Women are playing a more prominent role in the product management industry, and it’s about time. As of 2017, 43% of product managers were female. It might seem like a small number but this is higher than other professions such as law (36%) or finance (39%). Women bring their own perspective that can be beneficial to an organization because they have unique experiences which make them experts at connecting with women consumers.
The best companies like Google, Facebook and others are actively recruiting female product managers. They’ve made it clear that they want to see more women in high-ranking positions where they can influence the company’s direction.
1. The top female leaders who have made waves in the Product management industry
The best part is that these top female leaders have not only been able to make waves in this industry but have also become role models for a handful of women leaders who have really made waves in the product management industry. Some examples include Susan Wojcicki, Michelle Peluso and Marissa Mayer to name just a few. These female executives have been able to break into this traditionally male-dominated field due to their unique perspective as both consumers and business owners. They’re able to bring balance and understanding of both sides which is extremely beneficial in the product management field.
2. How they have been able to break into this traditionally male-dominated field
Susan Wojcicki became President overseeing Youtube in February 2014 making her Google’s highest paid employee outside its founders Larry Page & Sergey Brin . The mother turned billionaire has worked hard since graduating.
Michelle Peluso, CEO of Gilt Group, for example had a storied career at companies like Travelocity and American Express before taking over as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Gilt Group for nine years until 2016. She recognized that her diverse background in marketing, finance and management was what set her apart from the competition.
Marissa Mayer is another example of a highly successful female product manager who has used her expertise to help build companies like Google into multi-billion dollar organizations. She started out as one of Google’s first employees where she oversaw various projects such as image search, Google News, and Google Maps. She then went on to become CEO of Yahoo!
3. Examples of their Successes in the Market
Yahoo! was successful because Marissa Mayer led them through a merger with Verizon. She wanted to merge the two companies when she first joined as CEO six years ago, and her goals have finally been accomplished
Susan Wojcicki has succeeded in creating Youtube into the platform for video sharing that it is today – people can access content from around the world anywhere they are at any time, while users also use youtube as a hub of creativity where creators produce over 400 hours of videos every minute
Sheryl Sandberg’s work during Facebook’s growth attracted more than one billion global users and encouraged women across all industries to be involved in their field
4. Ways for Women Looking to Become Product Managers to Get Started on Their Journey
The best place to start would be taking online courses or reading books about Product Management. Google’s Udacity offers a free course that can provide you with an introduction into this growing field.
Attending meetups or networking events would be beneficial to meet people in the industry who can help you get started.
Participating in hackathons and group projects are also great ways of getting hands-on experience for product management.
5. Tips for Being Successful as a Woman in this Industry
As a woman in product management, be confident when presenting your ideas to the team. Be open-minded and listen to others’ perspectives while being prepared for the fast pace of this industry. Know how much work you can handle without burning out or losing focus on key tasks at hand by maintaining balance between life activities that are important to you outside of work as well as maintain humility through criticism given towards yourself because it will only help make you grow into an even better professional than before!
The key to being successful in product management is having a passion for your job and the willingness to challenge yourself to step into shoes bigger than your own, and learning to outgrow them. Wherever you are on your journey towards becoming a product manager, always have an open mind when listening to how others perceive things because that will help broaden your perspective. And above all else, make sure you have fun doing what you love!