Product management is a field that presents a wealth of opportunities for people who enjoy working with teams to build the next big thing. It’s also been growing in popularity for years.
According to Product School’s “Future of Product Management” report, 43 percent of companies are currently hiring more product managers, yet despite this rapid growth, women and non-binary people account for less than 40 percent of product managers in the field. In other words, there’s a lot of room for improvement.
Product School is an organization that’s committed to giving everyone a chance in product management, especially women. Read on to learn more about its initiatives here.
Product School creates a diverse pool of product talent by offering high quality training and certifications to fit various stages of product careers.View upcoming courses at Product School.
What Is Product School?
Product School is the global leader in product management training, with over one million members in its community. Its certification courses teach people how to find solutions to some of the world’s problems through products and are built to mimic the career path of a product manager.
The school offers three certification courses:
- The Product Manager Certification, which helps students land their first product manager position
- The Senior Product Manager Certification, which is designed for product managers who want to enhance their skills and move up the career ladder
- The Product Leader Certification, which is ideal for those looking to become a member of the C-suite
Courses are offered in a live online format every month, making it easy for students to find an option that fits their schedule. Classes are conducted in the evenings or on weekends, ensuring that instructors and students can continue fulfilling their other responsibilities, such as full-time jobs or family obligations.
Women in Product Management
Product School prides itself on advocating for women who want to dive into product management and advance in their careers. It sets an example for its students by hiring a diverse set of instructors, including many women in high-level product management roles.
A few examples of product leaders who collaborate closely with Product School are the following:
- Rachael Larsen, VP of Product Education, Product School
- Diana Chen, Head of Product, Amazon
- Divya Dalapathi, Director of Product, Uber Maps
- Uche Adegbite, Senior Director of Product, Twitter
- Flavia Neves, Director of Product, Spotify
- Jodi Alperstein, General Manager, Twilio
- Laura Teclemariam, Director of Product, Netflix
- Irana Wasti, Chief Product Officer, Typeform
- Sneha Narahalli, VP of Product, Sephora
- Mudita Tiwari, Senior Director of Product, PayPal
These instructors generously share their expertise and experiences with other women to help them move their own product management careers forward. As demonstrated by their accomplishments, being a woman hasn’t held them back from succeeding in this field.
Product School Instructor Shaili Guru
She shared her experience as a woman entering product management. “Entering the product management field wasn’t tough since I transitioned laterally. But entering the tech field was more challenging since I have a Bachelor’s in Biology. However, I knew that I would have won half the battle if I could get my foot in the door. And so once I did, I started a chapter of a non-profit here in Seattle for like-minded women where we can help each other.”
In her time in tech, Shaili said the tech industry has a long way to go for gender equality. “We need to close the gender gap, but we also need to bring back all the women who left the workforce during the pandemic. We need to create an all-encompassing culture in the product management society to build inclusive products,” she shared.
She also enumerated the changes she believed would make the industry more welcoming to all genders. “Develop inclusive organizations that ensure women feel empowered to make decisions, feel their voices will be heard, and measure progress. Also, provide networking opportunities, mentoring, and training for all the women no matter their role or level as I believe that when you bring up a woman, you bring up the whole family.”
“If we have learned anything in the technology sector during the pandemic, it is that flexibility is vital, so don’t stop just yet! Instead of life integrating into the work schedule, make work integrate into life!”
Shaili shared some advice for women who are getting into product management. “In the famous words of Dory, ‘Just keep swimming!’ No matter where you are in your career journey.”
Product School Graduate Deepti Tadala
Deepti Tadala transitioned into product management from management consulting. She is currently a technical product manager at Synacor, a SaaS company.
She shared how she started her journey into product management and why she chose to study at Product School. “As an ex-management consultant, product management seemed an achievable goal due to the nature of the job and the various intersecting aspects between the two paths. These include client/customer relationship management, backlog management, and communication skills, to name a few overlapping characteristics.”
While preparing to enter product management, she was overwhelmed with the amount of learning resources online and wanted to find a credible source. While attending ProductCon, she came across Product School. “Product School has various free resources like webinars, blogs, and events that are great starting points, especially for someone trying to understand the space more,” she shared.
Deepti completed her master’s degree in 2019 and started her job as a product manager at Synacor. Her first year was spent learning about identity and access management, evaluating rivals, and putting her product knowledge to use. But in her second year, Deepti felt she had plateaued in her role.
She knew that complacency had no space in her role and wanted to continue learning. “While I was able to apply theoretical knowledge to work, I still had no clue what industry standards are and how the giants are navigating in the product space. So I turned to my tried-and-tested partner Product School and applied for their Product Manager Certification course,” she said.
Deepti’s Product School experience helped her become better at her role. “The nature and structure of the course were more discussion-oriented than a lecture. The greater the level of involvement and the number of questions asked, the higher the value. Our class was a diverse group. We had folks from various backgrounds and at various stages in their careers.”
“Our instructor was Debankur Naskar, a product leader from Apple. Over eight weeks, I observed and listened to the class and tried to be part of the discussions as much as possible. As a result, I learned as much from fellow students as from the instructor,” she continued.
Deepti shared her thoughts on what a Product School certification means for someone interested in breaking into product management. “Product School does not guarantee job placements, but it provides the tools to think and speak like a product manager. Managing tools, navigating the course, and curating needs are up to the student.”
“As a product manager, I was looking for a course structure that was extensive in case studies. I was aware of most of the concepts taught, but I wanted to become a better storyteller. Product School helped me achieve my goal.” she said.
Claim Your Place in Product Management Today
Product management is an industry where women can thrive in their careers. If you are looking to break into this space, Product School can give you the tools and skills needed to start and sustain a rewarding product management career.
To learn more, view upcoming courses at Product School here.
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