4 min read

Nurturing Kindness and Safety in the Digital Realm

Insights from Rosemary Hitchcock, Director of Engineering at Bumble Inc

Xena Tech Summit 2024

Rosemary Hitchcock has worked in tech for over 16 years, starting with a role as an Analyst at Accenture, before working at YOOX Net A Porter in various positions including Delivery Manager and Head of Technology. She’s currently Director of Engineering at Bumble Inc where she works with the Mobile Apps. Rose is passionate about building high-performing, autonomous teams and helping others to grow. Outside of work, Rose has 3 young children so is fluent in the demands of juggling work and parenting.

In her captivating closing keynote at our Xena Tech Summit, Rose delved into the profound mission that propels the Bumble dating app forward: making the internet a safer space for all users.

Using Product and Tech to Power Bumble’s Mission

Rosemary shed light on the innovative ways Bumble leverages its product features and technology to make its app a kinder place. From MTFM (Make the First Move) a feature that allows users to send the first message after a match on the app, or their latest Deception Detector TM which allows the app to detect spam, scam and fake profiles. This additional layer of security not only enhances user trust but also serves as a proactive measure against potential malicious activities on the platform.

Another notable strategy Bumble employs is harnessing the power of artificial intelligence to detect and combat cyberflashing. The software has recently been made open-source to help tech communities combat cyberflashing. This technological approach aims to foster a more respectful and secure online environment, aligning with Bumble’s overarching mission. Private Detector™ works by automatically blurring a potential nude image shared within a chat on Bumble. You’ll be notified, and it’s up to you to decide whether to view or block the image. Read more about the software here, available on GitHub!

All these technological endeavours, as Rosemary highlighted, are dedicated to creating a safer and more enjoyable online experience for Bumble users.

Rosemary provided the audience with valuable tips for cultivating a culture of kindness and safety within any organisation. 

Key takeaways 

1. View Your Business Through a Lens of Kindness and Safety

Rosemary urged businesses to assess their operations with a primary focus on fostering kindness and safety. This perspective shift can lead to the development of workflows that prioritise user security and comfort.

2. Build a Diverse and Inclusive Culture

Recognising the importance of diversity and inclusivity, Rosemary stressed the need for companies to create a workplace culture that embraces individuals from various backgrounds. A diverse team brings different perspectives, contributing to a more comprehensive approach to problem-solving.

3. Emphasise Education

Consider the importance of educating members in these areas, not just sanctioning them for behavioural infringements but giving them guidance on healthy behaviours and encouraging empathy and respectful communication. The aim of this is to contribute to more positive behaviours – Think about how you can engage users in a way that can encourage them to understand the impact their online behaviour has on the wider community and participate in a positive and constructive way.

4. Encourage Cross-Collaboration

Collaboration was a recurring theme in Rosemary’s talk. She encouraged businesses to break down silos and promote cross-collaboration among teams. This approach facilitates a holistic understanding of safety challenges and allows for more comprehensive solutions.

5. Employ Continuous Learning

In the ever-evolving landscape of digital innovation, Rosemary emphasised the importance of continuous learning. Staying abreast of emerging technologies and potential threats, such as deep fakes, is crucial for businesses to adapt and counteract dodgy innovations effectively.

Rosemary’s insightful tips provide a roadmap for businesses to not only navigate the challenges of the digital world but also actively contribute to making the internet a safer and more enjoyable space for everyone. As she aptly stated, “You need to keep pace with dodgy innovation,” reinforcing the idea that continuous adaptation and improvement are key elements in the ongoing quest for a secure online environment.

Together, we are stronger.

Let’s work on your DEI journey of organisational transformation whilst building diverse and inclusive teams.

Discover what that means

Related content

Career Advice Sprint With Babbel & ReDI School

Read more

HelloFresh Are Actually Creating Opportunities For Women New To Tech

Read more

Xena + HelloFresh Meetup: Finding Your Niche In Tech

Read more

Investing in Diversity: Transforming Tech with Inclusive VC Funding

Read more