Women In Product: The Faces of the Industry

As with many roles in the tech industry, there historically has been a discrepancy in the number of male and female Product Managers. Men have been predominantly placed in this position, while many women have been unjustly overlooked (while being overly qualified as well). This disparity, however, is quickly and rightfully shrinking as more woman are making huge waves in the Product Management world.

From startups to verified tech giants, women are redefining the meaning of success. While this honestly should not come as a surprise to anyone, there simply hasn’t been enough limelight discussing the impact that these industry icons are producing.

Now that International Women’s Day is quickly approaching, we have the perfect opportunity to show our appreciation and admiration towards a few of these experts. We also must note that this is only a short list of laudable females in the product sector. In reality, entire volumes can be written about female leader in Product Management. For now, here are a few that should be household names.

Beyond being a critical piece of Airbnb, Mrs. Jain boasts a resume that demands attention. Before establishing her current position as Product Lead of Trust, Angela held high-profile roles at Booz Allen Hamilton, PayPal, and most recently Google. All of this experience adds up to over a decade of Product expertise, and there are no indications of her impact being slowed any time soon.

Currently, Jain works diligently on the side of security and identity establishment. Everything from account reliability, monitoring payment fraud, and all the way to reputation development, falls under her domain. The scope of her work touches on many of the most important aspects of Airbnb’s business, which highlights how critical she is for the success of the business.

Due to her rising visibility as an industry leader, Mrs. Jain has been a person of demand for conferences and events. She uses her voice as a platform to advise people on how they can improve themselves as Product Managers, what skills you need to have, and what she specifically looks for when hiring PMs for her team.

Since November 2018, Ms. Ghera has been one of our premier instructors for Product School. With nearly three years experience working as the Senior and Principal Product Manager on Amazon’s Alexa, Pooja is exceptional in all areas surrounding the digital side of PM work. A quick look at her LinkedIn profile shows this expertise and highlights the range of skills that she has mastered.

Speaking in specifics, Pooja is an expert in connected devices, IOT, mobile, big data, corporate strategy, and of course Product Management. It is because of this wide range of abilities that Ms. Ghera has climbed the corporate ladder to the spot of Principal Product Manager For Amazon’s Alexa (SmartHome). Additionally, she has been able to accomplish these feats in a quick time frame; an achievement that is difficult for anyone regardless of gender.

With her propensity to solve complex problems, Ghera represents the ideal leader. Because of her combination of skills and leadership, she has produced a level of impact that continues to change the lives of Amazon’s Alexa’s users, and has since become internationally known for her outstanding work. It’s also safe to say that we are all likely to see other great accomplishments with her name beside them.

When describing Gayle McDowell, you can’t simply place her in the box of Product Management. This is because she has transcended the role in countless ways. For example, nearly eleven years ago, Mrs. McDowell founded CareerUp: a website/forum, publishing company, and consulting firm centered around tech and startups. Putting it bluntly, she is an international tech juggernaut.

Her role as a founder at a well-established company is (very) far from her only accomplishment. Some may even consider it as paling in comparison to her other incredible achievements.

What, you may ask, could be more impressive then founding a successful startup? How about writing two of the top interview books sold on Amazon (Cracking the Coding Interview, and Cracking the PM Interview)? These have garnered such high demand that one has been translated in over seven languages, and is recognized as one of Amazon’s top three hundred books.

For those looking to establish themselves in the world of entrepreneurship, coding, or Product Management, Mrs. McDowell is the ideal person to emulate. She embodies what it takes to be an effective leader, and she consistently builds upon the already impressive feats that she has produced. Again, this is not just a standout individual in the field of Product Management, but rather a bonafide star in the entire tech industry.

Women In Product 2017 Speakers — credit: womenpm.org

The Countless Others

In truth, it is a gross understatement to even call this a short list of notable women. There could be numerous encyclopedia-length volumes written on the exemplary women in product and tech, and what they have been able to accomplish. There is no doubt that there are countless advancements the world would be missing without their contributions

With this International Women’s day representing a special opportunity for us to show our praise, it is equally important to recognize the importance of diversity beyond this timeframe. Representation across gender has been critical for driving innovation forward, and will continue to play a crucial part in creating solutions for a wide spectrum of people.

Are there women in the industry that we need to work with? Let us know! Drop us a line on our Slack channel.

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