Women in Product Management - MAKE IT HAPPEN 2019
Context: I didn’t see this group when I posted this under Career and it got flagged as inappropriate. I am now in the right group (women in tech). Can you ladies let me know if this is inappropriate? My message is positive. I want to see more women have success in tech across all disciplines. I have experienced terrible things - sexist comments, rascist comments and belittling. I graduated top of my class in high school and went to strong college and post graduate. It has taken me years to grow a thick skin, learn to play the game and fight for my career growth and due credit. Various leaders (happen to be 100% men) have put me down every step of the way. My message: Do not give up and do not let the harassing male even when he is your reporting chain get you down and make you leave the work you love. EDIT: I added one point about making a personal decision about family and not letting work/management chain delay that decision.
MAKE IT HAPPEN 2019
We need more women in product management from all backgrounds. Companies that are high growth have lots of layers of manager and director roles. They are promoting some from within and hiring from outside. There are VERY FEW WOMEN in the manager/leadership ranks.
The explanation given is that not enough women are trying to join and passing the interview and there are few women in the IC ranks to build a leadership pipeline.
(1) STAY AMBITIOUS, STAY BRAVE: Women, I think you are just as ambitious - YOU NEED TO CRACK THE INTERVIEW! If you want to be a PM, you need to work hard to get it.
(2) MANAGERS MIXED BAG, FOCUS ON YOUR WORK: If you have to report to a scumbag (bad at their job, do not coach/mentor you, HR violations) , find another mentor or colleague to talk to, get coaching to succeed in your work, get the experience you need, excel at your role, and find a new team and company. There are HR violating gross people in leadership roles. You have to learn to manage it (reporting to the person, working under the bad VP, working at the bad company) and get the experience you need and transition. I have survived this - it takes a long time for companies to get rid of the scumbag and some of those jerks are successful and protected by the organization. Stay focused on what you are trying to achieve.
(3) KEEP YOUR EYE ON THE LONG GAME: You will always have to work longer and harder but do not give up. We need a strong pipeline of women to change the old boy networks at many companies.
(4) MENTOR AND GIVE BACK: We all need coaching. Especially when you are trying to get your first job, it’s really hard - then when you are trying to get that leadership role and competing with all of the men and their networks, it’s even harder. Help other women so we can change product management to have more diverse people that reflect the world.
(5) FIGURE OUT WHAT YOU WANT - HAVING A FAMILY IS POSSIBLE: Women worry about their career and perception when they are pregnant and have children. You can have children (biological or adopted or shared or whatever other means) and have a successful career. You will have to assess how your management chain handles it - do they make comments about people with children, how do they themselves behave, do they support flexibility or not. You have to prioritize figuring out what you want and create the life you want. If you don’t want a family, that is a great decision too. No one is going to give you permission to make this decision at work. If you want to have children - do what you need to do make it happen. You can then assess your workplace and then find one that is supportive of that decision.
Two groups to check out are:
Women in Product: https://www.womenpm.org
Advancing Women in Product: https://www.advancingwomeninproduct.org
Join the Facebook groups.
There are books to study for the interview. Practice, hustle and make it happen!
Comment in advance to all the haters who will comment: Have a happy holiday! I am excited to keep kicking butt in 2019!