Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo
placeholder article
placeholder article

Female CEO of Bumble is a BADASS

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Western chapter.

Whitney Wolfe Herd is the CEO and Co-Founder of the infamous dating app Bumble, lauded as one of the fastest growing apps by Forbes in its December issue. It has not always been such smooth sailing for Herd; in 2014, Herd came forward with allegations of harassment in the one of the most male dominated industries—tech.

After co-founding the infamous dating app, Tinder, with Justin Mateen, Herd reported sexual harassment, alleging he called her a “whore” and a “gold digger.”

Herd faced pushback on her claims of harassment from CEO Sean Radd, who tried to push Herd out of the company without compensation or repercussions for Mateen; Herd continued with her suit and won. Also named in Herd’s suit, Radd allegedly heard Mateen call Herd a whore and did nothing. Herd was able to prove Mateen’s harassment and Radd’s complicit actions through screenshotted text messages which have been made public record.

Even after winning her suit and leaving Tinder, Herd was targeted online and received death and rape threats on Twitter.

After leaving Tinder and successfully suing the company for a million dollar settlement, Herd turned her horrible experience into a success. She invented Tinder’s fast rising competitor—Bumble.

Herd teamed up with Badoo founder Andreey Andreev to create a dating app that focused on ending sexual harassment on dating apps and had a defined feminist message: “on Bumble women always go first.” Bumble’s women first philosophy is embodied in the very make up of the app, as only women can message first. Herd pitched the idea of “women first” to her business partner describing her idea as a match that “ disappears after 24 hours, like in Cinderella, the pumpkin and the carriage. It’d be symbolic of a Sadie Hawkins dance—going after it, girls ask first.”

Herd is committed to creating an empowering (and fairytale) dating atmosphere for women that sidesteps the unsolicited dick pics that plague Tinder. Bumble has also been known to ban users who use it to harass other members. Recently, Bumble blocked a user for fat shaming a woman and wrote the user an open letter articulating why his behaviour was so atrocious.

Herd has been closing the gap between Bumble and Tinder as Bumble has a 70 percent growth year over year compared to Tinder’s 10 percent. Last year, Bumble first started monetizing the app through in-app purchases and made an estimated one billion dollars, a number that will surely multiple after introducing hyperized local marketing.

In the tech industry only one out of every four jobs is held by a woman. This gender in balance contributes to facilitating sexist and unfair work environments. As a top woman in tech Herd has used Bumble to make strides in creating a female-friendly work environment. Women receive a $1000 bonus for every child they have and the company has a designated breastfeeding room also known as the ‘mommy bar’ and its own salon. The Bumble headquarters is also littered with empowering signs saying “Make the First Move,” “You Are a Queen Bee,” and “Be the CEO Your Parents Wanted You to Marry.”’

Herd has demonstrated fortitude in the face of adversity from her fellow co-founders. She has used the harassment that made her leave Tinder and channeled her outrage into an endeavoured to end sexism and harassment on dating apps. Her ability to channel her traumatic exit from Tinder and turn it into a billion dollar success shows her commendable abilities as an entrepreneur. Herd’s story is a true comeback that shows the awesome power of what women in business can achieve, even when their backs are against the wall.

Related articles:

Want more HCW? Check us out on social media!


Sydney Keefe

Western '20

True crime, glass of wine, in bed by 9.
This is the contributor account for Her Campus Western.