Women in Product Management - MAKE IT HAPPEN 2019

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Dec 26, 2018 11 Comments

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.

ACTIONS:

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!

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TOP 11 Comments
  • Goldman Sachs / Other 🥺TC😭
    Product management? Isn’t that just writing emails. No coding?
    Dec 26, 2018 1
    • Google / Mgmt ceng
      Touche. Well suited though - requires people skills, communication, nurturing and emotional abilities
      Dec 26, 2018
  • New EKPg16
    Already see too much sexism and self segregation from women. The backlash for these exclusive and toxic movements is brewing and getting pretty ridiculous.
    Dec 26, 2018 1
    • Facebook cccfnfnnd
      OP
      I am not sure what you are seeing.

      This is not about self segregation - this is about helping one another. What you don’t see are the terrible remarks and behavior that I personally experienced and witness others experiencing. You don’t see a lot of things and have no idea what it is like. This information gets buried at companies and does not get shared but its happening daily and frankly makes it very difficult to stay in the field.
      Dec 26, 2018
  • Microsoft PizzaMan
    Can men attend to be champions for women in product? I want to know how I can be better at this
    Dec 26, 2018 1
    • Facebook cccfnfnnd
      OP
      Yes! I would love to see that :)
      Dec 26, 2018
  • PayPal Main
    Nice post !!
    Dec 26, 2018 1
  • Facebook ccsksnnx
    When senior dudes are all white guys that hang out together - how do you break in? One of them who is not quite a director tagged every male director and VP in Product in a post about going cycling- it feels like such an elite exclusive thing. They are making a FB group to hang out and he made some comment about talking about work. He’s clearly positioning himself as a future director/VP.....

    How do you break in as a woman ? It’s odd because most junior people are actually workjng. Senior execs seem to have the luxury to take days off all the time and this dude knows how to break into that circle!
    Dec 28, 2018 0
  • comScore fchT27
    👍🏻👍🏻
    Dec 26, 2018 0
  • Facebook ddnfndnd
    Bump
    Jan 5 0

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