The imminent arrival of two women board members at Zug’s Crypto Valley Association (CVA) is intended to breathe new life into its male-dominated leadership. A member of the organisation’s diversity taskforce is determined the measure will be no mere window dressing exercise.
“We want to create a space that works for everyone rather than just carry on with the same old boys’ club and their cronies,” Leeanne Abapo Senn told swissinfo.ch. “Our objective is to elevate the dynamic women who have contributed to Crypto Valley and to create a stronger, more inclusive ecosystem.”
The Crypto Valley Associationexternal link is no mere debating society – it carries real political and economic clout in Switzerland. It was formally established in 2017 to act as a rallying point for its 1,000+ members including companies, lawyers, consultants and incubators, and as a beacon for the growing blockchain sector in Switzerland.
The CVA promotes this blockchain industry globally, draws up self-regulating codes of conduct, liaises with the Zug cantonal authorities and lobbies federal ministers and regulators.
But Abapo Senn, who also operates on the CVA’s communications working group, believes that the body’s record on inclusivity leaves something to be desired. This perception was reinforced when four of the five male board members, led by president Oliver Bussmann, were re-elected on June 8. The new board member was also a man.
Abapo Senn also criticised the opaqueness of the election process, complaining that the board member nomination procedure ahead of June’s annual general meeting was not clearly advertised. “Considering that practically all CVA members have social media accounts, it would have been easy to have given more publicity to this important process,” she said.
An extraordinary general meeting has been called for September 20 specifically to expand the board to include two women. The impending vote has attracted 43 nominations. The sheer scale of women who have come forward has taken the diversity taskforce pleasantly by surprise. It also presents a problem of how to conduct an election with so many candidates.
In a written statement to swissinfo.ch, the CVA said the election of two women to the board “will serve to strengthen the Association through a diversity of perspectives, experience and skills.”
“The two new members of the board will fill similar roles to those of the current members, including co-chairing the CVA working groups, receiving international delegations, interacting with other Swiss and international organisations, presenting the CVA and Crypto Valley at external events and supporting the CVA's own local and international initiatives.”