Shubhi S. Rao

Founder & CEO, Uplevyl

Like many professional women, I’ve experienced moments of exhilarating success. However, as a woman working in male-dominated fields – the automotive industry and the technology sector – I’ve also experienced profound loneliness even when surrounded by a team of colleagues celebrating a big win. As a software engineer, and a finance executive, I was often the only woman in the room. I was a qualified professional surrounded by professionals who were no more capable and talented than me. And yet, I observed my male colleagues thrive in a league exclusive to their gender, seemingly unavailable to me as a woman.

Uplevyl was born out of those moments when I felt utterly alone.

As a woman of color sitting in a room full of men, I felt isolated and, at times, inadequate. Intellectually I fought against imposter syndrome; emotionally, it took a toll. Even as an accomplished executive, I found it challenging to express my vulnerability to male colleagues. I yearned for my own network of women professionals. I searched for women mentors and sponsors. As I navigated my professional career, I searched with little success for resources to guide me as a woman through the personal, professional, and financial challenges that came my way.

Here is what I now know and believe.

We live In the digital age. Men have designed and executed much of the technology that dominates our lives. These platforms fall short in addressing the needs and aspirations of professional women. It is time for women to lead in developing technology platforms for women. There's a need that hasn't been fully addressed until now.

My vision of a world redesigned for women has driven me to create Uplevyl, so all professional women have a deep sense of belonging. Additionally, we all need access to resources that nurture growth in all areas of our lives. My dream for Uplevyl is that it’s not only a place of belonging, but also a safe and trusted platform where women successfully navigate their lives today and for future generations.

Dr. Sarah Degnan-Kambou

Head, Strategy and Business Operations

I’m a purpose-driven intrapreneur. Throughout my career, I’ve built nonprofit businesses, creating enabling environments from the inside, and working with colleagues to develop exciting new products that both advance missions and generate revenues. I believe in the wisdom of teams, and have witnessed time and again the creative power of teams that work well together. I’m a lifelong learner and a bit of an explorer – I earned a Master and PhD along the way and have lived and worked all over the world. Last count, I’ve visited 72 countries. My career has spanned academia, global development, and international public policy. I served as CEO of the International Center for Research on Women, managed development programs in sub-Saharan Africa for Care International, and launched my career at Boston University where I co-founded the Center for International Health. I now have this amazing opportunity to work with Uplevyl – you just never know where life is going to take you.

Why do you feel a sense of belonging at Uplevyl?

Life is too short to do something that doesn’t bring you joy or feed your soul. Guided by my North Star, I’ve always worked to secure women’s rights and advance gender equity and racial justice. It’s a delight to work alongside colleagues who share similar values and want to create a better world for women and marginalized peoples. I’ve found my tribe in the digital space - thank you, Uplevyl

Dr. Patricia Greene

Innovation and Data

I've always been passionate about empowering professional women to strive for growth and excellence, and this reflects in my work experience. I’ve been an entrepreneurship professor at Babson College where I led the development and deployment of Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses as the Global Academic Director of 10,000 Women. I was also the 18th Director of the Women’s Bureau of the U.S. Department of Labor, championing women in the workforce, including women business owners. Most recently I’ve been COO for Tilted Windmill Games and educational advisor for Portfolia, a company with a new model for equity investing. I feel extremely proud to be leading the Innovation and Research activities at Uplevyl!

Why do you feel a sense of belonging at Uplevyl?

Working with Uplevyl is exciting as it brings together my personal mission of advancing women entrepreneurs, with an extreme focus on how we can use technology to change the world of work for women.

Maegon Sauer

Head of Operations

I am a former Sport Performance Coach who pivoted into tech, carrying over the spirit and virtues of sportswomanship into my work at Uplevyl as I lead the Operations team. In my role, I wear many hats and love the challenge of solving the myriad of unique situations that a start-up faces on daily basis. Outside of the office, you can probably find me on a trail somewhere, running, or exploring with my husband and two dogs.

Why do you feel a sense of belonging at Uplevyl?

Uplevyl has truly been a game-changing experience for me, primarily because of the team behind it. Every day I'm surrounded by so many powerful women and thought-leaders from every demographic and background imaginable—both from the internal team and through our content. Their influence constantly pushes me to better myself in the professional, personal, and financial areas of my life. The team's hard work, dedication, support, and guidance inspire me to do the same for them and truly feel that we are making a difference for women all over the world.

Kim Martin

Data strategy

I have been a professional computer scientist for over 20 years specializing in data engineering, machine learning, distributed systems optimization and scale, and tech leadership.I've created big data solutions, recommendation engines, and custom search applications for the Department of Defense, Cubic, Avis/Budget, Eli Lilly, and HBO, among others. In the past, I've worked for YouTube, Google, and Netflix—and currently I am a software engineering and data science executive at Indeed in Austin. I often include “changing hearts and minds about data” in the description of my day to day work. I hold a B.S. in Mathematics, a Masters in Interactive Telecommunications, and an MS in Computer Science. I sit on the Board of Directors for Mom Pro Network, an organization focused on providing resources and empowerment to single professional mothers. I am a mom, a member of the Austin Mediocre Golfers Association, an avid karaoke singer and pianist, and a passionate advocate for gender and ethnic diversity in tech.

Why do you feel a sense of belonging at Uplevyl?

Uplevyl feels like a place where I can grow my interests, learn new things, and find a global community focused around the things I care most about. As a single new mom and tech executive, I don’t encounter a lot of women in my immediate circles, so it’s nice to know there’s a place to go to find people with similar experiences who are also just figuring it all out.

CJ Pippen

Head of Engagement

As a former branding executive in the creative and hospitality industries, I have witnessed firsthand the width of emotional experience and the depth of human connection. That real-world experience, combined with a Masters in Applied Positive Psychology at the University of Pennsylvania and Co-Active coach training, serve as the foundation of my work now, which prioritizes connection and growth. As a coach and consultant, I use best-in-class research around wellbeing, positive psychology, and certified coach training to help people and organizations connect to their audiences. I have a beautiful blended family of nine, three of whom are dogs, and I pursue gardening, art, and design in my spare time.

Why do you feel a sense of belonging at Uplevyl?

I feel a sense of belonging at Uplevyl because of its inclusivity. Whereas other platforms make judgements on your inclusion based on title or presence in the C suite, Uplevyl sees value in multiple perspectives and professional stages — including entrepreneurial or solopreneurial women.

Margaret McSweeney

Content and Partnerships

People say that you end up doing what you loved to do in third grade: I always loved eating, talking, and writing. And in the course of my life I have written and published five books and launched an award winning podcast, to honor my late father and his love of food. With a Masters in International Finance and prior professional experience in banking, corporate finance, and corporate partnerships, I bring a strategic approach to marketing opportunities. As Uplevyl’s Ambassador for Strategic Partnerships, I work with Shubhi Rao on the MVP program and enterprise outreach.

Why do you feel a sense of belonging at Uplevyl?

I think of Uplevyl as a place of belonging for every professional woman, no matter what the age or stage. “Savor the day” is my life’s tagline, and as a ten year breast cancer survivor, I appreciate the importance of living life with purpose and joy. At Uplevyl, I can bring women’s recipes for savoring life to the table, including my own.

Phaedra Rogers

Content and Engagement

As a print and digital writer specializing in content strategy for Uplevyl, my passion is for the written word. With a degree in journalism, I assumed I’d write primarily for magazines or newspapers; I had no idea what the future held. Blogs, profiles, narratives, social media, and email campaigns - it's all under my umbrella, and I relish every minute of it. When not behind my laptop, you might find me sharing unsolicited bird facts with my family, who have never shared my obsession with backyard bird-watching.

Why do you feel a sense of belonging at Uplevyl?

I've experienced many starts and stops throughout my career, making me feel like a professional outlier. My professional experiences weren’t similar to my colleagues who had linear career trajectories. Cross-country moves with three daughters in tow required strict focus on cobbling together a solid professional foundation - regardless of where I lived. Uplevyl is where I don't feel I have to compare myself to anyone else's standard. My mindset immediately shifted to accept my experiences as a strength instead of a disadvantage. I'm blessed to be surrounded by so many brilliant, diverse women who remind me there's more than one way to define success.

Deanna Marra

Content and Operations

A graduate from the University of Texas at Austin, I'm part of the Operations team at Uplevyl. As an initial team member, I have had the privilege and pleasure to watch Uplevyl grow from the very beginning. I love doing a bit of everything here at Uplevyl, and I feel a great sense of purpose in encouraging other women to grow into their power! My personal passions include dogs, reading, and hiking.

Why do you feel a sense of belonging at Uplevyl?

I resonate with the company's mission to help women worldwide grow in all facets of their lives – truly a unique opportunity for me, made possible because of our digital platform. I value being a part of this noble cause, and I take immense pride in my contribution to it.

Ginger Bennett

Content and Operations

I work on the Operations team and support the technical side of our interview process, giving interviews and processing our amazing content for the Uplevyl platform. I am currently pursuing my MBA in Finance and am an alumni of the University of Texas in Austin. I am also a 500 hour Registered Yoga Teacher and some of my yoga and breath-work videos can be found on the Uplevyl platform! I am a digital nomad, traveling the country, house and pet sitting. As I travel, I enjoy playing outside in the sunshine and have an affinity for long walks, rock climbing, juggling, hooping, and scuba diving.

Why do you feel a sense of belonging at Uplevyl?

I love connecting with other professional women that share the same values as me and are working hard to make their dreams a reality! It's so inspiring getting to hear the stories of other successful women and empower each other to constantly grow and uplevyl to be the best versions of ourselves that we can be.

Macy Vedder

Content and Operations

I have an educational background in Communications and Business Management as well as an advanced degree in Education with an emphasis in Trauma and Resilience. I came to Uplevyl with professional experience in education, having led the organization in overall student success and credit completion, as well as having been recognized for my initiative in innovation. In my personal life, I enjoy volunteering at a local animal shelter, playing basketball, and taking in the sunset at the beach where I live in sunny San Diego.

Why do you feel a sense of belonging at Uplevyl?

I have always felt a passion for empowering and uplifting other women. Uplevyl has allowed me the opportunity to apply my passion in a professional space. I wake up excited knowing that I’m a part of a team that is making a difference in the world for women.

Harsh Kumar

Delhi Team Lead

A cinephile with a degree in literature, I have a keen interest in human analytics and operations, which is why I derive great pleasure from my work at Uplevyl—be it market research, communications, PR, or working in India to build a strong community of professional women for the platform. I can talk endlessly about basketball, exciting volunteer programs, dogs, treks, and food, of course!

Why do you feel a sense of belonging at Uplevyl?

As an Uplevyl Ally for women in India, I believe there is no better place for me than Uplevyl. Thanks to Uplevyl, each day I get to learn something new from all the members of its powerful team. It's safe to say that Uplevyl has now become my second home.

Chetanya Godara

Social Media Engagement

Working for Uplevyl's social media is a dream and a delight for me because I get to constantly engage with remarkable women who are determined to create their own destiny. As a Masters-level student of English literature and a lover of art, I have a deep appreciation for the narratives that make up the lives of working women, and I feel lucky that I get to play a part in sharing these stories with the world. I am an optimistic child at heart, for everything I do is fuelled by love, curiosity, and a sense of wonder.

Why do you feel a sense of belonging at Uplevyl?

Uplevyl feels like home to me—it is a rare space that offers women solace, solidarity, and support. I feel a sense of belonging at Uplevyl because here my thoughts and ideas find room for expression and are met with sparkling enthusiasm!

Jamie Dapaah

Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging

I am a Football Governance and Partnerships Equality, Diversity and Inclusion specialist. Owing to my vast experience in the field, I am driven by the desire to create new pathways for fair access and opportunity in line with the policies of Football Governance. I am devoted to my goal to push for inclusivity in sports, as I have a deep understanding of the socio-economic challenges that sporting organisations face, which impact adequate recruitment processes.

Why do you feel a sense of belonging at Uplevyl?

Being a futuristic and innovative organisation, Uplevyl champions the virtue of equality. The principles at Uplevyl fall in line not only with me as a person, but also with what I stand for as a professional. No wonder then — I feel right at home at Uplevyl!

Kelly Murray

Content and Operations

I am a member of our Operations Team. I have worked in the Gaming and Hospitality industries in various capacities including Marketing, Hotel Management as well as Human Resources. I hold a bachelor's degree in History with an emphasis in Secondary Education. I enjoy traveling, antiquing, and am a self proclaimed foodie and francophile. I admit I have read close to 100 books on all things French!

Why do you feel a sense of belonging at Uplevyl?

I am truly honored to work for Uplevyl and with its talented team that is providing women with content resources under one umbrella to aid in navigating through life in all its complexities and in a manageable amount of time! I love how the content is packaged for the time-pressed woman needing to get out the door, like I was for much of my career. Uplevyl is what I have been looking for, both personally and professionally.