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MEET THAT GIRL: Michelle Battersby

Whether you've swiped right before or not, you've probably heard of social and dating app Bumble, which encourages women to make the first move. What started out as an app for dating, Bumble has now evolved into an app where women can also connect in their work & social lives with the addition Bumble Bizz & Bumble BFF.

We were lucky enough to sit down with Michelle Battersby, Bumble's Associate Marketing Director APAC who was responsible for rolling out the US-based app in Australia, and chat career highlights, advice and more.

What does a normal day in the life of Michelle Battersby look like?

No two days are the same! In my current position I oversee all of Bumble’s marketing initiatives in APAC - which right now for us covers Australia, New Zealand, Bali and the Philippines, with Hong Kong and Singapore coming up. This means my role involves a lot of travel, both domestically in Australia and to other markets. On a day-to-day basis, our marketing strategies involve many events, brand partnerships, press campaigns, content, activations and working with influencers. So on any given day I could be working across any or all of those things!

Bumble encourages women to make the first move in work, love & life – what is something you’re proud to have achieved from making the first move?

When I first launched Bumble in Australia I had to make the first move in a business sense all the time. This was with everything from asking people to join my team (many declined!), to approaching influencers, brand partners and agencies to work with us. In January of this year we hit two million registered users for Bumble in Australia, which was both a personal and professional milestone for me. It showed how far we’ve come in the last two years, and how all those initial first moves turned into something huge!

What keeps you motivated?

On a large scale, watching Bumble's growth trajectory is really motivating for me. Being able to see this brand that I've been working with for over two years grow into a massive global powerhouse with over 61 million users is a huge motivation. On a day to day level, it is talking to Bumble users who share their personal stories about how a connection they made on our platform changed their life - that always reminds me why what we do is so important.

What has been the most unpredictable challenge in your career?

In the early days of Bumble in Australia, everything was unpredictable and everything was a challenge. I had a background in HR and banking, and had no prior experience with marketing, PR, influencers or events. My first task was to hire a team, and the first five people I asked all said no, which just showed the low awareness of Bumble in Australia at the time. Still, when they declined I remember thinking "you are going to watch what happens here and wish you said yes" - I'm sure many of them do now!

What are three values which are most important to you as a leader?

At Bumble we have three core values that are central to our brand - kindness, respect and equality. As a leader in the business I feel very aligned to these values, and think they are important both for how we position ourselves as a brand and how we act within the company. Treating people with respect and as equals is so important in the workplace - a good idea can come from anywhere, so it is also in your best interest as a manager to make sure that everyone in your team feels like they can voice a thought or idea!

If you could have dinner with any three women (real or fictional), who would they be and why?
  • J.K Rowling - mostly because I am obsessed with Harry Potter and think she is a complete genius. I also love how humble and generous she is with both her time and money.
  • Emily Weiss - Glossier is one of my favourite brands to follow, and I idolise anyone who has been able to create a brand with a strong voice and the ability to build a community. Emily has done exactly that!
  • Lisa Vanderpump - because reality TV is the only way I switch my mind off and I need to find out what really happened on the latest season! As well as this, she is a killer business woman.
If you could give one piece of advice for the young women in Australia who are at the start of their careers, what would it be?

I think one of the most critical things that can take time to learn is to trust your instincts - tap into that gut feeling and follow it without fear. Sometimes we let the outside world have too much influence, and we forget to be guided by our intuition. For young women starting out, without years of experience to help build confidence, it can be difficult to learn to trust yourself. I definitely felt this when I first started at Bumble because I didn't have experience in the field - in hindsight, that probably wouldn't have helped me. One thing that really helped me in this area was finding a mentor who had a wealth of experience and gave me some really brilliant advice - if you can find a mentor early on who can help guide you in the big decisions, it will make a huge difference.

Ready to make the first move in work, love & life? Download Bumble on the App Store or Google Play. 
Image credit: Dominic Loneragan.