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While the gender pay gap is predominant in the entertainment industry and celebrity brand endorsements space - where men are paid more than women, this gap has also seeped into the creators ecosystem at macro level. 

As per Kulbir Sachdev, Founder and CEO, Voxxy Media, women influencers are paid approximately 25-30% less than their male counterparts. 

He further said that this pay gap is not the same across tiers. “The lower tier of female creators gets paid more than men. The moment they become popular and a macro creator with over 5 lakh followers, the pay gap increases by 30%.”

Sachdev further commented that this gap has reduced in recent years. “It was almost 50% between 2017-2019. It dropped during the peak pandemic to 20%. But it has increased again.”

Stating the reason for this difference between men and women content creators when it comes to pay, Tarun Katial, Founder and CEO of coto, said that this problem is rooted in the patriarchy over the years. 

“Whether it is the corporate world, the influencer economy or the entertainment industry, with my two decades of experience in the entertainment industry, I know it’s deeply rooted. Male actors are paid more than female actors. Over time, this gender pay gap has come to the creator economy as well,” said Katial.

To solve the gender pay gap challenge, Katial has launched coto – a social community platform by women, for women, built on web3 principles. The platform houses only female content creators with loyal women audiences who can build unique communities in a safe environment. 

“Such a space provides brands with opportunities to reach highly targeted audiences. Therefore, we as a platform believe that we can help reduce the gender pay gap,” commented Katial.  

While gender payback is a pertinent issue in the creator economy when it comes to macro influencers, another challenge women influencers face is the daily trolling. Shockingly, one in every three women creators is trolled online. 

Katial commented, “We have seen that the online world is not very kind to women. The amount of online abuse, hate and trolling that women influencers get is quite unparalleled.”

Sachdev seconded, “In our experience, women content creators want to explore different spaces, platforms and content genres. But they are so scared to try something new due to the fear of trolls and being judged. On the other hand, coto provides a safe space to talk about anything to everything.” 

One of the big reasons for coto’s existence is to provide a safe environment to women and transgender people to prevent trolling. The web3 based platform aims to eliminate trolling and abuse from the online world, it addresses issues - including algorithm manipulation, data breaches, and identity theft.

Katial then went on to share the depth of a safe environment for a woman content creator through an example. “One of our creators Pallavi Barnwal creates sexual wellness content. She has a big community on coto. She creates content for Instagram too. One can gauge the difference in comments on both the platforms.”

Another big challenge that coto will be solving is creator burnout. Katial explained, “When we started with our community framework with the aim to bring women together to build a community, one pain point we wanted to solve was content saturation and blockage of ideas. There is a limit to the content that one can create to beat the algorithm. But when you do it in a community format then people can come up with different ideas, engage with the community, refer and get rewarded. Like this, one moves from a single individual content creator’s saturation to a collective of people who have the same theme and idea and grow the community together.”