In less than a month from today, the League turns 1 and I am 31 years old. As I think back to my first year as a single founder (yes, pun intended) my biggest regret is that for almost a year I held my tongue to express the mission behind The League, and instead let the press write their own story. on a dating app exclusively for beautiful rich kids. I told myself that I was just obeying wise sayings: “ignore the reviews”, “focus on your users and your product”, and “no press is bad press”, but refusing to To answer, I basically let the media corrupt our concept into one so shallow and click-bait-optimized that it’s almost unrecognizable to me now.
Why did I hold back? Truth be told, I was worried that if I shared my true vision behind The League, I would alienate some of our user base – especially men – that a dating app clearly needs to survive. This, in turn, could further segment our addressable market already smaller than Tinder and could hurt our chances of achieving success and raising funds. But ironically, by downplaying my mission, I was actually suffering from the same type of complex that I am determined to eradicate.
And at 31, it’s time for me to stop worrying about what other people think and start worrying about moving the needle.
So if you’d like to put up with me while I climb on my soapbox for a few minutes, I’d like to finally explain why I started The League.
When I got a college scholarship at Carnegie Mellon to study computer science, I never thought about how education and career would affect my love life. I’ve worked incredibly hard to graduate early and build my resume, network, and pedigree by working in all-male teams at branded tech companies. After I finished it all with an MBA, I began to realize that with each promotion or diploma I obtained, I more and more embodied the definition of “alpha woman”. (The fact that women who are able to compete successfully with men in the workplace warrant special etiquette for us is ridiculous to me, but I adopted it because it meant I was successful).
After business school, I entered the world of celibacy after the end of a 5-year relationship. It became clear that I had indeed qualified a lot of guys who just weren’t interested in dating an alpha woman;
I was a career-obsessed, over-educated, tech executive with little interest in playing the beloved “traditional” girlfriend.
And to be fair, I referred to guys who didn’t share my desire to achieve, my level of intellect, or my desire to be in a relationship where our careers and social lives were of equal importance. It only took a few ‘out in the wild’ dates to realize that typical online dating sites were a waste of my – and their – time. And when you have $ 200,000 in debt after business school, you tend to place a high value on your time.
It has become clear to me that as women have redefined our role in the workplace, there is still a lot of work to be done to redefine our role in relationships.
In 2015, there are a lot of men who will claim to want a “smart and ambitious woman”, but I have noticed that it often does not turn out that way in reality, and there are a lot of studies. [1, 2] to corroborate my anecdotal evidence. Nor does it mean that men expect their “ambitious” wives to remain so after marriage. An HBR to study finds that 50% of millennials expect their wives’ careers to take a back seat to theirs (to equal priority), and nearly 70% expect their wives the woman is the main caretaker of their children (in relation to equal responsibility). “Progressive relationships” are even more intimidating for some men – where the woman can have a busier schedule, a more powerful network, and be successful in her career than her male partner. A University of Chicago to study shows that a woman and a man are much less likely to join forces if their income exceeds theirs. All of this shows why it is not uncommon for women to feel the need to
‘mitigate [our] intelligence, opinions and career ambition so as not to frighten the guys ”.
This horrific and newsworthy expression is what drove me to create The League. I wanted to build a community where smart, outspoken and high performing women are celebrated and encouraged to advance in their full-time careers. I NEVER wanted to hear a woman worry about her educational achievements or career ambition being a drag. As Sheryl Sandberg wisely advised us:
The most important career choice you will make is the one you marry.
When the time comes to settle down, find someone who wants an equal partner. ‘
– Sheryl Sandberg
I wanted to build a community where this type of relationship is the rule, not the exception.
The media criticized the League for our “exclusive” model and labeled us as an elitist app for children in trust funds and ivy league graduates.
My inbox is flooded with dozens of reality TV production companies offering to make the next one
Millionaire Matchmaker, portraying myself as the Millennial Patti Stranger whose goal is to match rich men with gorgeous women desiring financial security.
These stereotypes make my blood boil and couldn’t be more wrong.
Women in the League have consciously prioritized their education and career path: 98% have university degrees, 8% are pHDs, 30% have graduate degrees, 14% are at director level or above, 21% are managers, 13% are CEOs, founders, co-founders or owners, and more than 39% are estimated to earn six-figure salaries. And all this with an average (and median) female age of 29. These are high performing women who are likely to continue working after marriage and have children (if they choose to have them). The men they (we) want to be matched with in The League are sufficiently educated, ambitious, accomplished, and self-confident enough to desire a woman. partner who has the motivation and intelligence to achieve high levels of professional success, even if it overshadows her own.
What at first glance is easy to characterize as elitist is in fact the effectiveness of this larger mission.
The League’s heavily-reviewed admissions-based model is our attempt to create a founding community of successful, diverse and influential members who will serve as pioneers in helping to change conventional views on gender still prevalent in our society. Yes, we are selective – we believe in research which correlates education and career success with ambition, and weighs this data heavily in our screening algorithms. While this is currently a slow and far from perfect admission process,
If we open the doors too wide and too quickly, we risk becoming like all other dating apps where men judge women by their appearance and women struggle to find men who value their intelligence and support their ambition.
And then our mission failed.
The couples we create, even though they are small in absolute numbers right now, will ideally continue to successfully demonstrate that dual career relationships are not only possible, but preferable. These power couples will ultimately serve as role models that our society sorely lacks today.
My hope is that the League promotes higher education, encourages career ambition and, above all, cultivates the desire for an equal relationship.
in both sexes.
Our generation has the unique opportunity to eliminate archaic social norms that date back decades (if not centuries), while still succeeding in profoundly influencing how we define a relationship in today’s world. If, as a founder, I can point out even a small increase in the number of equal partnerships that result from the organized community that we are building, then I am okay with being called elitist, or as we do. wants to call me. Because if we can help move the needle of society, even a tiny bit, towards equality, that’s much more important to me than my own Google search results.
Amanda Bradford, Founder and CEO
#endofsoapbox #micdrop #getmeoffTinder #neversettle