Vulnerability is Product Management

Lina Bedi, Naimeesha Murthy, and Monica Rozenfeld, founders of Her Product Lab, discuss how their shared passion for empowering women in tech propelled them to build a community for the women in product development who build, design, and create.

Product management has grown rapidly, but it remains a male dominated field. In fact, only 35% of product management professionals are women.

Her Product Lab, a community for women in product development, aims to change that.

“There is an underrepresentation of women in product and tech. What we want to do is bridge that gap and bring together more women in the innovation space and the tech space,” says Naimeesha Murthy, one of three Her Product Lab founders.

Fellow founder Lina Bedi echoes that statement, saying, “As you look at the demand in jobs at different levels, demand is increasing at the mid and high level. Our goal is to help push women up, because that's where the growth will come from. And we want to be the catalyst for that.”

Her Product Lab will host full-day summits in cities around the world for female leaders in product to discuss topics like user experience, customer research, and more. The summits will also focus heavily on relationship building, and attendees will have the opportunity to meet with industry leaders one-on-one for mentorship sessions.

“We moved away from the traditional career fair, because what we’ve learned is that people hire and promote people they like and people they’ve built relationships with. We see that in leadership all the time. We’re really emphasizing relationships at these events, because that way you [leave with] someone to tap into,” says founder Monica Rozenfeld.

Though Lina, Naimeesha, and Monica’s backgrounds and career experiences vary wildly, all three maintain a shared passion for supporting women. Together, they began brainstorming ways to inspire and educate women in the industry. The next thing they knew, they had a logo, a website, speakers, sponsors, and event dates and locations in Chicago, New York, and Toronto.

For them, it seemed to come together flawlessly. They attribute this to their shared passion for the mission, as well as the supportive environment they created that encourages learning, trust, and vulnerability.

Lina says, “I have the business background, Monica has the background in communications, and Naimeesha knows product inside and out. I don’t think this could have worked without each of those skill sets.” Naimeesha likens them to a “core, lean product team.” And Monica says, “These two balance me out. We all have our own complementary skill sets, and we also have our own complementary fears and insecurities that we can balance each other out on.”

In this episode, you’ll learn a lot about inclusion, entrepreneurship, and mentorship.

Here are the highlights: 

  • What attendees can expect at Her Product Lab summits (5:35)
  • How Lina, Naimeesha, and Monica plan to bring more women into tech and product (8:50)
  • Keys to developing effective and productive working relationships (11:38)
  • Tips for starting a business and chasing an entrepreneurial pursuit (17:23)

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