Expanding beyond romantic relationships and into those of business and friendship, Bumble is allowing women to control the narrative and circumvent a world created by and for men.
Bumble has been challenging outdated gender norms since its inception in 2014. In a world that is disproportionately male-driven (and centered) the hugely successful social media app is carving out much-needed space for women–both for its users and for its predominantly female staff. Focused initially on dating, the brand has expanded into friendships and business networking, all of which put the control back in women’s hands by urging them to “make the first move.”
With its core purpose of empowering women and ending misogyny we think Bumble fits with this year’s International Women’s Day theme #BalanceforBetter perfectly! So in honour of IWD 2019, we asked Canada’s Bumble Lead, Emily Ramshaw, about the impact she thinks Bumble has had.
What would you say to the people out there (ahem, men) who don’t understand the importance of making space for women to take control of their dating and networking lives, which have historically been male-dominated?
I think it can be hard for men (and some women) to understand the need to turn our traditional dynamic on its head. The truth is that when one small thing is changed—like women making the first move—it opens the door for other, bigger changes. It’s important to note, too, that everyone needs to feel control over their own relationships and lives, no matter their gender.
It’s almost been 25 years since the first online dating site was created. How do you think modern dating has changed? Do you see these changes as generally good?
Technology has fundamentally changed the way we interact and communicate with each other, even before dating apps. Whether you use a networking app or not, you’re probably still meeting and connecting with people online–whether that’s through social media or simply being introduced to people via email. The difference with Bumble is that you’re making those interactions intentional, which gives you a degree of control over when or if they become relationships. The fact is, we’re all on our phones anyway, so using it as a tool to meet more people in real life makes sense. According to our in-house sociologist, Dr. Jess Carbino, one in three Americans married in the last year met their spouse on an online dating app. It’s now the number one way couples meet. So not only is dating online totally normal, it really works.
What do you think you’d be doing if you weren’t doing this?
I used to be a fashion writer and editor, so I will admit I prefer this role!
My brother and his wife met on Bumble (shout-out!). They’ve been married for over two years and are about to have a baby. Do you get to hear stories of successful matches often?
That’s incredible to hear and the best thing about my job! We hear about couples meeting on Bumble all the time, which makes me so incredibly happy. We also hear about life-changing friends that met on Bumble BFF, and career-making connections from Bumble Bizz. Hearing these stories is the very best reward for our hard work.
How has the addition of Bumble BFF + Bumble Bizz changed the platform? Are there plans to expand further? I’d like to propose Bumble Create: a space where users can match with like-minded artists and start collaborations!
Love that idea! Adding Bumble BFF and Bizz has allowed our users to prioritize all the relationships in their lives. In our society, we often put way too much importance on romantic relationships, when in truth, it’s all the relationships that make for full and happy lives. Friendships, and the relationships you have in your career are hugely significant.
The theme of International Women’s Day this year is #BalanceforBetter (“better the balance, better the world.”). Bumble is doing its part, but how do you think men can help level the playing field for women in their everyday lives?
The first step is to listen to women—something I think society at large is finally doing to some degree. But there is certainly more listening to be done. Simultaneously, it’s important to realize that both women and men are affected by misogynistic and patriarchal norms, and that toxic masculinity is a direct product of those norms. Men can be allies as soon as they recognize equality—that in every instance, women are equal.
Do you have any tips for new users of Bumble Date. Like maybe, “no one wants to see you holding a giant fish in your profile pic,” or “when writing your bio, don’t quote Nietzsche unless you know who he is.”?
Those are good! Smile in your photos! Make sure you’re not wearing sunglasses in every shot. Make sure not every picture is a group shot, otherwise it’ll be hard to tell who it is you’re potentially matching with. And most importantly, use every aspect of the profile that you can. Add profile badges that give details on how often you work out, or whether you drink, answer the Move Maker questions, link your Instagram and Spotify if you have them. In short, add as much detail as you can. And be honest. It’ll help you match with people you’ll actually be compatible with.
Can you already see a difference in how Gen Zers use Bumble compared to Millennials? How do you plan to keep up?
From what we’ve found, the similarities between Millennials and Gen Z are there, but Gen Z goes deeper into some areas. They truly care that a company stands for something, and they’re interested in making genuine connections with the people around them. For us, that just means we’ll lean in more to our values and our mission, and we’ll continue to improve the technology to make it easier to connect with others.
With the huge success of Bumble’s principle-driven model, it seems obvious that the social networking landscape was starved for change. How do you hope Bumble and other female-focused platforms will impact women’s empowerment in the future?
I think Bumble is the best business case out there for the fact that putting women in leadership positions, and starting with a mission and values can lead to a globally successful brand. That feels revolutionary.
Sign up to Bumble here or find the app on iTunes.
Bumble x STIL
If you made a resolution to stay organized in 2019 but have already given up, we’re here to help get you back on track. Bumble has collaborated with STIL on an exclusive undated planner so you can stay organized at your own pace. Forgot to write down your to-do list last week? No problem. The planner is undated and created for daily productivity and goal setting. You’ll find yourself effortlessly managing your busy days and buzzing nights in no time.
The Bumble team met STIL’s CEO Marissa Cristina Grootes in Vancouver in November 2018. After hearing her success story, they knew they wanted to collaborate with her through her organizational goods company named. Marissa started STIL with the intention of empowering people who needed to get shit done because, let’s face it, our time is precious and our schedules are crazy!
The hope is that this planner will inspire everyone to take charge of their life—or at least the parts of it that really matter to them. You can read about the collaboration here and check out the planner here.
Want to win the Bumble x STIL planner? Here is how to enter.
- Follow @LikeVancouver on Twitter and tweet the following: Win a Bumble x STIL planner to stay organized. Follow @LikeVancouver & RT to enter https://bit.ly/2FgXlOv (1 entry)
- Follow @LikeVancouver on Instagram, like and tag a friend on our Bumble x STIL post (1 entry)
- Like Like Vancouver on Facebook then comment and tag a friend on our Bumble x STIL post (1 entry)
Contest runs from now until March 24th at midnight (PT). A winner will be chosen at random from all eligible entries.