While Wikipedia and Twitter have gender gaps, the one website that has a substantial amount of women working is none other than the petition website Change.org. As Forbes Women reports, women make up 57% of Change’s users, signing 66% of petitions and even starting 46% of the petitions online.
The 2007 startup, Change.org, is now certified as a B corporation. Just last year the website generated 100,000 petitions and 10 million users.
In an exclusive study of 70 petition starters, which consisted of roughly an equal amount of men and women, one third of the women interviewed successfully started their petitions. Ninety-three percent of women who had triumphant petitions said they would take action again on Change.org.
As Shelby Knox - Change.org’s director of organizing and women’s rights - said that female users of the site are so successful because their stories are very relatable and they help women realize that they aren’t alone in various situations. "They talk with friends and realize they share similar experiences, that consciousness leads to activism and that leads to organizing," says Knox.
So just who are these women that are leading the petition site? For starters there’s 14-year-old Julia Bluhm, who notoriously started the campaign for Seventeen Magazine to use one unaltered photo of females a month. The SPARK blogger and media activist was able to fly to New York, meet Seventeen’s editor-in-chief, and was able to win her petition. Seventeen now uses photos where they don’t alter body sizes or face shapes.
Other female driven-winning petitions include one by Emma Axelrod and two friends, who urged for a female moderator at the 2012 presidential debates. Female petitioners have also won for Verizon waiving cancellation fees for abuse victims, for Gatorade to remove potentially dangerous chemicals from their products, and the USDA to stop packing “pink slime” in school lunches.
None of this would have even been possible without Jennifer Dulski’s help. Dulski, the president and chief operations officer of Change.org, joined the ranks of most powerful women this past January. In 2011, she became the first woman to sell her then company, Dealmap (a location-based site), to Google. She stayed as a senior executive there before moving to Change.org. Like Knox, Dulski believes that women are successful on Change because of their personal stories.
The opinions expressed on the BUST blog are those of the authors themselves and do not necessarily reflect the position of BUST Magazine or its staff.
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