For International Women's Day (IWD), Bumble Australia, the woman-first connection platform that empowers women to make the first move in dating, friendships and professional networking, partnered with some of Australia's most successful business women to stop gender sidelining and tackle Tall Poppy Syndrome.
The move comes off the back of recent Bumble research that shows one in three Australian women aged 18-45 years believe they have missed out on professional opportunities due to being female. In addition, a report by Curtin University and the Workplace Gender Equality Agency revealed women will have to wait another 20 years to be on par with men in most management roles. Bumble is urging Australians to stand tall together and take action to change antisocial behaviours.
Bumble Australia partnered with leading Australian female entrepreneurs including Lorna Jane Clarkson of Lorna Jane, Kristin Fisher of Kristin Fisher Eyebrows and former corporate lawyer Sarah Holloway of podcast Seize the Yay, to celebrate female professional success stories, encouraging all Australians to call out a woman they see as a Tall Poppy and celebrate her on social media.
Bumble is the first app of its kind to bring dating, friend-finding, and career-building to a single platform via Bumble Date, Bumble BFF and Bumble Bizz. All three Bumble modes are rooted in empowering connections, respectful conversations and meaningful interactions. Bumble is free and available to download in the App Store and Google Play.
Question: Can you tell us about Bumble's recent findings regarding workplace inequality?
Michelle Battersby: Bumble's latest research found that one in three women believe that men have been promoted above them on the basis of gender. We also found that more than half of Australian women believe gender equality is still not a reality or something they see improving anytime soon, while 64% of men think the opposite (they believe it exists now). Another stat that came out last week confirmed that it will take another 20 years until the gender pay gap is corrected. When you see stats like this it is easy to feel disheartened about the slow pace of progress, which is why we launched our campaign.
Question: What is Tall Poppy Syndrome?
Michelle Battersby: Tall Poppy Syndrome is a cultural phenomenon in which an individual is scrutinised or discredited on the basis of being successful. At Bumble we want to reverse this anti-social behaviour and shine light on the success of the amazing women that exist in Australia.
Question: How have you dealt with a Tall Poppy, in your life, previously?
Michelle Battersby: I believe successful women pay a price, and culturally we are wired to bring these people down. I've personally experienced the feeling of being cut down, often by people close to you, and I know this has a devastating effect on confidence, mental well-being, and emotional resilience. We've partnered up with some of Australia's most successful professional women, Lorna Jane Clarkson of Lorna Jane, Kristin Fisher of Kristin Fisher Eyebrows and former corporate lawyer Sarah Holloway of podcast Seize the Yay, and they've all spoken to us about their experiences with Tall Poppy Syndrome. We believe that standing tall together and celebrating each other's success is the first step to change.
Question: Why do you believe Tall Poppy Syndrome is so strong amongst women in Australia?
Michelle Battersby: Tall Poppy Syndrome definitely isn't something only women face, however women can often face greater scrutiny in general. Unfortunately it is a very Australian tendency to cut down people we perceive to be "arrogant" or too into themselves. At Bumble we are rooted in empowering women, not bringing them down. We want Australian women to nurture ambitions, ignore the haters and make the first move.
Question: Can you talk us through how Bumble tackled Tall Poppy Syndrome for International Women's Day?
Michelle Battersby: We launched our #StandTallWithBumble campaign that is essentially a take down of Tall Poppy Syndrome, celebrating women's success stories and encouraging our users to use social media to call out a woman in their network they are proud of. This is not just an awareness campaign, but an opportunity to actually action change and celebrate real life "tall poppies" in our communities.
Question: What outcome do you believe #StandTallWithBumble will have?
Michelle Battersby: We want to action change, and celebrate women who are doing great things across the country. By seeing the traction our campaign has been getting on social media and in the press, we hope this has already started.
Question: What can Australians do to support the work of Bumble, Lorna Jane Clarkson, Kristin Fisher and Sarah Holloway in regards to Tall Poppy Syndrome?
Michelle Battersby: Stand tall, action change and celebrate the great women in your lives on social media with the hashtag #StandTallWithBumble. Tell a woman you work with she has done a great job, tell a friend you are proud of her success, congratulate your colleagues on their promotions or successes - together, we can make a difference!
Question: What can we do daily to empower ourselves and the women around us?
Michelle Battersby: International Women's Day is a great reminder of how important the conversation around gender equality is, but it's also important to translate this into everyday life. Collaborating instead of competing with women, congratulating women on their success and checking in with each other to show support - these are all changes we can make that together can lead to bigger change. This is party of our daily mission at Bumble - every day is International Women's Day for us!
Question: And, how can all women begin to use Bumble, today?
Michelle Battersby: You can find Bumble in your app store and join over 2 million Australian registered users! We are a woman-first social networking app and want women to make the first move in every aspect of their lives, whether you are looking to find a new date, friend or professional connection. Find out more here: https://bumble.com/
Interview by Brooke Hunter