Technology and crypto in general is a tough place to be a woman. Cryptocurrency/ICO conferences are probably one of the few places where the lineup for the men’s washroom is longer than the women’s! However, there are a few bold female entrepreneurs in this space who are pioneers in the industry. One of them is Galya Westler, a two-time entrepreneur who is now the CEO of Plazus, a crypto start-up based in Vancouver, Canada. Galya was kind enough to sit down for an interview to discuss her experiences as a an entrepreneur and thought leader.
What is your background briefly?
I was born in Canada, but studied engineering in Israel. I chose to become an entrepreneur because I wanted to work for myself. My first company specialized in building software solutions and socialized DIY tools. We built back end systems for apps and regular websites for about 200+ projects . While running this business, I found that brands wanted to connect directly with customers but found it difficult to do so, so I started a second business building private social networks for companies. We eventually developed a process where we could very easily build customized networks by simply adding different skins to our social network software. These social networks for business were very successful and allowed businesses to engage well with their customers.
How did you get into blockchain/crypto?
I first heard about Ethereum in 2017 from a friend who put money in early in the year. He knew that I was building online communities for my business and thought that I should explore how I could use blockchain technology in my business. I didn’t do much to start, but then six months later I went to a presentation about Ethereum and was instantly hooked. I realized that if I could build my business onto a smart contract platform, it would benefit all participants of the online communities and enable new functionalities. We always believed in giving the power back to the users and we explored how we can literally do that with peer to peer back end.
I spoke to experts in the crypto space and started researching how we can best build a decentralized community protocol, hence the birth of Plazus.
Briefly describe your latest project.
Plazus is a blockchain protocol that aims to build online communities for people with mutual interests. We call them tribes. Participants will be able to earn tokens, participate in tribal governance and maintain control over their data as data is stored and manged in a peer to peer manner.
Why do you think there are so few women in crypto?
It’s not really an issue with crypto, but with technology in general. There are few women in the technology industry and this is also true for crypto.
How can more women be encouraged to join this space?
It starts with early education. There needs to be more of an effort to encourage girls to study engineering and coding in high school. Currently its mostly men taking these courses and I still see women being more drawn to study for supporting roles like nursing or things like HR. The strange thing though is that technology is a great industry for women to be because they can easily balance raising a family and doing part time work. Coding and IT work can be done on project basis and women can easily work from home. This is much more flexible than some other jobs that require a woman to leave home and work in an office. There needs to be more done to help spread this message. Tech in my mind is one of the best industries to be involved in for women and men
How can people contact you & learn more about you?
Feel free to check out my TedTalk and I welcome everyone to visit the Plazus website for more details on the project.