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Bloody Difficult Women: into the Metaverse


The problematic and often misogynistic way that women and minority groups are portrayed in the media, and the abuse they suffer online, is well-documented and deeply concerning. Our Bloody Difficult Women series aims to shine a light on these and related issues, and to inspire attendees to confidently use their voices, raise their profiles and their aspirations, and resist the calls to "pipe down" to avoid being dismissed as "difficult".

Our first and second events focused on the experiences of women and minority groups in traditional and social media, and our forthcoming event on 23 February 2023 will take us into the metaverse.

With 'hot selfie' AI apps reigniting concerns that the metaverse perpetuates problematic gender roles, and misogynistic, racist and outdated notions of beauty, professional woman may be tempted to steer clear. They may already feel excluded by the terminology, the perceived need to have specific hardware or to use intangible currencies, and may, quite understandably, consider the metaverse is best left for boy gamers. But with luxury and consumer brands increasing their investment in immersive experiences, there is a danger that unless we start to engage with and use this technology, it will continue to be designed by and aimed towards a very narrow section of society.

Join our expert panel of professionals and experts, who will demystify the metaverse and inspire you to explore.

Emma Woollcott, Partner, Head of the Reputation Protection and Crisis Management, will chair the Panel discussion, consisting of:

Lauren Ingram, founder of Women of Web3

Lauren Ingram is the Founder of Women of Web3, a community helping women make the leap into the world of Web 3.0 through job opportunities, learning resources and connections. 

She is a marketing leader with experience in agencies and tech companies including Meta, where she was responsible for Meta’s multimillion dollar program for female entrepreneurs, #SheMeansBusiness. As a consultant, Lauren helps brands and agencies to win in Web3 by demystifying the opportunities in this burgeoning space. 
Lauren also hosts the Women of Web3 Podcast where each week she interviews a different incredible woman making moves in Web3.

Shahnaz Ahmed, Creative Strategist, Meta

Shahnaz Ahmed, award-winning Creative Strategist at Meta, helps brands and organisations unlock the potential of emerging technologies, innovation and craft to authentically connect with communities. With a design direction and craft-led background, Shahnaz ideates and produces as inclusively as possible at every stage of the creative process. 

Shahnaz is also a mother of two, Founder of social initiative Knit Aid, TEDx speaker, regular creative industry speaker and panellist, D&AD New Blood Judge, shortlisted for The Drum’s Creative Woman of the Year, and member of the Cannes Lions See It Be It alumni. (Fun fact: in her early days as a Graphic Designer, Shahnaz designed the green Food Hygiene Rating stickers you see at all food establishments!)

Szilvia Szabo, Product Lead, Charlotte Tilbury Beauty

Szilvia Szabo is a Product Lead at Charlotte Tilbury's tech arm; she is pioneering new technologies to help women find the most beautiful and confident versions of themselves wherever they are: at home, in-store, online or (soon) in the metaverse. They are dedicated to bringing cutting edge technology closer to everyone in a safe, fun, and inspiring way by blending the boundaries of physical, digital, and virtual worlds!

She has 14 years of experience in building tech products for start-ups, creative agencies and large corporations across Europe including Novartis Pharma and New Look.

She is a curious and passionate participant in the Web3 space as well as an active builder of DAOs, preparing the future of consensus driven online communities and creative art spaces to revolutionise the economics of human creativity.

Dr Sylvia Xueni Pan, Professor of Virtual Reality and expert in cognitive neuroscience and social interaction, Goldsmiths

Prof Sylvia Xueni Pan PhD is a Professor of VR at Goldsmiths, University of London. She co-leads the Goldsmiths Social, Empathic, and Embodied VR lab (SeeVR Lab) and the MA/MSc in Virtual and Augmented Reality programme at Goldsmiths Computing. Her 2017 Coursera VR specialisation attracted over 100,000 learners globally.

Her research interest is the use of Virtual Reality as a medium for real-time social interaction, in particular in the application areas of training and therapy.


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