She’s getting buzz. Chelsea Cain Maclin is Bumble’s VP of Marketing, leading strategy and outreach across a huge global platform with one big mission: to lift women up through the power of connection. This week, they’re even doing an initiative called “Tag 2 Women…” encouraging their social followers to make the first move and connect women across all networks and industries. (Join the movement here!) From inviting “the new girl” to eat lunch on her first week to putting more purchase power behind female-led brands, Chelsea and the entire Bumble team are advocating on behalf of women to make the first move in work, love, and beyond. Scroll down to learn more about Chelsea’s job… and click here to start making connections and uplifting your own network via Bumble.

In your opinion, how is a first date like a job interview… or not?
One of the main similarities—especially for me—is the importance of taking the time to find a romantic partner and a professional job that align with your personal values. For example, one of my priorities is bridging the gap in gender disparity and lifting women up in everything I do. I’m so grateful that I work for an amazing company whose mission is to help create a world free of misogyny where all relationships are equal. My husband Wilson is also a feminist. Even though our son Quinn is only a year-and-a-half, we’re excited to raise him with these values, too.

What have you learned about the way women connect with each other, and with men, since being at Bumble?
I think that it’s important to remember that every human is different, no matter their gender identity. Although I can’t speak to the ways that women connect with others in a general consensus, I can firmly say the way I connect with others has undoubtedly shifted since I [joined] Bumble back in 2016. Quinn was born two years later during an incredible phase of growth at Bumble. Becoming a mother has taught me to be a more compassionate, empathetic leader—and to draw concrete boundaries, prioritize, and value progress over perfection.

Workplaces are more informal than ever, and you work at a company specifically devoted to human connection. How do you feel about “work wives” and “work families”? What are their benefits? What are their challenges?
It’s great that employees at other companies can joke about being relatives if they’re comfortable doing so. At Bumble, we respect boundaries and understand folks have lives outside of work—the only “wives” anyone has are those they’re married to! People often ask how we deal with conflict [here], especially as our company is 80% women, but people shouldn’t underestimate the power of women supporting each other at work. Our team is strong because we hold each other to high standards and practice integrity, honesty, and transparency in the workplace. This opens the door to so many creative possibilities that can emerge when colleagues channel their emotional and professional energy toward one another in the workplace. A core motto on my team is “radical candor with radical kindness.”

In your opinion, what makes a successful Bumble profile for Bumble Date, BFF, and Bizz?
Across all three modes, it’s important to make your first photo stand out. We’ve found that showing off your smile, your eyes (without sunglasses), and your whole face (without a Snapchat filter) make a positive first impression. Make sure it’s only you in this first photo. It’s great to include photos with your friends or colleagues too, but you want your potential matches to know who you are when they land on your profile. It’s also important to add lifestyle badges to your profile, which lets other users know what you’re all about—our data team has found that adding a profile badge increases your chance of matching by 55%! We also highly encourage our users to verify themselves. Our photo verification tool lets potential matches know they’re swiping on the real deal and you get a blue checkmark next to your name once your photo has been verified.

When it comes to solving a work problem, how do you balance listening to your intuition and listening to the data?
That’s a great question! At Bumble, we always aim to make data-driven decisions, but some of our best campaigns have been born out of a casual conversation over lunch, while others were the topic of a brainstorm in a meeting. In order to tap into our collective creativity, our team works and collaborates cross-functionally—whether that’s eliciting new ideas from our amazing customer support team, our digital marketing team, or our data team. I believe it’s critical to take risks in order to grow, and sometimes the best ideas are “scrappy not crappy.”

Please tell us your favorite opening line for Bumble Date, Bumble BFF, and Bumble Bizz.
I love using our “Convo Starters” feature. With Convo Starters, you can choose from pre-written first moves that our team curated to jumpstart a conversation. One of my favorite conversation starters on Bumble BFF is: “Is there a podcast you regularly listen to and learn from?”

Want to answer?
Right now, some of my favorite podcasts are “How I Built This,” “Radiolab,” and “On Being”—even better if my Bumble BFF match listens to them, too! And if not, I have a new podcast I can look into… it’s a win-win either way. If you need some inspiration, check out our Convo Starter Generator here!

Bumble is all about making the first move. What’s the hardest first move you’ve ever had to make on the job? How did you tackle it?
When I first began my career, I was apprehensive to speak up and share my ideas and feedback. I eventually learned to make the first move and voice my opinion, encouraging others to voice theirs, too. I try to keep a phrase my father taught me in mind: “If you’re in a room filled with everyone who agrees with you, you’re in the wrong room.” Through this, I’ve learned that the best ideas frequently come from those who don’t have the same perspective or mindset as you.

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