Paula Froelich is the Editor in Chief of Yahoo Travel. She is also the New York Times best-selling author of the novel, "Mercury In Retrograde" and was the deputy editor of the New York Post's gossip column, Page Six, for ten years. In January 2012 she won a Gold Medal award from the North American Travel Journalists Association for her piece in Playboy on Iraq, "Down And Out In Baghdad." Paula is originally from Ohio and Kentucky and loves to travel to places where the USD still means something.
How has your life experience made you the leader you are today?
Where do I start? My mother always said 'I will never give you a cent, but there will always a be a plane ticket home. You'll never be homeless.' Everything I have accomplished, I did on my own. I have always worked from the bottom up - and it has taught me so many things, including empathy (the most important thing a leader needs). I can gauge how people will feel and react because I have been there at some point too.
How has your previous employment experience aided your position at Yahoo Travel?
I have had so many jobs, but they all have been in the field of journalism. I have been very lucky to have been trained by the best -Clare Longrigg at The Guardian, Tom Lamont at Institutional Investor and Richard Johnson at Page Six. I've learned what to look for in a story and how to "turn the camera around." My experience trained me to look for the story angle the pack will chase two weeks from now.
What have the highlights and challenges been during your tenure at Yahoo Travel?
The biggest challenge was launching Yahoo Travel in just two and a half weeks last year! But, with my amazing team, not only did we launch, we launched with 144 pieces of original content, averaging 800 words a piece. Within five months, we made Yahoo Travel into the number one travel content site in the world, we won a NATJA Gold Prize for best site, we launched the Yahoo Travel Explorers program and garnered great consumer response. I do feel like we are changing people's lives by getting them out of the office and onto the road.
What advice can you offer women who are seeking a career in your industry?
Don't let anyone tell you no. Be bold, be brave and just go!
How do you maintain a work/life balance?
I'm still trying to figure that out.
What do you think is the biggest issue for women in the workplace?
How to balance work and life.
How has mentorship made a difference in your professional and personal life?
My mentors have made me a better person. If I have a problem, my mentors help guide me to a solution. Through their guidance, which is ostensibly about work, I work through issues that are present in my personal life.
Which other female leaders do you admire and why?
Elizabeth Warren, Marissa Mayer, Kathy Savitt. They get things done and are changing the world. I'm beyond lucky to work for two out of the three.
What do you want Yahoo Travel to accomplish in the next year?
I'd like to see Yahoo Travel continue its great work and expand more in the video and social areas. I'm excited to watch Yahoo Travel become a social powerhouse, hub for the travel community and leading voice in the industry.