- Yelp released both its 2020 diversity and inclusion report and announced a new initiative to support minority-owned financial institutions Dec. 15. The crowd-sourced local business review and social networking site deposited $10 million of its cash reserves into three Black-owned banks with a long history of serving their communities, Yelp said. The initiative is part of an overall commitment announced June 2020 to support the Black community and Black-owned businesses, the company said.
- A $5 million cash deposit at Broadway Federal Bank will help address the "critical need" of affordable housing for low- to moderate-income communities, Yelp said in the news release. Carver Federal Savings Bank received $2.5 million to advance the bank's mission of supporting Minority- and Women-Owned Business Enterprises; and Citizens Savings Bank and Trust Company received $2.5 million to support small businesses and provide "critical financial literacy," Yelp said.
- Amid the coronavirus pandemic, some banks discouraged Black business owners from applying for the Paycheck Protection Program, according to a July report by The National Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC). Disparities in small business lending have continued, the NCRC found. "We recognize that the distribution of financial capital is not equitable in the United States, particularly in Black communities, and know we have a role to play to support a more equitable financial system," Yelp CFO David Schwarzbach said in a statement.
Although Yelp still has "more work to do," efforts to increase representation in its workforce "are having a positive impact," the company said in the latest diversity and inclusion report.
As of Sept. 30, 26.8% of Yelp's employee population identifies as part of an underrepresented minority (URM) group, according to the latest report. This represents a 13.6% increase in URMs since the last diversity report; and the number of URM managers increased 12.9%. At Yelp, representation of URM employees in leadership roles is at approximately 20%. URM data includes Black, Latinx and Native American employees, per the company. Overall, men represent 57% of the workforce, and women represent 43%. Men represent 54% of leadership roles, compared to women, who represent 46%.
In efforts led by Miriam Warren, senior vice president of engagement, diversity and belonging, the company established an executive diversity task force, which included the CEO Jeremy Stoppelman, COO Jed Nachman and CFO David Schwarzbach. Yelp also piloted a diverse slate approach to the interviewing process in its Enterprise Sales division to ensure "hiring managers consider underrepresented talent when interviewing for open positions," the report stated. The company plans to expand it to the entire organization.
Yelp also embarked on projects including new reporting processes, anti-bias trainings and creating new employee resource groups. Yelp seeks to "continue to make progress on its commitment to support Black and minority communities," both inside and outside of the organization, the tech site said in a statement.