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A look back at Women’s History Month in 2021

Every year, we celebrate Women’s History Month at Yelp during the month of March. This year, in addition to highlighting women-owned businesses and organizing our first ever Women in Business Summit, we also celebrated by highlighting some of the women at Yelp, their career journeys and successes, as well as advice that they have to offer to other women.

Follow Life at Yelp on Instagram to get the latest employee stories and spotlights.

Devlyn B.
Accounts Receivables Specialist

“My team is responsible for invoicing customers, receiving and cash application to accounts in Oracle, Admin, and Zuora. We also handle refunds, Oracle adjustments, and many other processes.”

Q: Please tell us about your journey at Yelp
A: I started my journey in 2017 as a contract employee and then joined Yelp as a full-time employee in March of 2018 as an Accounts Receivable Representative based in San Francisco. In September 2019, I transferred to the Scottsdale office as an Accounts Receivable Specialist.

Q: What lessons have you learned through your career that can help young women who want to work in the tech industry? What advice do you have for them?
A: Never give up! If you can dream it, you can do it!

Q: How does working at Yelp help you feel valued, heard, and empowered to be the most successful version of yourself?
A: Yelp has an inclusive culture that encourages everyone to voice their opinions, share feedback whether good or bad, and exchange ideas. I feel that Yelp listens and implements changes and improvements to continually evolve our workplace and make it enjoyable for everyone.

Semhar Haile Merkey
Community Manager, Yelp Dallas

“I’m honored to be able to serve as a pillar for the community and to connect consumers to great local businesses. I host events for the Yelp Elite Squad ranging from 4-course meal cooking classes with renowned local chefs, to Zoom boxing fitness classes and ‘meet & greets’ with local zoo animals. The Community team serves as the local ‘face’ of Yelp and coordinates events, PR, and social media marketing for their specific market while serving as a general guide for business owners.”

Q: What lessons have you learned through your career that can help young women who want to work in the tech industry?
A: There is a responsibility we as women have to illuminate our presence in industries that lack representation of us. It’s essential that there are more women in the tech space as we fight the workplace culture gap. My advice to young women who are interested in this industry is simple: shine your light and show the world who you are.

Q: What’s your best advice for someone who wants to better position themselves for leadership opportunities?
A: Speak up, share your story, be proud of what you’ve already accomplished and what you (as a woman) have to offer.

Q: How does working at Yelp help you feel valued, heard, and empowered to be the most successful version of yourself?
A: As an African American woman, I feel we can no longer afford to enable the behavior of workplaces that don’t speak up for people who look like me. Yelp’s announcement in 2020 sharing its commitment to change and to better serve diverse communities via public platforms and not being afraid to stand up for human rights has made me feel seen.

Salina F.
Local Sales Manager

“I lead a team of dynamic top sales professionals at the front line of our business while creating spaces for Black professionals at Yelp to feel included, empowered, and uplifted as Black Burst’s National Lead.”

Q: Tell us about your journey at Yelp
A: I started working at Yelp 3 years ago as an Account Executive in our San Francisco office. Since then, I have had around 11 promotions as an individual contributor and within leadership combined.

Q: What lessons have you learned through your career that can help young women who want to work in the tech industry?
A: 1. Always be a glass half full, it’s important to self reflect and find simple ways that you can elevate your professional brand consistently
2. Get involved within your organization and try to understand all parts of the business. It allows you to operate in your current role with a broader vision and with more intention
3. Speak up when it’s difficult and find ways to advocate for yourself

Q: What’s your best advice for someone who wants to better position themselves for leadership opportunities?
A: Create a Board of Directors for mentorship, coaching, and sponsorship. You have to be creative in how you pour value into yourself and be extremely self-aware with your growth and development.

Q: How does working at Yelp help you feel valued, heard, and empowered to be the most successful version of yourself?
A: I feel valued everyday by the people that I get to invest in. My team encourages me every day to be a better version of myself and they consistently pour back into me what I pour out to them. Leading organizational change and influence also makes me feel valued. My peers and senior leadership trust my judgement and insights, so much that they have allowed me the platform to create change internally with Yelp employees and externally with business owners.

Alexandra F.
Enterprise Customer Success Specialist

“I work to ensure we meet client goals by optimizing campaigns, updating listings, maintaining positive client relationships, and making sure everything runs successfully.”

Q: What lessons have you learned through your career that can help young women who want to work in the tech industry?
A: Go after what you want even if you’re hesitant. Worst case scenario? Someone tells you no. Putting yourself out there and going after opportunities only makes you better, and it helps you land in the place you’re meant to be in. Tech is ever-evolving and needs diverse people.

Q: What’s your best advice for someone who wants to better position themselves for leadership opportunities?
A: Take every opportunity you can get to learn from your peers and leadership. Attend meetings or seminars that are run by people who you admire or people who have positions you want to be in. Ask a lot of questions, and try to schedule a time to chat with them.

Q: Impostor syndrome is an issue that many people in the workplace face, what advice do you have to overcome it?
A: Imposter syndrome really plants seeds of doubt and hurts your confidence. I’ve found that reaching out to a coworker, friend, or manager for a perspective check has been really beneficial. You’re your own worst critic, so it’s important to level-set and be reminded of the qualities that led you to the position you’re in.

Q: How does working at Yelp help you feel valued, heard, and empowered to be the most successful version of yourself?
A: Over the past year I have really enjoyed seeing how Yelp takes initiative to talk about the hard subjects head-on while acknowledging that we can all do our part to be better. As a woman of color, I have really appreciated the various trainings and Yelp employee resource groups like BlackBurst. I feel lucky to be supported by a team and a manager who show me that they care about my success personally and professionally.

Margaret P.
Senior Community Manager, Yelp LA East

“My role as the Senior Community Manager for @yelpla is to connect people with great local businesses by hosting five-star events in the area, introducing our Yelp community to new businesses, and simply shining the light in our local area!”

Q: What lessons have you learned through your career that can help young women who want to work in the tech industry?
A: It’s cheesy, but I always think about the quote, “What doesn’t challenge you, doesn’t change you.” This quote has really stuck with me and helped me with a lot of things, whether it be in my career or personal life. My younger self was always afraid of challenges and thought I could never possibly be good enough to be anything – well a little bit of courage can really get you far. Even if you don’t make it the first time, keep trying!

Q: How does working at Yelp help you feel valued, heard, and empowered to be the most successful version of yourself?
A: I love that Yelp has dedicated a whole department to diversity and strives to make it important for every employee to feel included, engaged and a part of something.

Christina N.
Partner Sales Marketing Manager

“I am one of the segment leaders on the Multi-Location Marketing team. Specifically, I lead all our marketing efforts for Yelp’s Partner Sales team and the Yelp Advertising Partner Program, which provides support to marketing and advertising agencies who communicate the benefits of Yelp to their local business clients.”

Q: Tell us about your journey at Yelp
A: I joined Yelp in this role in 2019 and have enjoyed every minute since! It’s been so rewarding to contribute to the rapid growth of our Partner Program!

Q: What lessons have you learned through your career that can help young women who want to work in the tech industry?
A: It’s so important to be open to new and different opportunities whenever they’re presented to you, and to create them for yourself when they’re not. I had been a marketer in several industries before coming to Yelp and what prepared me most to enter tech was simply having had such varied experiences, marketing roles, and responsibilities to draw on and build upon here. When you’re willing to try a lot of things, one day you’re the person who’s done a lot of things! And who doesn’t want to work with that person?

Q: How does working at Yelp help you feel valued, heard, and empowered to be the most successful version of yourself?
A: Yelp fosters a truly collaborative culture where “that’s not my job” or “stay in your lane” aren’t part of the lexicon. Working across many teams, I’ve never encountered anyone who wasn’t willing to patiently answer questions, provide expert guidance, or offer ideas for inspired solutions. It’s incredibly empowering to know that I can show up to work every day, know that my ideas – big and small – will be nurtured, and be given the freedom to experiment in the name of learning and pursuing the company’s mission.

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