“It is important to celebrate the achievements of everyone who is making positive change, but for women I don’t think we always stop to celebrate ourselves. Some of my most successful friends wouldn’t call themselves that, so when we see someone doing good work, we need to call it out and make sure they know it is valued,” explains Michelle Battersby, Bumble associate marketing director APAC.
Bumble is all about making empowered connections and building valuable relationships – in life, love and work. The company, founded by Whitney Wolfe Herd, launched Bumble Bizz in 2017 as a way for users to network professionally. “At Bumble, we ask women on our platform to put themselves out there and make the first move every day. We ask women to change the way gender roles are constructed on a very personal, micro level, millions of times a day,” says Battersby. “But we also felt it was important to recognise the people and companies who are doing this at a corporate level, because to make real change takes effort from every angle.”
And so, the Making Moves Award was born. After hundreds of nominations, Christina Chun was presented the Glass Ceiling Award for her work founding the edtech startup 1Scope, which has given 15,000 students skill-building opportunities in the form of workshops, conferences, work experience and scholarships. Accepting the award with her 14-month old daughter Harriet on her hip, Chun said, “I want my daughter to see what women are capable of.”
We spoke to Chun, 28, about her drive, the ceiling smashers she admires and her advice for the next generation…
MC: You founded 1Scope, a website that aims to "level the playing field" by providing a central information hub, where students can discover and apply for opportunities with major industry players. Could you tell us a bit more about 1Scope and what inspired its creation…
CC: 1Scope is a marketplace designed for people aged 12-25, looking to find career opportunities that are free. It could be internships, work experience, programs or scholarships. What inspired the creation was my background; I was raised by a single mum in Western Sydney. Growing up we were financially disadvantaged, and I grew a lot of resentment going into year 10 and 11 because we didn’t have a lot of money to afford the opportunities that other children had. I wanted to make it easier for kids with low socioeconomic status.
MC: There is still a massive gender disparity in many fields; only 27 per cent of the STEM workforce is female. Why do you think women are still underrepresented and how do you hope to address that with 1Scope?
CC: I went to a [girls] school that banned pants because they only wanted females to wear skirts. With that kind of leadership, we didn’t have subjects in engineering, and no one was encouraged to do computing.
For me I think role models will encourage more women to get into STEM. I loved maths in high school, and I did four units up until year 12, but I didn’t see any females telling me that maths is a transferable piece of knowledge that can actually get you to any industry and any job. We need to see more females representing those STEM fields, because their stories will inspire others.
MC: You won the Bumble Making Moves Award at the Glass Ceiling Awards. What did the win mean to you?
CC: Being nominated was really great because the awards are about recognising women. I hope I can share this win and give back to the community. I want to share the lessons I’ve learnt with entrepreneurs and mothers. I’ll celebrate with my daughter Harriet [who was on stage to accept the award]. I want her to see what women are capable of.
MC: What’s your advice for the next generation of ceiling smashers?
CC: Reach out. Go to LinkedIn or Bumble Bizz and spend an hour reaching out to anyone you think will actually be able to help you, whether it’s with advice, resources or mentorship. The biggest thing that’s helped me has been surrounding myself with the right people.
MC: What are you most excited about for the future of gender equality?
CC: I am currently working in strategic partnership in the Department of Education. We look after all the partners and all the assets and look at how we can actually support the programs across the Department. I want to introduce new programs that we can offer to female students that will actually close the gap in industries like STEM.