Helen Situ is a well-known name in the virtual reality industry as VR Evangelist at NextVR. But Helen is also an evangelist for women in the industry. Finding that there are far fewer women working in VR than men, and convinced that this must change, she has enlisted the help of pioneers in VR to create SH//FT (shift).
SH//FT is a non-profit organization focused on shaping holistic inclusion in future technology. SH//FT partners with industry leaders in emerging technologies like augmented reality and virtual reality to sponsor and create opportunities for underrepresented groups.
The founding team consists of women who have all made their mark in virtual reality. They are Jen Duong, Director of VR, 1215creative, Julie Young, Producer at Emblematic Group, Abby Albright, Business Development, DAQRI, Sarah Stevenson, Co-founder of REVRIE Immersive Works, and Helen herself. The SH//FT advisory board include VR experts from Emblematic Group, Valve, Unity Labs, Wevr, VR Playhouse and UploadVR.
This initiative is important because the inclusion of women in virtual reality is crucial. “Women bring a unique perspective. And the inclusion of them has never been more important in a technology where people are creating these incredibly powerful, emotional experiences where you’re shaping worlds,” writes Helen in her Medium post, announcing the creation of SH//FT.
The cofounders have been working on building a community through the Women in VR Facebook group which now has more than 1,300 members.
As Virtual Reality Evangelist at NextVR, Helen spends a lot of time flying around the world to personally give business leaders their first virtual reality experience. NextVR is a technology company that captures and delivers live and on-demand virtual reality experiences.