Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong roasted on Twitter after posting all-male ‘build back better’ photo on International Women’s Day

March 9, 2023, 5:40 PM UTC
Crypto executives at a dinner
Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong (second from left) tweeted a picture of an all-male crypto dinner on International Women's Day.
Brian Armstrong via Twitter

Wednesday was International Women’s Day, but that appears to have escaped Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong, who tweeted a photo of himself and a group of all-male, all-white crypto cofounders. Critics were swift.

Several users pointed out the irony of hosting a “build back better dinner,” as Armstrong billed it, on International Women’s day without including any female founders who are also making an impact in the space.

The list of attendees included the CEO of AAVE, Stani Kulechov; Compound CEO Robert Leshner; the CEO of Messari, Ryan Selkis; the cofounder of Paradigm, Fred Ehrsam; Paxos CEO Charles Cascarilla; and Jonathan Levin, cofounder of Chainalysis.

The photo called to mind last year when, as many other companies were celebrating International Women’s Day, Bain Capital Ventures partner Stefan Cohen tweeted a picture of the company’s seven-person, all-male crypto team. Because Bain is one of the world’s biggest investors in startups, many people raised concerns about blind spots an all-male team might have when investing its $560 million crypto fund.

The tweet was roundly criticized, and Cohen eventually deleted it and apologized.

But the tone-deaf blunders reveal a more systematic problem when it comes to diversity in crypto.

A survey published last July found that all CEOs of the 32 biggest crypto companies in the world were men, and several of them had no women on their boards. In the startup world, companies founded by women received only 1.9% of venture funding last year, a drop from 2.4% in 2021.

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