Click here to listen to an episode of Change Wave by Treehouse entitled "Yelp: Miriam Warren" which is a conversation with Miriam Warren, the Senior Vice President of Engagement, Diversity and Belonging at Yelp.
The following is additional information about Change Wave by Treehouse:
"Change Wave is an exclusive look at the real, first-hand stories of how cutting-edge leaders rose to the top, smashed through barriers and created lasting impact. Brought to you by Treehouse, the company that has taught 850,000 people to code and helps companies like Nike, MailChimp, Airbnb and more hit their hiring plans and create diverse teams. If you'd like to know more, head to https://trhou.se/diversity."
The following is a summary of this Change Wave episode:
"Miriam Warren is the Senior Vice President of Engagement, Diversity and Belonging at Yelp and Board Chair of the Yelp Foundation. Miriam joined Yelp in 2007, serving in a variety of marketing and operational roles, including leading the company's expansion efforts internationally as Vice President of New Markets. Presently, she heads a team working at the intersection of culture, engagement, corporate philanthropy and diversity, equity and inclusion."
If you're interested in joining the team at Yelp, click here to see all of their available opportunities and don't forget to press 'Follow' to receive custom job matches, event invitations and more!
Below is an article originally written by Tenzin Kunsal, Nivedita Mittal, Gabe Ramos, Julie Truong, and Wing Yung at PowerToFly Partner Yelp, and published on October 28, 2019. Go to Yelp's page on PowerToFly to see their open positions and learn more.
During Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, ColorCoded (a Yelp employee resource group) hosted a panel discussion called "Beyond Labels: Stories of Asian Pacific Islanders (API)* at Yelp."
We heard stories from five API Yelpers about their cultural backgrounds, identities, and thoughts on what it means to be an API in today's world. Their stories helped us understand that identity is both multilayered and contextual, and that individuality goes beyond labels.
Read more from their unique perspectives below.
Tenzin Kunsal, Events + Partnerships, Engineering Recruiting
From a young age, I knew the concept of "home" was complicated. Like many refugees, my family called multiple countries home. My grandparents left my first home, Tibet, in the 1960s, after it was taken over by China. My second home, India, is where I was born and where I grew up, in a Tibetan refugee community. I was not automatically granted Indian citizenship, so for the first few years of my life, I was state-less, born without a country. That was until 1996, when Minneapolis became my third home. Soon after, I became an American citizen and finally officially "belonged" to a country. Growing up, this was all very confusing. I never felt like I fully fit in anywhere. It wasn't until college that I started to accept the multifacetedness of my identity and that it's okay to call multiple places "home."
Nivedita Mittal, Software Engineer, Reader Experience
I moved to the U.S. four years ago to get my Master's in Computer Science. Since then, it's been a journey of self-discovery. When I moved from Mumbai to Boston, I always said "I'm from Mumbai, India." Then, after moving to San Francisco, it became "I'm from Boston." Something that has always stuck with my identity is how my immigration status defined whether I "belonged." Whether it's finding a job that sponsors your H-1B visa, or filling out your green card, defining who you are and whether you belong in the first place is an ongoing insecurity. It didn't help that during grad school, every conversation I had with other international students revolved around my visa situation. The same applied to recruiting conversations with companies—I would always get questions like, "Did you get your H-1B yet? Did they file your green card already?" Once this is all said and done, I wonder if I'll finally find that sense of belonging, or whether it'll still be a conscious thought in my head to remind people that I belong here.
Gabe Ramos, Director, CorpEng
I identify as Filipino American, a person of color, and a Hapa. "Hapa" is a Hawaiian word that's used to describe people who are part Asian and part Caucasian. Growing up in the Bay Area, I bounced around schools that had different ethnic make-ups. People often can't tell what race I am. When I was in a predominantly Black and Latino school, classmates teased me for being "white." When I was in a mostly white Palo Alto public school, classmates teased me for being "Japanese" because they didn't know what race I was. I felt like I was between worlds because I didn't pass for white yet often didn't feel Filipino enough. Learning about different racial identities in college was pivotal for me. I have a liberal arts background, and my education really helped me learn about other Asian Americans' experiences, the history of racial violence in the U.S., and anti-miscegenation laws. This helped me gain more of a sense of shared history. Most importantly, this empowered me to feel more ownership over my opinions of my own racial and cultural identity.
Julie Truong, Software Engineer, Restaurant Plan
From my last name, you may assume that I'm Vietnamese; I'm actually Chinese. My family immigrated from China to Vietnam (and later to the U.S.), and in order to blend in, my paternal grandfather changed our last name. My family is a mix of Chinese and Vietnamese cultures. At any given family gathering, you can hear English, Cantonese, and Vietnamese—all within the span of a couple minutes. I grew up in a primarily Latinx/Black/Samoan/Fillipino neighborhood in the East Bay. When I was younger, I had an idea of what being a "cool Asian" entailed, and Chinese people weren't necessarily portrayed in this light. So I actually wished I were Fillipino, just like the cool kids in school. Now, as an adult living in the Bay Area, I feel I'm actually quite privileged. There's a large Asian American population here, and I don't have to think about my cultural identity very often. Interestingly, I find I have to think more about my gender and sexual orientation and how these parts of my identity show up in my personal and professional life.
Wing Yung, Vice President, Engineering
I grew up near Arcadia, California, in a community with many other Asian Americans. Most of my classmates in public school were like me—our parents immigrated here, and we were born here. I can speak three dialects of Chinese (poorly): Mandarin (which I learned through lessons), Cantonese (which my parents speak at home because they grew up in Hong Kong), and Wenzhounese (my grandparents' dialect). Throughout college I became more aware of my Asian identity, but didn't seek out opportunities to explore it. Early on in my career at IBM, one of my managers sent me to an Asian leadership development program. In retrospect, it was one of the first times I became aware that leadership comes in many forms. I'm very much aware of the fact that I'm often the only (or one of the few) Asians in leadership settings. It's important to me to be a role model for others so that they know there are paths to these roles.
What ties all of these stories together is a sense of belonging that impelled us to redefine our identities on our own terms. Finding the right communities and support groups was critical for our journeys of self-discovery. The process of preparing for this panel was in itself extremely empowering, as it allowed us to dig deeper and reflect on what makes us who we are. Opportunities like these provide a platform to learn about others' experiences and to realize how much representation influences our lives. It's important to remind ourselves that sharing these stories makes us stronger and is an important part of cultivating community.
Want to be a part of the dialogue? Here are a few steps you can take right now!
- Join a resource group/meetup/support group that focuses on diversity and inclusion. We have employee resource groups here at Yelp, including Colorcoded, Diverseburst, and Awesome Women in Engineering (AWE).
- For a more personal conversation, grab coffee with someone who identifies as an API to hear more about their journey.
*In the context of this conversation, API stands for Asian Pacific Islanders—people with origins in Asia or the Pacific Islands.
Engineering at Yelp
We work on a lot of cool projects at Yelp, if you're interested apply!
Below is an article originally written by Dorothy Jung, Software Engineer at PowerToFly Partner Yelp, and published on October 4, 2019. Go to Yelp's page on PowerToFly to see their open positions and learn more.
Last month, we held our first Awesome Women in Engineering (AWE) Summit at our headquarters in San Francisco. AWE's mission is to build a strong community for women and allies in our engineering and product departments by facilitating professional career-building activities, leadership, and mentorship opportunities. As a resource group, we provide support and organize activities targeted towards professional growth for women, helping them to maximize their potential at Yelp and beyond.
The summit was an internal, half-day event for women and allies in engineering and product at Yelp. We had previously hosted a summit for our EU offices, but this was our first time organizing the event stateside. During the event, we shared our experiences with one another and learned about the amazing work done at Yelp by women through a packed agenda of technical and career-based talks, workshops, and a round table discussion.
Overview of the Day and Session Highlights
We kicked off the summit with lunch and an introduction from Rachel Z., a group engineering manager and leading member of AWE at Yelp.
We followed with a series of sessions in parallel tracks, which ran the gamut from lightning talks to hour-long workshops. Some sessions were highly technical, including a lightning talk on PaaSTA, our open-source, distributed platform-as-a-service, by Qui N., and a workshop on machine learning and data mining using the Yelp dataset by Xun T.
Other sessions were focused on career growth, diversity, and inclusion. For example, Maria C., one of Yelp's group technical leads, detailed her career path as an individual contributor, and Jenni S. led a workshop targeted toward allies that focused on real-world scenarios in which an ally could take action to promote a more inclusive workplace environment.
The round table discussion, facilitated by Annie W., presented opportunities for women to have open, honest discussions about their experiences and any challenges they were facing.
We closed out the day with refreshments and a few parting words from our SVP of Engineering, Sam E.
In Our Own Words
"I was proud to see my coworkers–women and men–coming together to discuss and learn about these important topics. Only with everyone on board can we make a change towards a more equal industry."
"My favorite part was the round table discussion! I felt at ease to share the difficulties I'd faced. It was very enriching to share career and personal development tips with others."
"I feel inspired to use the takeaways from the [technical leadership talk] as a springboard for leading my own projects. It was clear how the takeaways emerged from practical situations."
"As an ally, I'm glad to be able to participate in the event, it was great! My favorite part was the Ally Skills Workshop discussions and hearing different viewpoints."
Holding this event allowed women across different technical departments at Yelp to come together, feel a stronger sense of belonging, and walk away feeling empowered and inspired. We plan to hold this event again in the future, and are proud of the progress that has grown AWE from a small social group when it was founded in 2013, to a thriving organization with hundreds of members today. Organizing this event with the brilliant, motivated women in engineering and product has been a highlight of my time here at Yelp.
This event further demonstrated Yelp's ongoing commitment to diversity and inclusion, as well as the importance for women to have opportunities to connect with others in the workplace to learn and grow. For more information about how Yelp supports women in tech, check out our website!
Interested in joining the awesome women in engineering and product at Yelp?
We're hiring! Check out our PowerToFly page for more open positions.