There is already a gender gap in the metaverse! In organizations shaping metaverse standards, 90% of leadership roles are held by men, according to data from consultancy McKinsey.
“Similar to the gap that exists in Fortune 500 companies and start-ups, where less than 10% of Fortune 500 CEOs are women, only 17% of venture capital (VC) dollars go to women-led and women co-led companies, and just 15% of VC general partners in the US are women”, McKinsey senior partner Lareina Yee and co-author, partner Mina Alaghband, write in a report.
“Just as in the tech sector as a whole, women represent a minority in the metaverse economy. Both the entrepreneurial capital and the CEO roles in the metaverse space remain disproportionately reserved for men.”
The report says McKinsey research on consumers in the metaverse shows that 41% of women had used a primary metaverse platform or participated in a digital world for more than a year, compared with 34% of men.
“In addition, more women spent significant time in the metaverse: 35% of the women surveyed are power users, spending more than three hours a week in the metaverse, compared with 29% of men.”
“Our research also reveals that women are more likely than men to engage in hybrid use cases in the metaverse, traversing both physical and digital worlds to take part in activities such as gaming, fitness, education, live events, and shopping via AR/VR technologies. By contrast, men are using the metaverse to participate in purely digital experiences such as gaming, trading nonfungible tokens (NFTs), and attending social events.”
The report says that In a survey of almost 450 female executives, 60% of women say that they have implemented more than two metaverse-related initiatives in their organizations.
“The numbers show that these female executives are 20% more likely than their male counterparts to implement multiple metaverse initiatives, especially around marketing, employee learning and development, and product design.”
“Female consumers and executives are more proactive about metaverse usage and initiatives than male consumers and executives, yet women are still locked out of leadership roles in the metaverse economy.”
“Our research shows that in the past five years, male-led metaverse companies received a higher share of total entrepreneurial funding than female-led metaverse companies.”
A number of standards bodies are emerging to set interoperability norms for the metaverse—among them, the Metaverse Standards Forum and the Open Metaverse Alliance for Web3 (OMA3). But only about 8 to 10% of the member organizations are led by female executives. This percentage is similar to the roughly 9% of Fortune 500 companies led by women today.
“Addressing the existing gender gap in leadership roles while the metaverse is still in its formative stage is therefore of paramount importance. To do so, industry stakeholders will need to engage a range of different voices and infuse diverse leadership into the companies and coalitions shaping the metaverse today”, the report says.