Despite the fact that women make up over half of the world’s population, they are still drastically underrepresented in far too many areas of the workforce. This underrepresentation is particularly prevalent when it comes to the “top jobs,” within each field. In the medical field, only 20% of surgeons are women. Similarly, in politics, only 20% of Congress is made up of women. What’s more, given that only 25 of Fortune 500 CEO’s are women, it is clear that this pattern of gender inequity holds true in the business world
Nevertheless, it is important to note the outliers. There are some women who have, against the odds, made it to the top– and in doing so, they have become trailblazers in their industries. Whitney Wolfe Herd, Founder and CEO of Bumble, is one of these women. She is a trailblazer.
After graduating from Southern Methodist University in 2011, Wolfe Herd began her career by joining a team of young entrepreneurs that were in the process of creating a new dating app, which would later be known as Tinder. Shortly after joining the team, she became Tinder’s first V.P. of Marketing and played a tremendous role in the new dating app’s success. But in 2014, after two years of working for Tinder, she accused one of her co-founders, Justin Mateen, of sexual harassment and ended up leaving the company in the process.
At this point in her career, Wolfe Herd swore off the dating app industry, hoping instead to create a social media outlet exclusively for women. When she pitched this idea to Andrey Andreev, Founder of Badoo, the biggest dating app in the world, he recommended that rather than completely severing her ties to the dating app industry, she capitalize on her expertise. In collaboration with Andreev, Wolfe Herd ultimately founded Bumble– a new kind of dating app, made by women, for women. She sought to make Bumble a safe space. A dating app where women, not men, made the first move.
Since it’s launch in December 2014, Bumble has been wildly successful, attracting over 35 million users. In 2017, Match offered to buy the company for over $450 million and later that year, Forbes valued the company at over $1 Billion. But what’s even more remarkable than Bumble’s success, is how Whitney Wolfe Herd has leveraged that success to empower women. In addition to launching Bumble Bizz, a women-first job networking mode within the app, Bumble has also started a venture fund for female founders and created an ad in support of sexual assault survivors.
With each new endeavor, Wolfe Herd’s ultimate goal is to empower women, and to one day “eradicate misogyny.” It’s trailblazers like Whitney Wolfe Herd that give women everywhere hope for a brighter future– a future filled with many more female surgeons, congresswomen and CEOs.
What a beautiful world that would be.