Women In Tech: Pioneering an Inclusive & Authentic Digital Frontier

March 7, 2024

Digital platforms offer unprecedented opportunities to voice diverse perspectives, share unique stories, and cultivate creativity. Yet, in this vast landscape, it’s the audacious pioneers who truly shape the narrative. D2 recently hosted a panel of industry titans who dove deep into the mechanics of digital projects that have not just showcased, but have also amplified representation, diverse creativity, and distinctive narratives in digital marketing. These are the women in tech.

Gianna Valintina, Global Head, Strategic Partnerships, Spatial moderated the discussion with Ariba Jahan, Founder & Host, Up Next in Tech and Simone Berry, Co-Founder, People of Crypto Lab and shared:

“We are in a pivotal moment in tech, whether it’s AI, 3D media, gaming. These are becoming integral communication channels for Gen Z and looking forward to Gen Y audiences.” – Gianna Valentina

Read a Recap of the Insights:

Gianna: In this evolving landscape, what technology are you most excited about?

Simone: I’m obviously going to say the metaverse, as a chief metaverse “baddie”. There is so much opportunity here, and it touches on all intersections of technology and emerging tech. You’re looking at AI, gaming, 3Dcontent, UGC, and you’re able to create experiences that are really defining your brand’s digital identity. And, I love that AI is really able for us to now push creativity even further. With our game development, we’re able to really be far more productive developing these creative assets.

Ariba: What I’m really excited about right now is the potential that we tap into when we blend AI with augmented reality. A/R already allows us to superimpose digital information onto the real world. But when we integrate AI into it, suddenly that experience can become dynamic, responsive, allowing us to interact with it. This synergy and this intersection is really a game changer for brands because suddenly we have the capability to provide a level of customization that we never had before.

Gianna: Can you tell the audience a little bit about the projects you’ve been working on and how do you champion an authentic voice in this immersive gaming landscape?

Simone: We create experiences in a unique sense that you have the space to experience it as you. Not what I want you to do, and not what the brand wants you to do. We tap into an emotional standpoint that really allows you to feel a part of it, including cultural moments. L’Oreal was our launch, and we launched the first MetaPride. And we were really able, within Sandbox, to take beauty and redefine what that looks like in a voxel 3D environment. It’s about using your magination and expanding creativity and allowing people to see what they want to see. Consumers played the game, and came back. And that to me shows the success and power of when you’re using inclusion, accessibility, culture, all of the things and technology.

Ariba: One project I worked on during my time at the Ad Council, where we activated our Love Has No Labels campaign in Decentraland. We had to think about how to integrate the Love Has No Labels branding, the strategy, the communications into an immersive space. The three elements used were: a gamified educational element where players; custom wearables that were unlocked digitally and gave consumers the ability to physically wear the merchandise to spread the message; and bring other elements of the campaign, whether it is an ad, a video, or GIFs that was created by LGBTQIA artists, into the experience. We’re looking at gaming for social impact initiatives, but for brands, that could be your story.

Gianna: How we start to staff and identify diverse talent to produce this? And, how can employers and marketers start to find this unique talent that can work in 3D mediums?

Simone: I’m self-trained in many things (i.e. fashion, technology), and my path was not linear. An HR algorithm would reject me. You must prepare your companies and your brands to look at these audiences and say “How can we be better?”. That is the reality and to me, that diverse pool talent is talent. It doesn’t matter your age, sex, race…talent is talent and that’s the way we should be looking at it.

Ariba: I studied biomechanical engineering, and I self-taught Python, data science, and product strategy. For some people, our career pivots. For some people, it’s more about being able to bring your skills and perspectives to different industries and bridge them all together. I went into startups, the tech space, and then wanted to bring that to social impact. I’ve had managers that looked past the keywords to see I had a growth mindset, and adaptability, and my skill sets were in demand.

Key Takeaways:

  • What is your brand’s digital identity? Expand what you’re thinking about and how you’re showing up for your consumers, looking at the brand, not the product. Brands need to pay attention to remain authentic.
  • AI coupled with augmented reality can bridge online and offline experiences to provide a more holistic customer journey that is intuitive, dynamic and insights rich.
  • 3D media is here. Brands must consider turning 2D products into 3D to protect IPs, which is important with the advancement of AI.
  • The social element of your company needs to be expanded within your digital identity.

Watch the full video here to see who the women these industry pioneers recognize and champion as “Women pioneers in tech”. And visit D2 for similar articles and resources.


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