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5 Key Takeaways - IWW Panel Discussion

To kick off International Women's week, we brought together visionaries in web3, tech, and the body positivity movement to discuss the future of female representation in branded content. The inspiring conversation navigated how we can ensure tech enhances a positive future for female representation, both behind the scenes and in branded content, rather than be a hindrance to the world. Read on for the top takeaways and four lessons on empowerment our expert speakers shared.

Tech can amplify equality and better representation for women - but it must be prioritised throughout.

Tech offers an incredible opportunity to open up doors for more representation in general, but it must start from the beginning. Diversity behind the scenes will transcend throughout; having more female voices in the foundational processes of metaverse activities will offer a safer and more equal platform for everyone to enjoy. In general, working towards a better world will help build a better metaverse. The metaverse bridges a certain gap we have in real life: it provides people with resources they may not otherwise have access to in reality. It naturally offers more opportunities for women, and for creating diversity.

Virtual reality provides an opportunity for a greater community.

Community spaces, such as our speaker Trina’s very own ‘The Curve Catwalk’, create an overall sense of belonging. ‘Feeling seen and heard somewhere has a profound impact on overall well-being. I always encourage people to find a space that allows them to feel a sense of home.’ Virtual reality offers a brand new world for community spaces to be born. In a universe where geographic distance and even time don’t have as much of an impact on daily activities, virtual communities can thrive even more so than in reality - if they are managed well.

Women in producer roles ensure a safe virtual world for women in branded content.

Whilst there are strides to be inclusive, much of the existing data around the metaverse is based on historical learning, which is seeped in bias. Phenomena like the "Coded Gaze" has shown that we can't rely solely on technology or believe everything it tells us. It should inspire and work alongside diverse minds behind the scenes to lead us into a better, equal, empowered future for women and young girls. It’s now clear that when women are at the helm of a production, positive shifts in representation are immediately clear. More women in the roles of creators, developers, and builders are necessary to ensure that the development of technology doesn’t compromise all of the work being done towards equality of the sexes in real life. Representation can be organic and effective when tapping into real-life experiences; our speaker Ashwini described the process of creating digital versions of her own traditional Indian dress, the saree, as well as traditional Islamic dress - the hijab - in collaboration with a hijabi creator, to much success. An abundance of cultural intelligence and representation behind the scenes, as well as collaborating with diverse creatives, can reflect a breadth of people and ensure we remain on the right track.

The gender pay gap is still an issue in the virtual world.

In the tech world, men are still out-earning their female counterparts, despite equal qualifications and experience - much like many real-world industries. The problem is a lack of female founders and investors; money coming in almost exclusively from male CEOs, ‘sharks’, and ‘angels’, is money moving through an almost entirely male lens. Incentives have to be aligned to ensure equal pay. Doors need to be opened for women to hold space in boardrooms and as CEOs, where they are currently severely under-represented. Those already established in the industry have the responsibility to pass the baton and help work towards closing the gap.

A body-positive future is one without labels.

‘Body neutrality’ is the newest term coined by the body positivity movement, describing a move away from societal labels and segregated body ‘types’. Shifting to body neutrality will look like plus sized models and creatives being celebrated solely for their gift, talent, and passion - not their size. Language can be confusing, especially when the words being used to describe you were prescribed by outside sources - like society, or an industry. Instead of hyper-labelling body types, we need to encourage more focus on things other than physical traits if we want to bring body neutrality into the virtual space.

Four tips from our speakers to encourage and empower women this International Women's Month

Frustration can be turned into a purpose to help someone going through the same things as you. Other people can learn so much from us. Use what frustrates you as fuel. Use it to create a solution. - Shannon

Knowing that you add value gives you confidence in yourself and your vision. Also, remember what your ‘why’ is and who it's benefitting. Stand firm in your truth and be bold about it. Have confidence to speak about what you value. - Trina

When you don't dim your light, and instead, show up as your authentic self, you take up space and teach people how to treat you and not box you in. It is great to have a disruptive spirit in spaces that don't prioritise otherness. In these spaces, you have to ask yourself, is it worth compromising myself for acceptance? - Shannon

Ask for help instead of trying to wear the cape and have it all figured out. You'd be surprised at how willing the majority of people are to help you. Seeking advice is something I wish I'd done sooner - Trina

Learn more about insights and expertise to help you connect more meaningfully with diverse audiences.


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