While online dating is "a potentially interesting way to meet people that are out of your social circle," Lee says, professional women have to navigate a particular balance.
When you’re looking for ‘The One’ every moment counts.
Those anecdotal experiences mirror the results of a separate Pew study: That young women between the ages of 18-24 are far more likely to be stalked or sexually harassed online, compared with their male counterparts.
The Takeaway's "Being a Woman Online" series aims to examine the creative connections and communities women have forged online despite the sexism many find on the internet.
Susie Lee, co-founder and CEO of Siren, aims to do just that.
Siren is a dating app now available in Seattle and Portland and will expand nationwide this year.
The app operates with an asymmetrical model: Women and men do not have the same experience on the site.
While women are always able to control who gets to see their profile, men are not.
While Siren is primarily used by straight men and women, Lee is also exploring ways to open up and change the app based on focus groups in the LGBTQ community.
Siren encourages conversation with a question of the day, a "water cooler" conversation where anyone can answer, and women can decide whether to make their profiles visible to specific people based on those answers.
Lee explains that she wanted a dating app that avoided the "shopping mentality" prevalent on other apps.
"There's a complexity of individuals that we wanted to explore," she says, "But our culture currently isn't really an 'and' kind of culture — it's an 'or.'" She continues: "So even when women are presented online, they're either this or that, and the same goes with men." The other problem with current dating app models? "A lot of current models think that chemistry can be determined algorithmically," she says. some kind of computer program will be able to figure out what a perfect match is for you." She adds: "Probably most of us have [had] that relationship that looks great on paper," she says, "which oftentimes is pretty disastrous in real life." The Siren model allows for more conversation, particularly through the question of the day feature.
Finally, Lee explores the double bind many women face in terms of mixing the personal and the professional.