Despite women’s achievements in the tech space over the last decade, certain perspectives have been overlooked. When I decided to venture into Web3, crypto, defi, blockchain and metaverse, I encountered so many women doing the real work of pushing for gender equity and diversity in the space. We’re seeing more and more women entering Web3, investing in cryptocurrency and leading NFT projects from top to bottom — and I’m proud to be a part of it.
Here are six lessons I’ve learned from the women of Web3 that inspire me and who are actively shaping its more equitable future.
1. Leaders lift up future leaders.
As the founder of the women-led initiative for artists and mission-driven NFT project Boss Beauties, Lisa Mayer is a prominent advocate for gender equity in the still male-dominated NFT space. Advocating for and supporting young women and working moms, she’s paving the way for a more inclusive digital reality through dedicated scholarships and mentorship programs for women pursuing a future in technology, leadership and the creative space.
Leading by example means demonstrating the necessity for the leaders of today to guide and empower the leaders of tomorrow — and to recognize that future leaders come from all walks of life.
2. A vision for the future doesn’t always have — or need — a blueprint from the past.
Sandra Helou, head of metaverse and NFTs at Zilliqa, is a force to be reckoned with in the blockchain space. To support the burgeoning creator economy, she launched the company’s metaverse-as-a-service platform in 2022. She also assists individuals and brands looking to transition from Web2 to Web3, speaks regularly about designing a sustainable digital future, and advocates for building a metaverse that is inclusive, engagement-focused, free of bias and safety-oriented.
This vision of a sustainable metaverse is one we could all easily be living in decades from now. Determination, purpose and tireless belief are what we will need to get there.
3. Fair representation should be a given.
As co-founder of Metapoly, Cindy Jin is intent on designing a metaverse space that returns power to the people. A career move took her from fashion and e-commerce to cryptocurrency and metaverse design. She fights for everyday citizens (no matter their gender) to own digital assets rather than having corporate investors dominate the space.
A metaverse defined by racial and gender equity and committed to fair representation across sexual orientation, ethnicity and culture should be a given. Jin’s mission and example show us how vital it is to remind older generations that they have something to learn from younger generations who are more open to embracing new technologies.
4. Reputable, reliable PR is a must.
For more than two decades, global PR veteran Ayelet Noff has made it her mission to amplify the voices of innovative startups that don’t necessarily have the network, experience or background to make their story heard. In 2018, Forbes named her one of five of the crypto scene’s female rock stars. As a seasoned entrepreneur and tech PR expert, Ayelet has worked with female founders across Web3 to actively promote their projects in the press.
Any project in any industry is only as good as its promotion. It’s essential that companies work with teams they trust to bring their message to the public and give it the best chance of shaping the world for the better.
5. A big platform is a big opportunity to promote equity.
It should come as no surprise that Reese Witherspoon, the woman who brought spunky and determined Elle Woods to life, champions women working in the metaverse, cryptocurrency and digital art projects. The actor, producer and entrepreneur has been an active voice across Web3 spaces, integrating women-led NFT projects into her media company Hello Sunshine. She has become arguably the most famous woman advocating for NFT, Web3 and cryptocurrency projects, particularly as they concern gender equity.
And she promotes the work of digital artists alongside the projects themselves, centering women artists in her efforts. Advocates at all levels of visibility stand to take a cue from Witherspoon in platforming both projects they believe in and the brains and hearts behind those projects.
6. There’s always more to be learned from the original trailblazers.
Cathy Hackl, often referred to as “the Godmother of the Metaverse,” is a leading Web3 strategist currently serving as CEO and chief metaverse officer at the Futures Intelligence Group. In addition to her work integrating luxury brands into the metaverse, Hackl has collaborated on a number of women-led NFT collections and spoken at length about gender bias in tech, cultural appropriation and the need for women of color and differently-abled people to be involved in the avatar design process. Hackl’s work serves as a shining example of seeing potential in anyone and everyone and acknowledging that employing a wider variety of talents benefits us all.
These extraordinary innovators, entrepreneurs and trailblazers are fighting the good fight and transforming the gender dynamics of the metaverse ecosystem in the process. It’s possible for women to level out the playing field in this male-dominated industry, and they’re out there leading the charge.