When the Google manifesto grabbed headlines last week, several women in Philly tech went in on the doc and Google’s accountability.
Yasmine Mustafa, cofounder of ROAR for Good, had an additional thought: is there a way to connect with local companies who want to demonstrate that they care about these issues?
She of course already had the answer — Athena.
As announced by our sister site, ROAR recently started shipping the Athena, its wearable personal safety device.
To help celebrate, the social enterprise partnered with Houwzer, the real estate platform founded by Benjamin’s Desk cofounder Mike Maher to provide Athena devices to its agents.
Given the safety concerns surrounding real estate agents, the partnership was a no-brainer for both Maher and Mustafa.
“The sense of awareness is higher among real estate agents because most of them are women,” Mustafa explained. “Most of them are meeting a stranger for the very first time in a secluded area, in an empty house.”
While thankfully none of the Houwzer agents have reported safety incidents, Maher told Technical.ly that he saw this opportunity as a great way to be proactive.
“Athena will help Houwzer provide a support network for our agents, even when we can’t be there physically,” he said. “Athena is another layer of protection that shows our employees they are valued.”
It’s a sentiment that also seems to be shared by the agents themselves. We reached out to a pair of Houwzer agents, Allison Dubovsky and Scott Hicks, and both seemed quite pleased with the device’s utility.
Dubovsky enjoys the wearability of the device. “It’s easy to wear with a skirt or pants,” she explained, while Hicks remains impressed by the Athena’s utility, both on and off the job.
“As a motorcycle rider, if I were injured and not able to reach my phone, the device is simple enough that I could still likely hold the button down to call for help,” Hicks said. “As a Type 1 diabetic, this gives me a little more peace of mind in the event of a medical emergency, where I might not have the wherewithal to use my phone, but still press the Athena.”
The Athenas supplied to Houwzer come with all the features of the devices currently shipping out worldwide and a neat little addition — the company’s brand.
The personalization went over so well that cofounders, Mustafa and Anthony Gold, even began contemplating an official expansion of this feature into their business model.
For now, Mustafa and Gold want to ensure that Athena gets into the hands of everyone — which will hopefully result in more partnerships, and fewer assaults.
In addition to real estate, the cofounders would like to see Athena’s presence expand among several job sectors, specifically businesses that employ personnel who travel or require late nights from their employees.
There’s already some rumbling about a major corporate sponsor joining forces with the social enterprise — but the ROAR cofounder remained tight-lipped on the details.