While the COVID-19 pandemic decimated certain industries like tourism and retail, other entirely new industries have emerged. Two years ago, the concept of a “metaverse” was virtually unknown. Today, the term is trending everywhere online, with new companies and funds entering the space every week — billions of dollars have already been poured into this industry. Just last week, Mark Zuckerberg announced that Facebook (NASDAQ:) will become a metaverse company.
Meanwhile, few “metaverse” companies have any real scale or customers, which makes it easy for onlookers to dismiss it as a trend that may flame out. We would caution against that.
Julia: Do you think the metaverse industry will look different than the crypto industry, with more women in senior roles?
Janine: Well, I have to dig a bit deeper into my career history to make that connection. In my early twenties, when I was working in private equity in New York City, I was recruited for a job in Las Vegas working for a casino gaming company. Back then, Vegas was experiencing a bit of a gold rush of its own, and they were strapped to hire local talent that was sophisticated enough to handle the extreme growth, so they recruited from the coasts. When I visited Las Vegas for interviews, I met with many women in very senior roles — which felt very different from the male-dominated workplaces I knew in New York City.
Julia: What does this have to do with job opportunities for women?
Janine: Booming times create talent droughts, which means that hiring managers have to think creatively about how to fill spots. All of that unconscious (and conscious) bias that often keeps women out of the prime seats is shoved aside in the interest of just filling the job that needs to get done. And the result is that the women who show up during these rare windows of opportunity often find themselves in the right place at the right time. They earn seniority and experience that makes them invaluable. That’s precisely what is happening in the metaverse today.
- It’s still the early days for the Metaverse.
- Early days mean high risk.
- High risk can mean high reward.
Janine Yorio is the co-head of Republic Realm, a metaverse/NFT innovation and investment platform. Previously, she was CEO of Compound. Janine holds a BA from Yale University.
Julia Schwartz is the director of Republic Realm, a metaverse/NFT innovation and investment platform. Previously, she managed investor relations at Neuberger Berman Private Equity. Julia holds a BA from Georgetown University.
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