Bumble’s women-only networking feature isn’t a job discrimination tool

Bumble recently added a filter to his professional network mode, Bumble Bizz, to give women the option to pair only with other women. The immediate response, mainly from the rights pages of the men, was: "Is not this illegal?"

Part of the outrage comes from the first article written on the feature, CNBC with a [19659003] the owner said that the tool "allows recruiters to exclude men." Another owner of Fortune followed it, calling it "Job Search Tool & # 39; & # 39; Only for Women & # 39;". What the headlines, and subsequently the men's rights forums are wrong about, is that Bizz should not be used as a recruiting tool, it's just a network function. And even if it were, it would not necessarily be in conflict with the laws of discrimination.

Bumble Bizz was first released in 2017 as a separate mode within the dating app, allowing women and men to list their resume and their skills. Comparisons were made with LinkedIn, but Bumble said that Bizz was designed to "establish contacts and tutoring, not to seek work or recruit." Citing a recent study by McKinsey, which showed that women are still underrepresented at all levels of US corporations, Bumble said the new, opt-in, women-only filter is meant to help women "Encourage the development of others and ask for the schedule in which they can not be working".

bumbles women only networking feature isnt a job discrimination tool

Despite Bumble's intentions, it is true that the filter could be misused in ways that could be illegal and discriminatory. Women who seek other women to establish professional relationships or find mentors are not a legal problem, but if employers seek to use Bumble Bizz to hire candidates, they should be careful to use the filter.

companies justifiably want to improve the representation of women in their workplaces to remedy historical discrimination against women, "says Andrew Elmore, a law professor at the University of Miami who specializes in labor law. both, hiring women on social networking sites can be a legal and important way to ensure that a wide range of candidates have access to employment opportunities. "

Recruiters could use the filter as a tool to find candidates but it can not be used to discriminate against or discard men from one position.If a recruiter used the application and only considered women for the position, that could be a violation of Title VII, which prohibits discrimination based on race, color , national origin, sex and religion.

"An employer is free to recruit from underrepresented populations to ensure that the gam A wider range of candidates has access to employment opportunities in the firm or company, but can not discriminate because of sex, "says Elmore.

The Bumble Bizz women-only filter is not likely to get out of the way of The Wing, a joint work space only for women with good intentions who He was forced to change his policies after A lawsuit for gender discrimination. For starters, it is under discussion whether social networking applications such as Bumble can be classified as public accommodations, which are subject to anti-discrimination laws. The Ala, being a physical structure that charges members for the use of its space, is subject to state and local laws that prohibit discrimination against gender and gender identity, which opened it to an investigation of the Human Rights Commission of the City of New York. The same rules apply to hotels and restaurants, although they vary by state. For example, offering "Ladies Night" discounts to women on entrance fees or drinks is illegal in California and in three other states because of gender discrimination.

The Ala membership policy has since been modified to include all genders, including trans and non-binary members. "While The Wing will always be a space designed for women with a women-centered mission, you may see people in The Wing who express their gender in various ways," the Wing co-founders wrote in a letter to their members announcing the new policy

Bumble declined to comment on legal issues related to the use of his recruiting tool, but said the women-only filter was driven by the demand for women using Bumble Bizz. The company prides itself on listening to its users, but the application still does not allow users to identify themselves as more than a "man" or a "woman" in their gender settings. If there is any criticism that should be directed towards the application, this should be corrected, the filter should not be changed.

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