Ready, Player One?

A SeeHer Series

The metaverse is upon us, and brands are scrambling to figure what the opportunities are and how to activate them. SeeHer is partnering with Cincinnati agency Curiosity to develop the insights and data marketers need to succeed in cyberspace.

In this week’s column, Curiosity Co-owner Ashley Walters, executive director of the agency’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion committee, talks about the opportunity and how best to take advantage of it, including a recent SeeHer Level Up session on the metaverse hosted by TFQ Chief and SeeHer Co-founder Shelly Zalis.

My seven-year-old daughter is an early entrant into the metaverse. She easily toggles between her life and experiences in cyberspace and the real world. She’s quickly learning, and teaching me, about how the metaverse allows you to be anyone you want, build community, and create experiences unique to you. It’s equally terrifying (I’m concerned about safety first and foremost) and exhilarating to see her identity and creativity come alive.

When you face a historic opportunity to define the future of anything, you hope it will provide more opportunity for underserved cohorts, like women. We need the voices and ideas of women to build the inclusive “Web3” of the future.

Gartner predicts that by 2026, 25 percent of people will spend one hour a day in the metaverse. This is like the growth pattern TikTok shows, with larger segments using the platform and for extended periods of time. Still, while three out of four women have heard of the metaverse, only 30 percent are truly familiar with it.

Even with all the advancements we’ve made in gender equality, women continue to remain underrepresented and even excluded as leaders and participants. Web3 must ensure that women have a seat at the table and significant influence over the decisions being made, or this version of the internet will fail to be inclusive and accessible.

Unfortunately, our time to explore and experience the metaverse and all that Web3 offers is limited. I barely have enough time to fold my laundry, let alone explore a virtual world. But as one of my co-workers put it, on the flip side, the metaverse does offer some opportunity to combat the isolation that mothers and caregivers naturally incur in Western culture because you have kiddos to care for with routines and schedules. The metaverse is a way to spend time with others, without, for example, having to skip naptime in a kid’s own bed, or leaving a sleeping one unsupervised.

Understanding the metaverse isn’t the role of a singular person or team. Our goal is to understand how to make this space easily understandable and actionable for our clients. I love walking by our new AI room and seeing people experimenting. That’s what we all need to do. Just start experiencing it firsthand.

Ashley Walters is Partner, Chief Development Officer, at Curiosity



About SeeHer

SeeHer is a global coalition of committed marketers, media leaders, agencies and industry influencers united in the mission to increase the accurate portrayal of women and girls in marketing, advertising, media, and entertainment, so they see themselves as they truly are and in all their potential. Led by the Association of National Advertisers (ANA), in partnership with The Female Quotient (The FQ), SeeHer has become the industry’s leading global voice for gender equality in advertising and media. To help benchmark success, in 2016 SeeHer developed the Gender Equality Measure (GEM®), the first research methodology that quantifies gender bias in ads and programming. GEM® has become the global measurement standard, measuring 200,000+ ads, representing 87 percent of worldwide ad spend. SeeHer also developed #WriteHerRight Guides to encourage content creators to address potential blind spots and unconscious biases and integrate more authentic and nuanced depictions of women into their work. To address the specific inequities in the sports and music industries, SeeHer launched two verticals: SeeHer in Sports and SeeHer Hear Her. Gender equality and intersectionality in advertising and media is an imperative. It is good for business and good for society.


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