Pledge 1%’s #WomenWhoLead series celebrates female leaders who are paving the way for the next generation. While our featured leaders come from a variety of backgrounds and industries, they are united in their efforts to promote equality for all women in the workplace. We’ve asked them to share a bit about their journey to success, as well as lessons they’ve learned along the way.

What is your name and title?

Zoe Devorkin, Community Engagement & Disaster Relief Program Manager at Postmates.

Briefly (1-2 sentences) describe your current role.

I am a member of the Civic Labs social impact team. My responsibilities include managing and growing our internal volunteer program, partnering with nonprofits nationwide, and overseeing our disaster relief strategy.

How did you get here? Please share any quick stories from past work experiences.

My undergraduate degree is in Community and Nonprofit Leadership. I began my career in the nonprofit space, with a particular focus on combatting food insecurity through volunteer engagement, marketing/communications, and program management. In the midst of the pandemic, I decided to make a career switch to corporate social responsibility after reading Yvon Chouinard’s (founder of Patagonia) book “Let My People Go Surfing”. I received my certification in CSR last summer, and a lot of job applications later, here I am!

In your opinion, what’s the #1 decision or move you’ve made that has helped advance your career?

Don’t be afraid to ask for help. There are countless people who have been in your shoes before and are more than willing to offer career advice, facilitate a connection, or suggest impactful resources. I found my current job from a job board that was suggested by someone I sent a cold message to on LinkedIn asking for career guidance!

What is the most important lesson you’ve learned this past year?

Be grateful for the little things in life. It has been an extremely challenging year for everyone, and learning to take notice of and appreciate the little things can make each day a bit more special.

What’s the number one challenge you face as a woman in your industry?

Being perceived as “too sensitive”. In my opinion, having a high level of emotional intelligence is essential in the workplace, yet sometimes this can unfortunately be misconstrued.

Do you have any mentors? What does mentorship mean to you?

I am so fortunate to have many incredible women in my life that I look up to. I wouldn’t say I have one particular mentor currently, but I know there are a few special people I can call on at any time when seeking guidance or support. I think good mentorship goes beyond just professional interactions, and involves taking a genuine interest in one another for who we are as people – in and out of the workplace.

What advice do you have for women who are just starting their career?

Do what you’re passionate about and the rest will fall into place. Also, don’t be afraid to apply for jobs that interest you even if you don’t think you meet all of the “qualifications”. And finally, just be yourself. I know that phrase is overused, but it’s true. Be YOU and not who you think the company or person interviewing you wants you to be. You will be much happier in a position where you can be your authentic self.

What is one thing companies can do, big or small, to help create an environment that advances women into leadership positions?

I think this ties back to the company’s overall culture. I remember hearing the CEO of Jellyvision, Amanda Lannert, speak at a seminar years ago, and she discussed how so many of those “important conversations” happen outside of typical office hours, where women were seldom present. Creating an inclusive culture where women’s voices are welcomed and heard is crucial.

What is one thing you hope to accomplish in the next year?

I hope to have a year of social impact experience under my belt! Being so new to the field, I’m looking forward to continuing to learn new things every day. I’m trying to soak up as much as I can right now.

Is there a cause that is particularly close to you? If so, why this cause and how did you get involved?

Before Postmates, I worked at Blessings in a Backpack, a national nonprofit organization providing food on the weekend for kids who may otherwise go hungry. This organization will always have a special place in my heart, and their mission is SO important. Due to COVID-19, the amount of food-insecure children in America has skyrocketed, and Blessings in a Backpack is working tirelessly to feed as many kids as they can.

When did your company join Pledge 1%? What does your impact program mean to you?

Postmates has been a proud Pledge 1% member since 2017. We actually pay our employees for time off of work to volunteer. It’s inspiring to see how passionate employees are about causes they care about, even when our world (and volunteering) turned virtual. I think it’s important that a company’s social impact goes beyond the team directly responsible for CSR – when it’s something engrained into the culture of the entire company, and not just a checked box. That’s when you can see the most impact.

What do you like to do outside of the office? Any interesting (or unique) habits or interests?

I live in San Diego, so I try and spend as much time outside as possible. I love to cook, and this past year has been great for trying out lots of new recipes. I also really enjoy seeing live music. I am so excited for the return of concerts, whenever that may be!

Are you reading/listening to anything interesting at the moment? Please share your most recent favorite book or podcast!

I am an avid listener of NPR’s podcast “How I Built This”. Hearing about the trials and tribulations of how brands became what they are today is fascinating to me. I’d like to start my own business one day, so getting those nuggets of wisdom is invaluable.

What’s been the one (or two!) things that have helped you navigate this past year? Any tips or tricks to dealing with remote work?

Now, more than ever, the importance of empathy in the workplace is vital. You truly never know the depths of someone’s situation at home – people are doing the best they can in a remote world. Also, remembering to keep a sense of humor. This past year has been very dark, however, finding little things to laugh about – and make other people laugh about, keeps me going.