While moms all over the world face a whole host of struggles when it comes to the workplace, this office is actually rewarding them.
Bumble – the ‘ladies first’ dating app launched by ex-Tinder founder Whitney Wolfe – has just opened its shiny new headquarters in Austin, Texas, and Femail got an inside look into what is probably the most women-friendly office in existence.
Here, there is no such thing as a 9-5 working day, free blowouts and manicures are among the perks, it’s equipped with a ‘Mommy Bar’ for nursing, and every new mother is gifted a $1,000 breast pump voucher when they give birth.
Dream office: Bumble’s new headquarters in Austin, Texas, is focused on its female employees – and includes a salon and a nursing room
Lifting spirits: Every mother at the company is given a $1,000 breast pump voucher when they give birth
An open space: The company’s founder, Whitney Wolfe, co-founded the company two years ago, eager to create a dating app that gave women the control over conversations
Whitney, a 27-year-old Austin native who just graced the cover of Forbes’ 30 Under 30 issue, recently moved with her team of 70, of which only six are men, into a large new office space that they have dubbed ‘The Hive’.
The move comes just a few years after Whitney launched Bumble – which now boasts more than 24 million users and is rumored to be valued at $1billion – back in 2014, after leaving rival dating app Tinder.
Whitney co-founded the original matchmaking service two years prior, but quit over claims of sexual harassment, suing the company, and using text message conversations with her co-founder – and then-boyfriend – Justin Mateen as evidence.
In her lawsuit, she stated that Tinder removed her title as co-founder after she broke up with Justin, and Whitney’s suit also targeted Tinder CEO Sean Rad, who allegedly heard Mr Mateen call Whitney a ‘w****’ and did nothing.
She isn’t allowed to discuss the case for legal reasons, but settled out of court and went on to set up Bumble, which works the same way as Tinder, except that only women can initiate a new ‘chat’ with a match.
Bumble also recently launched a professional networking function to its app called ‘Bizz’, a similar swipe-based offering to rival LinkedIn that hopes to ‘combat sexual harassment and inequality in the workplace’ by letting only women initiate a conversation. Supermodel Karlie Kloss is a their ambassador.
Bright and bold: The colorful space is called the ‘Hive’
Pun-tastic: It is also full of bee-themed phrases that link with the name of the company – even in the bathroom
Fun and games: Bumble’s office space even comes equipped with its own claw machine that is full of fun prizes for employees to win
And you can find echoes of this forward-thinking attitude everywhere you look at the new Texas Hive. ‘Make the first move’ is emblazoned on the wall in huge neon yellow capitals – the first thing you see as you enter the building.
‘I had a personal pain point with female-to-male connecting,’ Whitney told Femail, discussing why she started Bumble in the first place.
Entrepreneur: Whitney, 27, founded Bumble after leaving Tinder amid accusations of sexual harassment
‘I always felt it was a disadvantage to me and to women in general. I wanted to be able to text a man first, if I wanted to, or pay for dinner. Basically, I wanted to feel empowered, and for others to as well.’
All the light switches in this Willy Wonka-esque office space have a different motto inscribed onto them, like ‘Hustle’, ‘Bee creative’ and ‘Breathe’. ‘Bee kind’ is a motto that appears on almost every wall.
‘Equality and kindness’, she explains, are Bumble’s core values. ‘We actively exclude mean people, both when it comes to hiring within the company, and the people who use the app.’ Users who don’t play by the rules, she says, are swiftly ‘punished’ or simply blocked.
The Mommy Bar, though, is perhaps the Hive’s most stand-out feature.
‘It’s a private lactation space for our nursing mamas,’ she explains. ‘We’ve been known to have employee’s children frequent the office during team events, or when they’re simply under the weather.’
Changing perceptions: The office space is intended to be a welcoming environment, for both employees and their children
Empowering: All the light switches in this Willy Wonka-esque office space have a different motto inscribed onto them, like ‘Hustle’, ‘Bee creative’ and ‘Breathe’
Celebration: Bumble’s new space opened earlier this year to much fanfare and excitement
This spacious room also functions as an on-site salon, its walls lined with softly-lit mirrors and beauty facilities.
‘We provide free blowouts, hair trims, and manicures every other week to show appreciation for our busy bees,’ Whitney informs us.
There’s no strict nine-to-five, so long as the work gets done, and the holiday program includes a ‘remote-working’ week over Christmas.
Dogs are welcome, of course, and there’s a full bar, locally-sourced healthy lunches, with beer and kombucha (whichever you are partial to) on tap.
Dress code? There is none. ‘I don’t believe there is a correlation between what you wear and how successful or how dedicated of an employee you are,’ Whitney says. ‘What matters is what makes you feel comfortable and confident.’
All in all, it’s a pretty appealing offering. Want in? Whitney has committed to hiring ten new employees sourced through the app’s new function, Bizz. On the condition, of course, that you make the first move.