Yelp becomes one of the few tech firms with a female board chair

Yelp’s announcement that it has named Diane Irvine as its new board chair puts the Internet review firm in an exclusive club of tech firms with chairwomen.

Irvine, who has been on the board since 2011, is the former chief executive officer of Blue Nile, the online jewelry retailer. Telling USA Today that she prefers “chairperson,” she said that Yelp has been working on diversifying itself at all levels:

We want to show that progress in the months and years ahead throughout the company and that would include the board.

Other tech firms have women on their boards. Google has three. Facebook and Apple both have two. Twitter has one.

But it is rare for a woman to be the board chair. Yelp joins Hewlett-Packard as one of the few tech firms with female chairs. Carly Fiorina was the chair during part of her tenure as CEO. Fiorina was replaced by Patricia Dunn.

When Hewlett-Packard officially splits into two companies in November, both firms’ boards will be run by women — Meg Whitman, HP’s current CEO and board chair, will chair the new HP Inc. Pat Russo, currently the lead independent director at HP, will chair Hewlett-Packard Enterprise.

In addition to Irvine, Yelp also counts Mariam Naficy, the founder and chief executive officer of Minted, on its board. Irvine added that the tech industry needs more female board members:

The percentages of women on boards is not where we would like it to be, yet there are women on boards so it could happen and should happen one company at a time.

Above: Yelp’s logo.

Updated to add information about women on tech firms’ boards. 


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