– Meet Beverly Tonna
Can you share a little bit about what it is that you do?
I am a lawyer by profession, and my work at novolegal primarily involves advising clients on corporate law, financial services, fintech and capital markets; aiding clients throughout all stages of regulation and licensing processes. I also serve as a legal advisor to a local blockchain and virtual financial asset consulting company where my role involves advising clients on blockchain and cryptocurrency-related projects such as initial coin offerings, security token offerings, and cryptocurrency exchanges. Recently, I have been appointed as a member of the ‘Think Tank’ for Malta Digital Economy which is aimed at identifying new industries which Malta can tap into to further diversify the country’s economic and technological portfolio.
What influenced you to pursue a career in tech?
My exposure to the tech industry began in 2017 when I started working for a local blockchain and virtual financial assets consulting company, and together with other key players in the industry we drafted a proposed framework for the regulation blockchain technology in Malta. This eventually led to further exposure to the industry, which led to my involvement in several major blockchain-based projects and attending a number of conferences and international events such as BlockShow Asia, Singapore Fin-Tech Festival, EMEA Investment & Eco-nomic Forum, and Token 2049.
Did you always know that working in technology was what you wanted to do?
While I wouldn’t say that I’ve always known that technology would be my niche, I’ve always been willing to explore new sectors of interest and I constantly strive to broaden my horizons. Although my professional experience has exposed me to a plethora of industries, the tech sector has left a particularly substantial impact on my career and I can definitely see myself being involved in this sector for years to come.
Do you notice a lack of women in technology? If so, why do you think that’s the case?
Unfortunately, it is evidently clear that women are underrepresented in the field of technology – and in the STEM fields in general. While I don’t think it’s possible to pinpoint a cause behind this issue, I believe there are a number of contributing factors. Women are discouraged from pursuing careers in technology by societal pressure as such careers are typically deemed not to be ‘feminine’, and this phenomenon is clearly exemplified by the underrepresentation of females occupying such roles in the media.
Do you think it is getting easier for women to get into Tech?
I do think it is easier for women to involve themselves in this industry as time goes by due to the diversification of the industry and the infiltration of technology into sectors which have a stronger female presence – thus women do not need to pursue careers which are traditionally ‘masculine’ to obtain exposure to the industry.
What advice would you give to a woman considering a career in the tech industry who may be put off by the preconception that it is predominately made up of male privilege? What do you wish you had known?
My advice to women is to go forward in pursuit of their ambitions with confidence. In this field, more than others, it is crucial to continuously educate one-self and stay on top of the game, and this will undoubtedly yield great results irrespective of gender roles. While it is an unfortunate reality that women still experience some level of discrimination in the professional world, particularly in male-dominated sectors, through our collective efforts we can diversify this sector to better harness the efforts of capable and talented women.