Rethinking Women’s Leadership in the Web 3.0 Era: Opportunities and Challenges

Dr. Ingrid Vasiliu-Feltes is a health executive, futurist and globalist who is entirely dedicated to the defense of digital and ethics. She is a Forbes Business Council member, digital strategist, passionate educator and entrepreneurship ecosystem builder, known as an expert speaker, advisor and consultant. Throughout her career, she has received several awards for excellence in research, teaching or leadership and is ranked among the world’s thought leaders for quantum technology, AI, privacy, digital twins, health technology and building ecosystems. Additionally, she is an expert advisor to the EU Blockchain Observatory Forum and has been appointed to the board of several organizations. Her academic tenure was followed by several executive leadership roles, and she holds numerous executive certifications from Harvard, MIT, Stanford.

As pointed out by many international organizations, including the United Nations, recent global crises, such as the pandemic, climate emergency and armed conflict, have shown the positive difference that women’s leadership and decision-making can do in key leadership roles in all areas ranging from government, business and non-profit arenas. At the same time, we are currently witnessing an accelerated adoption of advanced technologies and the transition from web 2.0 to web 3.0. This next iteration of the World Wide Web is about to spark the next industrial revolution. Women must be an integral part of the transition from 4th to 5th, as they represent 49% of the world’s population and the majority workforce in several fields such as education, health and social work.

With the transition to the next generation Internet called Web 3.0 and the birth of a new digital economy fueled by the convergence of deep technologies, women have a unique opportunity to transform a long-standing gender divide into an era of ‘opportunities. A 2022 Women in the Workforce Report published by McKinsey highlights how the pandemic has changed what women expect from their companies, including the growing importance of opportunity, flexibility, employee well-being and diversity, equity and inclusion.

The rise of social entrepreneurship, along with new creator and gig economies can be powerful catalysts for future generations of women who are well-prepared and empowered to take full advantage of this new era. By designing new education systems, new governance models, new business models, new financial instruments and new talent management solutions that reduce the gender divide, we can change the existing paradigm by providing future generations with a more inclusive, diverse and equitable global business and entrepreneurship ecosystem. .

So how could women achieve this paradigm shift? I want to propose a strategy centered on EDUCATION, EXCELLENCE and an ECOSYSTEM APPROACH (the 3 Es).

Education can bridge the existing digital and financial divide. Web 3.0 represents a new opportunity to disrupt the education landscape and pave the way for the future global workforce. Education relevant to Web 3.0 must cover the entire lifespan, from young girls to women currently in the workforce. Striving for excellence in the age of Web 3.0 will not only bridge the gap between deep technologies, but can also provide the opportunity to lead and serve as role models. Finding a niche and excelling in providing in-demand skills is a powerful way to gain competitive advantage in the fast-paced, technology-infused age of Web 3.0. However, perhaps the most important success factor is an ecosystem perspective, which can be generated by adopting an abundance mindset and reconfiguring risk aversion to an exponential style of thinking.

Women’s leadership in web 3.0 will certainly face many challenges, such as cultural, religious, economic and socio-political. However, developing a complex portfolio of management skills and methodologies such as design thinking can be a game-changer. Honing their financial skills for Web 3.0, participating in the development of legal and regulatory frameworks for Web 3.0, designing proactive ethics and regulatory compliance programs for Web 3.0, or becoming qualified experts in Web 3.0 cybersecurity could be paths to success.

In a recent book chapter, I contributed to Annie Gibbins’ book, in which I highlighted the possibility of achieving business dominance through a keen sense of technology. As deep tech is at the heart of a growing digital economy and attracting increased investment, it is imperative to increase the number of female leaders in the deep tech community.

In my recently published book via IGI Global, I also illustrate how empowering women can lead to an accelerated timeline to achieve the goals set by the UN SDG agenda. Web 3.0 can become a powerful catalyst for women’s global citizenship and facilitate the achievement of the United Nations 2030 Agenda. Digital identity is likely to be a key enabler and powerful catalyst for education, employment, respect for human rights, as well as accelerating financial inclusion efforts. The rise of female DAOs, along with increased engagement in the emerging metaverse ecosystem can also lead to a more balanced, inclusive, and diverse business ecosystem, and societal reconfiguration.

The groundbreaking work done by the Mission Impact team also shows how Women of the future can share their knowledge and thus leave a legacy for future generations.

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Mara R. Wilmoth