Happy International Women’s day from Picnic! Today also coincidentally marks Picnic becoming 60% female, so we asked all the women and allies of Picnic to share a quote on their female inspiration
Who is your female inspiration or role model?
Whitney Herd - Founder & CEO of Bumble: Whitney has broken through so many barriers throughout her career. Not only is she the youngest female at 31 years old to have taken a company public in America, but she completely flipped the approach for dating apps on its head by creating a dating app for women. She has been a true advocate in supporting and celebrating women.
Even thought she had a difficult experience in the lead up to the creation and launch of Bumble, her experience has only propelled her to start a new company and commit to much more healthy work environment than the one Whitney experience herself. Ensuring flexibility around issues such a childcare, flexible start times, mental health days etc. Creating a positive environment that truly benefits the employees as well the company as a collective.
The reason why I think Whitney is such a great role model is because she gave empowerment back into the female community. Whether that be through the app itself or the working environment she has created. She is a true representation of just what women are capable of and I celebrate that.
Sara Blakely, Founder of Spanx: Outside of the awesome women who’ve made me who I am today (My mother, sister, girlfriend and mentors), it would have to be Sara Blakely. For people who don’t know who Sara is, she’s the founder and owner of Spanx - a product that revolutionised apparel. I first got to hear about her a number of years ago on Reid Hoffman’s podcast Masters of Scale - I highly recommend listening to her episode “How to find your big idea” - at a time when I was looking for my own big idea. What inspired me most was her determination to succeed, her grit to achieve her goal and her ability to make a negative a positive for her. She took on an industry (Manufacturing) dominated by males who couldn’t see success in the idea and came out revolutionising the industry. She’s an inspiration to me and should be one for anyone looking for their next big idea.
Melanie Perkins, Founder of Canva: The 32 year old founder of company now valued at $40b! She went through 3 years of being turned down by investors - I wonder why.
My wife Annabelle: For being a working mum who is an inspiration to Florie, Herbie & me & lives life with empathy, understanding & a caring mindset whilst always standing up for what's right & fair.
Nikki May, Author: Without doubt, my #BreakTheBias inspiration is my friend, Nikki May - one of the most inspirational women I know because of her ability to turn an idea into a reality through sheer hard work and determination. Nikki has recently published her best-selling debut novel, Wahala - a book about female friendship inspired by her Nigerian-British heritage. The book explores themes of racism, struggles with identity and unconscious bias in the workplace. Wahala is both a page turner and an eye opener, and importantly - an example of what can be achieved when preconceived notions of what is possible are broken.
What does #BreakTheBias mean to you?
To me "Break The Bias" means stamping out that voice in your head that says you can’t do something, doing it and then helping others to do it too.”
Educating and checking yourself constantly. Making sure our recruitment pipeline has diversity at the forefront of it, giving everyone & anyone the opportunity to join Picnic in any role. But most importantly working out how we can address unconscious bias - how do you break something you’re not aware of.
To me "Break The Bias" means challenging stereotypes & discrimination wherever we see it, and taking action to ensure gender equality in all aspects of life.
Inclusive work cultures where women’s careers thrive and their achievements are celebrated”
Breaking biases involves actively recognising that prejudice is inherent in many workplace situations, because of societal structures not necessarily personal fault. Once biases have been acknowledged it's easier to find solutions.
A world, a place, a work place, a home where individuality is celebrated & gender is never considered!
Give a shoutout to someone at Picnic
Shoutout to the inspirational women I work with everyday at Picnic - Charlotte, Ellie C, Holly, Cessie, Ellie P, Alicia, Hannah, Scarlett, Lena, Abi, Kath & Kadie.
I'm so inspired by Abi, one of our Developers. She joined Picnic as the first female developer in the (now predominantly female!) Engineering team and is a huge advocate of women in tech, using her skills and passion to teach on the Code First Girls programme and mentor other members of the tech team. She also runs a feminist illustration Instagram on the side which highlights important issues around race, gender, period poverty, women's safety and more - I'm constantly learning something new or discovering ideas in a new light thanks to Abi's instagram!”
60% of the organisation are women so there are lots of people who deserve a shoutout! Rather than an individual, I'll call out the majority female engineering team, who ably prove technical teams don't need to be male dominated.
Shoutout to Scarlett Down, our Senior Marketing Manager. Marketing can make or break a business, especially a start-up. Brilliant marketing is very hard to come by, and staying on top of it - making sure it’s constantly top quality - while a business is rapidly growing is no easy task. I don’t think she ever switches off, always working to improve everything from our website, to decks, to what the business will look like in 3 years time - I don’t like/want to praise or glamourise excessive hours but I want to recognise the brilliant work Scarlett has produced off the back of it. Though, she does always have time to tease us with some standup comedy, or fill awkward silences on any zoom call.