Metaverse needs more inclusivity for women

16 June 2023 Consultancy.uk 2 min. read
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The metaverse offers immense potential, but it is important to address concerns regarding privacy, inequality, ethics, and sustainability as it continues to develop. Women in particular feel left out of the benefits of this new technology.

Research from The Upside, a London-based innovation consultancy, found that women are less optimistic about the metaverse. According to a survey conducted as part of the research, only around 28% of females said they were excited about the potential impact of the metaverse.

The report calls for “a new space that dismantles the old patriarchal system” by facilitating equal opportunity, creativity, and entrepreneurship that will allow women to flourish. In order to do this, the report suggests companies seek out female designers and developers when creating metaverse environments.

42% of our female respondents said they saw entrepreneurship  as one of the main benefits of the metaverse, vs. only 30% of men

“There was a huge response back about the metaverse being a home of female entrepreneurialism. We’re so used to a world where women face so many societal and systemic barriers to success – it’s made it so difficult for women to succeed that it was a wonderful surprise to see women making money in the metaverse,” said Lucinda Brooke, strategy director at The Upside.

In fact, 42% of the women surveyed said they believed that entrepreneurship is the main benefit of the metaverse, as compared with 30% of the men surveyed.

“According to 33% of our respondents, brands that don’t participate in the metaverse will become irrelevant. So survival is first and foremost,” said Niku Banaie, CEO and co-founder at The Upside.

“There are new revenue streams and new business models – businesses are always looking for new ways to innovate and create income, and this can be it. By supporting people in a new way and building connections and loyalty with them, they can subsequently learn from them, research with them and make them advocates and loyalists to their products.”

Some obstacles to entry remain an issue for some of the respondents. While casual users and businesses both stand much to gain from metaverse offerings, some of the difficulties in getting started include the hardware required for VR/AR and other potential risks, like cybercrime and data breaches.

Other recent research has shown that UK users in particular are still not totally sold on the idea of the metaverse, with only about 15% of respondents saying they would feel comfortable socializing using this technology as it stands now.

According to McKinsey & Company, the metaverse comes with so much potential that it is “too big for companies to ignore”. The strategy consulting giant estimates the metaverse could generate up to $5 trillion in value by 2030.