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A Bermudaful smile over Times Square

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Clare O'Connor and what she called her 'awkward selfie' on a building in Times Square (Photograph from Clare O’Connor’s Instagram page)
Clare O'Connor, head of editorial content at Bumble. This is the photograph that was broadcast at the Nasdaq Tower. (Photograph by Clare O’Connnor)

A long-time business journalist and former Royal Gazette reporter was featured on a massive billboard in New York’s Times Square on Thursday.

An image of Clare O’Connor’s face filled the 10,000 square foot display at the Nasdaq Tower on the day her boss Whitney Wolfe Herd made history as the youngest-ever woman to take a company public, at age 31.

Ms Herd, the founder of the female-first connection platform Bumble where Ms O’Connor is head of editorial content, also became the youngest self-made woman billionaire.

To celebrate, the company asked its employees to submit photos of themselves that would flash up on the seven-storey building and Ms O’Connor joked on Instagram that her “awkward selfie” was now on display for all to see.

Ms O’Connor, who was born in Bermuda and is based in New York, told The Royal Gazette: “I took a selfie and didn’t think much of it, how huge it is and how it looms over Times Square.

“Whitney rang the Nasdaq opening bell with her one-year-old in her arms which resonated with a lot of women around the world.

“During the course of day, photos of us flashed up among other images including Whitney ringing the bell.

“It was a lovely touch.”

Back in 2017, Ms O’Connor wrote a cover story about Ms Wolfe Herd for global media, branding and technology company Forbes where she was working as a staff writer focusing on women entrepreneurs.

After writing the article Ms O’Connor decided to leave journalism and join Bumble as editorial director as she believed in Ms Herd’s mission to make the digital world safer for women.

Ms O’Connor, 38, was promoted to her current position a year ago and was one of the first 50 employees at Bumble which raised $2.2 billion in an initial public offering that valued the firm at over $7 billion.

Ms O’Connor added: “It’s been such a horrible and strange year but this job is a bright spot.

“To be working for a company that is trying to make the internet safer for women means everything.

“It’s a full circle moment having met Whitney when she was 25, written about her when she was 27 and now at 31 she has made history twice in a week. I feel very grateful.”

Ms O’Connor wrote on her clare_oc Instagram page: “I spent half of 2016 and most of 2017 trying to convince @whitney, then understandably press-shy, to let me profile her for a business magazine. Thankfully, she relented – then trusted me to join her not long afterwards in her mission to make the online world safer for women. Now she’s made history twice in a week, and my awkward selfie is on a building in Times Square.”

While at Forbes, Ms O’Connor was responsible for covering female entrepreneurship and workplace equality in the tech industry.

Since joining Bumble, Ms O’Connor has worked closely with Ms Wolfe Herd and the company’s content team to develop editorial content for its millions of users.

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Published February 15, 2021 at 4:37 pm (Updated February 15, 2021 at 4:37 pm)

A Bermudaful smile over Times Square

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