Contributed by the Boston Women in Product team
What an amazing event! With more than 50 attendees and over 150 members in the Boston Women in Product group, the community is off to a great start. For our first event, we had Sarah McCrary (VP of Digital for Heartland Payment Systems) present as the first of a three part storytelling series. She spoke about how to claim your value as a technical product leader and attendees were invited to network after the event.
Sarah opened the event with a thought-provoking presentation about the seven types of power that exist and how to leverage them to claim your value within a current role or everyday life. For me, the takeaways were very real and actionable. Sarah suggested how to take advantage of the opportunities you’re faced with every day in order to continue being successful and work with your peers and coworkers in order to achieve the best result. These suggestions included:
- Take the risk of being wrong – work to reduce uncertainty, not eliminate it
- Get comfortable with conflict – seek first to understand while recognizing and nurturing constructive conflict, don’t be afraid to defend your position
- Be decisive under pressure – have a decision making system to fall back on when you’re feeling overwhelmed
- Beam confidence – lift others up as you climb and (my favorite) always assume positive intent
After Sarah’s presentation, we opened it up to networking. The BWP is as much about community as it is about content. There were women from different industries, roles and skill sets with varying degrees of experience. I spoke with one woman who was a product designer looking to transition into a product management role and found the content of Sarah’s presentation energizing. Another had successfully climbed the ladder and spend more than 20 years in product and was now faced with an interesting challenge – what comes next?! I spoke with a man who was extremely passionate about product management and had attended the event to learn more about the storytelling topic. The energy in the room was unbelievable – and we all cannot wait for what comes next.
The event was a huge success – not just because of the turnout, but because this first event validated what our founders had assumed; woman in Boston are looking for a place to connect with product peers, leverage their network for career changes and advice and have the desire to belong to a community that supports them. Special thanks to our sponsors at the BPMA, Blueport Commerce and Workbar.
We are already looking ahead for our next event, tentatively scheduled for June. This will be the second part of our three-part story telling series. Keep an eye on our organization page for details on the next event.
Feature image from Flickr Commons