Just read this article: “Through the digital lens: How VR can inspire better managers“. Subheader is, “Virtual reality has the power to change the world. But first, it has to change how straight white men think.”
It stuck a very personal chord. Doing my MBA at Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University, I was one of a small handful of women in a class of about 100 people. The professors’ speech defaulted to “he” and “him” for everything – I started raising my hand at every opportunity to point out the inherent “otherness” this created, for the female students; and also how is feeds the unspoken attitude that the default is male, and women are just add-ons and afterthoughts.
My suggestion to have one day – just one – where the language defaulted to “she” and “her” (but we mean you too, men!) was met with truthfully, eye rolling and some mockery.
That was 30 years ago, and the memory of it still stings.
I wish VR had been around then, to expose the men to what women so often go through. That is the power of virtual reality: for the first time in history, you can ACTUALLY walk a mile in someone else’s shoes. A powerful training experience not just for sexism, but racism, homophobia, all of it.
VR is such a powerful tool for education, and training: I hope to see many more companies create content and experiences, and companies adopt it as a tool to help employees learn in an experiential way that really can’t be replicated, building empathy and understanding in a truly unique manner.