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Oxford Women in Computer Science Society collaborates with Zilliqa to bring diversity to the forefront of Blockchain


Of blockchain and cryptocurrency projects founded between 2012 to 2018, only 8.5% had a woman as a founder or co-founder, according to a survey conducted by American news organisation, Quartz. As a response to this, Zilliqa, a high-throughput public blockchain platform, is launching the return of Blockchain A-Z, a series of blockchain education workshops, this time with the University of Oxford.

Blockchain A-Z aims to encourage greater gender inclusion from lecture halls and beyond. The workshops are being launched in collaboration with Oxford Women in Computer Science Society (OxWoCS) and will be open to all students currently enrolled at the University of Oxford. The workshops will run from October 31, 2019 and culminate with a Demo Day on November 21, 2019.

The interactive workshops aim to equip students with a foundational understanding of blockchain fundamentals from both the business and technological aspects of implementation. Taking place over the course of four weeks, these workshops aim to provide a well-rounded overview of concepts, including philosophical foundations; technical topics; industry insights; and business advisory. As part of the Demo Day, winning participants will be invited to submit their solutions to Zilliqa’s US$5 million Ecosystem Grant Programme, in the hopes of receiving mentorship, technical tutorship, and a guarantee of funding for 0% equity in return.

Zilliqa aims to make decentralised blockchains the building block of future enterprises and applications. Developed through academic research and helmed by a team of experienced scientists, engineers, venture creators and leaders in the financial services. Zilliqa addresses limitations in scalability and security, enabling real-world usability across a variety of industries, including finance, digital advertising, and gaming. With the launch of its mainnet and smart contract platform in 2019, Zilliqa became the first public blockchain to be built on sharded architecture.

Saiba Kataruka, Zilliqa Developer Marketing Lead said, ‘Diversity continues to be an endemic problem in the wider tech industry, and blockchain is no different. Whether it be the diversity in race, profession, academic background, or gender, having a variety of individuals, each with a unique perspective and broad breadth of experiences to offer, is essential to success. Decentralisation is a core principle of blockchain, and you can’t really have decentralisation without diversity. We are excited to be embarking on this collaboration with OxWoCS, to champion the involvement of more women in this rapidly-evolving space.’

OxWoCS was founded in 2013, with the mission of supporting and empowering female students enrolled in programmes at the University of Oxford’s Department of Computer Science. Zilliqa is joined by Google, QuantumBlack, Facebook, G-Research, Semmle and Oliver Wyman as OxWoCS sponsors.

Paula Fiddi, OxWoCS President said, ‘At OxWoCS, our goal is to ensure that female scientists are presented with equal opportunities to engage with various areas of the tech industry. From established fields of research to nascent disciplines ripe for exploration, it’s important that women are adequately represented in order to champion diversity both in action and in practice. With Zilliqa’s emphasis on nurturing growth from the ground up, this collaboration serves to prepare our students with much-needed support, guidance, and industry connections, to truly excel in the blockchain space.’

Female students currently enrolled at the University of Oxford are welcome to register their attendance using the form here: