Meet the Women Looking To Make the Metaverse More Inclusive

From thought leaders and CEOs to influencers: Women are setting each other up for Web3 success


Source: Shutterstock


key takeaways

  • Female-founded The FQ is leveraging the metaverse to create virtual and in-person learning experiences for women interested in the space
  • Women aged 18 to 34 were three times more likely to attend a metaverse event hosted by an influencer compared to those aged over 35

Three out of four women have heard of the metaverse, but only 30% are truly familiar with it, according to a report by The Female Quotient (The FQ) and EWG unlimited — the innovation and influence arm of talent representation powerhouse Elite World Group.

With the hopes of bringing more women into Web3, Shelley Zalis, CEO of The FQ, has been providing women with the resources necessary to explore the largely male-dominated space.

“This is a new industry and it’s scary for everyone, men and women, but if we get in early, we get to write the rules for Web3,” Zalis told Blockworks. 

The FQ is an equality services company that provides thought leadership platforms for women. Earlier this year, the firm decided to purchase land in popular metaverses including Decentraland, The Sandbox and NFT Worlds to expand its ‘Equality Lounge’ program that aims to connect women of various identities to learn and grow within the metaverse.

Now, The FQ plans to create a series of interactive virtual and in-person experiences including metaverse onboarding tours, teaching women how to set up wallets and purchase NFTs (non-fungible tokens). 

“It is important that women have the resources they need to get involved in the metaverse,” Talia Bender Small, president of The FQ, said in a press release. “Today’s virtual capabilities are creating new opportunities, and we are eager to invite our seasoned women leaders across all industries to join us in ensuring the future of the metaverse and Web3 is equitable for all, from the start.” 

Zalis, at 60 years old, said she could tap into the Web3 space by speaking to her younger employees and learning from them.

“Gen Z and Millennial women are more likely to visit [the] metaverse than any other generation,” Zalis said. “They’re early adopters because they’re more technologically comfortable.”

Influencers are driving interest in the space

The FQ report found influencers active in Web3 often lured the younger generation of women into the metaverse.

Women aged 18 to 34 were three times more likely to attend a metaverse event hosted by an influencer compared to those aged over 35, and 43% of younger women wanted to join the metaverse to connect and socialize.

For influencer Aditi Oberoi Malhotra, who has 777,000 followers on Instagram, returns on her cryptocurrency investments significantly changed her life. With her gains, Malhotra bootstrapped her first company — NFTartpedia, a web space designed to track down popular NFTs, including tokens gaining traction among celebrities.

“I saw how hard it was for me to navigate the space being a woman, so I want to support other women who are now entering the space,” Malhotra told Blockworks. 

Malhotra actively promotes NFT art collections launched by female artists on NFTartpedia and uses her social platform to open up conversations for women in the space.

NFTs are a great way for women to enter Web3

Saro McKenna, CEO of Dacoco and co-founder of blockchain game Alien Worlds, was drawn to Web3 because of the value she saw in decentralized financial institutions. Having previously worked in corporate finance for many years, McKenna believes crypto technology can “potentially create a real peer-to-peer way of operating.”

After getting involved in a couple of decentralized finance (DeFi) projects, McKenna decided she wanted to put the concept of DAOs to test through games. 

“In 2018, it was still a bit early for DAOs [decentralized autonomous organizations] to be accepted in real-world use cases and we thought introducing them within a game would help it gain more traction, which turned out to be the case,” McKenna said. “We have 7.5 million lifetime users and around 100,000 users per day.”

McKenna believes NFTs are a great avenue for women to dabble with Web3 because, unlike the financial side of the crypto space, “there’s a much more narrative quality to NFTs, they’re much more accessible, emotional and less abstract,” she said. 

She recommends women who are interested in the space to actively engage in conversations on Twitter, Telegram and Discord.

“Be aware that no one is an expert in this space, and most people have only around five years of experience…that is actually a very rare opportunity for you to develop a special skill and mastery over a rapidly growing and very lucrative space,” McKenna said.

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