has added a new feature in honor of International Women's Day, which falls on March 8. The directory is adding the option to search for businesses owned by women.
"We understand that consumers want to champion women entrepreneurs and know that their hard-earned money is going into businesses they care about," Yelp said in a statement Thursday.
The company also said reviews mentioning whether a business is women-owned have increased 20% since 2018 and more than 50% in the last five years. Businesses marked as women-owned had higher average ratings than businesses that weren't, Yelp added. This difference pertains to active US businesses with at least five reviews.
In tandem with the search feature, the company is releasing a list of the Top 100 women-owned businesses in the US.
Yelp has previously added a feature designed to help users with dietary restrictions find appropriate restaurants. The feature, which rolled out last fall, lets people filter for vegetarian, gluten-free, halal, keto, kosher, pescatarian and vegan. In 2018, Yelp added a Popular Dishes feature meant to help solve the dilemma of what to choose at a certain restaurant.
After an industry analyst deemed Yelp to be in a "death spiral," in 2015, the company has worked to reestablish itself and keep up with competing options available to consumers, like
, which include reviews for restaurants and businesses. Yelp also has competition from specialty apps like TripAdvisor, OpenTable and FourSquare.
Originally published Feb. 27.
Update, Feb. 28: Adds more information from Yelp.