Women are key metaverse users, but men dominate jobs shaping it

Women are spending more time in the early iterations of the metaverse and are more likely to spearhead initiatives in the new and developing next generation of the internet, but men still hold 90% of executive positions at organizations shaping this emerging economy. 

According to a report out Monday by McKinsey & Co., “women are still locked out of leadership roles” that are key to creating and setting standards in the metaverse.

Companies like Meta Platforms Inc. and Unity Software Inc. are investing heavily in the metaverse, which is described as a virtual and augmented reality world where people will work, socialize, and learn. McKinsey’s report, which surveyed about 2,000 people, asserts that women are playing VR games, exercising in VR, digital shopping using AR, and taking classes in virtual classrooms at a higher rate than men. 

However, men are purchasing nonfungible tokens and using gaming platforms more than women. 

McKinsey’s survey of 450 senior executives indicated that women are also implementing metaverse initiatives at their companies more often than men. Some 60% of women, compared with 50% of men, said they had set up more than two such projects, primarily around marketing or employee learning and development. 

At the same time, women hold just 8% to 10% of leadership positions at organizations driving metaverse standards, including the Metaverse Standards Forum and Open Metaverse Alliance for Web3, according to the report. That’s similar to the roughly 9% of Fortune 500 companies women lead, according to the survey. Women hold fewer than 25% of senior leadership roles in tech generally, according to a Deloitte report last year. – BLOOMBERG