I Owe You Better: A Commitment to the Future

Dear readers: Man Repeller will now be sharing updates about how the company is changing via transparency reports published on the site. You can read the first update here or access this information anytime by visiting the “From Team MR” tab on our homepage.

I have let you and the members of the Man Repeller team down and I am sorry.

The letter I published on Monday provided an insufficient explanation for how I plan to change the way Man Repeller operates, but I did not adequately address the way that it already has operated. I did not yet have a true understanding of the pain that has been caused, which has held me and therefore this company back from living up to its promised expectation to help women to feel less alone and more understood. To celebrate your you-ness.

The first thing I want to address is what we’re doing in the immediate term. Yesterday, we started the process of hiring a diversity and inclusion specialist to help me audit and transform this place from the inside out.

But I also need to learn from and engage with our past. I’m in the process of listening to current and former employees about their experiences. We will make sure that anyone who chooses to participate in communication sets the terms of their engagement.

That’s just one part of it, though, and I know it won’t work if I myself don’t make an unwavering commitment to amplifying Black and POC voices as part of our mission. To encouraging that your stories be told, faces be seen, and hearts feel welcome because I am committed to harboring space and safety for you-as-you-are to feel accepted here.

And this — acceptance — is what, I am realizing, is at the center of this. I have been the recipient of sobering feedback from you, from friends, from the members of my team — many of whom have received personal criticism for which I claim responsibility. The ways in which they have risen, using their platforms to contribute their skills, their dollars, their bandwidth, and hearts have been a humbling reminder of the lengths I must travel before I can ever call myself a leader.

You are leaders — for giving your valuable time to comment. For fighting for what you believe. I have a deep appreciation for the investment in our improvement that has been expressed and as a 31-year-old woman at the beginning of a process I should have started a very long time ago, I am humbled by the depth of wisdom on display in the private and public conversations that we have had. These interactions have been the primary source of the hope I have that we have a chance to get this right.

And doing that — getting this right is a crucial step in a long process. I owe you better. And I hope that this is the beginning of my chance to offer meaningful repair.

Leandra M. Cohen

Leandra M. Cohen is the founder of Man Repeller.

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