“Real leadership is being able to galvanize excitement around an idea, a mission, a goal. You don’t have to be their manager on paper to make that happen.”

Sarah Jones Simmer is the Chief Operating Officer of Bumble, the female-first social networking app that brings kindness and respect back into introductions and promotes equality in relationships. In her role, Sarah oversees core business strategy, growth and marketing initiatives, and facilitates the expansion of Bumble’s rapidly growing team headquartered in Austin, TX, with offices around the world.

Sarah started her career analyzing equities and market conditions at an LA-based hedge fund, and later moved into strategy consulting, advising clients from established luxury brands, startups, and high-net-worth individuals and celebrities, on a range of philanthropic and social good initiatives.

Immediately prior to Bumble, she was the head of business development at a venture-backed  consumer brand focused on sustainable beauty.

Sarah has spoken at SXSW, the Global Partnership for Education, and UN special sessions on topics ranging from girls’ and women’s rights to the future of ethical business. She spends her time outside of work raising two amazing young daughters.

In this episode, we discuss:

  • How she got her “dream job” at Bumble via the work she had done in her career that led to this point and by leveraging a connection at the company.

“It’s a common mistake that people on invest in networking when they need something… we don’t treat our friendships that way and we shouldn’t treat our business relationships that way either.”

  •  What it’s like to work for a company whose North Star is ending misogyny and how this changes how they operate internally.

“How are we deconstructing corporate norms and re-imagining them in a really female-first way?”

“The idea of corporate hierarchy comes from a really competitive and male-dominative workplace culture.”

Team Bumble
Team Bumble
  • The work she is most proud of and is her biggest challenge at Bumble.

“It’s this magic that so few businesses have ever achieved. It’s part of my responsibility to never lose that magic.”

  •  One of her career mistakes, how she handled the moment she realized she was wrong, and what she learned from those experiences.
  • How having a baby was the greatest single influence on her career and leadership style.

“It really unlocked something in me.”

  • Leadership lessons she wished she had learned earlier in her careers.
  • Ways to learn more and connect with Sarah:

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