical, and uterine cancer. Guardian
- Pressed pause. The federal task force on research specific to pregnant women and lactating women, known as PRGLAC, lapsed in 2021. The governmental effort had been making progress on helping pregnant people make informed decisions about their prescriptions—for example, a woman who takes antidepressants and is advised to stop taking them during a pregnancy—but that progress has now been stalled for months. Fortune
ON MY RADAR
Me, myself, and diastasis recti The Cut
Should you pick the sex of your surgeon? New York Times
Lena Dunham is back—and yes, this movie's sort of about her too Rolling Stone
-Anita Norich, a professor emeritus of English and Judaic Studies at the University of Michigan. She's one of several writers, scholars, and translators helping readers rediscover Yiddish-language works by women.
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