In an ideal world, we wouldn’t need a separate conference for women in product. Attending this conference made me realize that while we have come a long way, there is still more to do to make sure we have equal representation of women in technology. I have to add, however, that the 300% growth in the number of participants in this conference from 2016 to 2017 put a smile on my face!
There were a lot of amazing female speakers in this conference who shared their experiences in the realm of Product Management. They covered a lot of interesting topics but there was one special subject that captured my attention the most: “Confronting Fear” by Avni Shah, VP, Product Management at Google.
She talked about the fear of rejection and having the courage to ask for what you want. She said it may not be easy, but the more you ask for things, the easier it gets! I believe that the fear of rejection is one of the main hindrance to one’s success.
The second fear that she talked about was the fear of being under-qualified, and that you have to know you are not the only one who feels that way! This may happen in one’s life and career, but it’s important to see the journey as a learning curve.
And the last one is the fear of losing momentum; becoming complacent and comfortable with where you are in your career, and not taking risks or pursuing things you might be interested in because of the risk inherent with them.
When she was talking about these subjects, I recognized that I had faced some of these fears many times in my life. Listening to Avni, I’ve learnt that I shouldn’t let my fear of confrontation prevent me from moving forward and achieving my goals.
Of course, these fears are not specific to women, but since technology is still male dominant, these may affect women more.
I also want to add that they did an amazing job with their inspiring banner, “Women Who Build”.