Announcing the Launch of Bumble Media and New Editorial Director Clare O’Connor
When I first met Whitney Wolfe Herd two years ago, I knew little of the woman herself, save what I’d read about the circumstances that led to Bumble’s founding. Then just 25, she’d endured gendered discrimination at a former employer — and then dealt with a further wave of misogynistic abuse online. (As a female journalist with a Twitter presence, I could relate to the latter.)
Rather than be defeated by that experience, Whitney founded a company aimed not just at making dating (and now, meeting friends and professional networking too) safer and easier for women, but to help topple antiquated gender roles that have held us back for too long.
I watched with interest as Bumble grew, knowing that Whitney was onto something big.
In 2017, I got the green light from Forbes, where I spent over seven years as a staff writer, to profile Whitney for a cover feature. I spent time at Bumble’s Austin HQ, meeting the dynamic team of millennial women running the show. I shadowed her on a trip to New York, followed her to events and talked to her for hours one-on-one. I got to know Whitney, and to understand what drives her.
At the same time, a movement was underway: brave women in Silicon Valley, the media, Hollywood, hospitality and elsewhere were coming forward with their stories, hoping to end the scourge of sexual discrimination, harassment and abuse that has plagued workplaces since women were first allowed in the door. Bumble’s mission felt more crucial and timely than ever.
Towards the end of the year, Whitney called to offer me a role as the company’s first Editorial Director, building a brand new, all-encompassing media division at Bumble. I didn’t hesitate for a second.
I’ll lead a small but fast-growing team of experienced reporters and producers who’ll focus on creating engaging, impactful editorial products across a number of platforms. With a blank slate, groundbreaking tools at our disposal and an ethos of women’s equality and empowerment built in, Bumble Media has the potential to be truly disruptive.
I start on January 10th, working from Bumble’s east coast office in New York. I don’t take for granted the opportunity to launch an entirely new segment within a company that, at just over three years old, has already made a tangible difference in millions of women’s lives. And we’re just getting started.
By Clare O'Connor