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Motherhood & a Career in Tech - Event Recap

“At the end of the day, you need to be happy, if you are not happy there is no way you can make your kids happy”- Ishita Shatmanyu

Juggling motherhood and frankly parenthood while sustaining a career in tech is challenging. This was a topic we were interested to explore and invited one of our mentors from PMDojo Product Accelerator to share their perspective.

Meet, Ishita Shatmanyu, a product manager with over 11 years of experience in tech who joined us for our last event. She shared a unique and raw perspective regarding motherhood and career, something that we might not often hear. This is what makes this so refreshing. After becoming a new and first-time mother, Ishita adopted a rather different perspective on life and work. A mother of twins shares her constructive approach in regards to the so-called balance and perfectionism and defining your boundaries. Let's get to the nuggets of wisdom from this event:

Tip #1: Let go of your Mom guilt

There are two things here: 1. Kids learn so much more by being at daycare than what you can teach them at home and 2. Being a role model is awesome so that they can see you look up to you and they can see you as an independent and hardworking individual. Although she considered this mom mantra, Ishita got vulnerable and admitted that when she dropped her kids at daycare on the first day, her heart became tight, and she cried the whole way back. But when she saw her kids at the end of the day, smiling and playing, she realized that this was the best choice for her and her kids.

Tip #2: Who says we need to have it all

Perhaps one of the most transformative yet simple learnings to implement is saying ‘No’; To prioritize your time like a true product manager. Juggling your presence at work and your presence as a mother is heavily dependent on time, and time is important, so use it wisely. To understand whether you are spending your time productively, Ishita suggests asking yourself the following: Do you really need to be physically present in a meeting or can it be done offline? In addition, have boundaries and set expectations– whether it’s pickups or blocking your time– to catch up on work without interruptions. When asked about balancing the many responsibilities someone like a product manager and mother has Ishita stated: “I truly believe that “we can’t have it all”, but who has defined “all”, you have to define what your "all" is. As individuals, especially mothers, we should define what our “all” is, and make sure we can have what we have defined. Because at the end of the day, you need to be happy”.

Tip #3: Support from others, and yourself

One of the more contingent factors in life as a mother in the tech industry is external support. For example, Ishita shared: when your manager has kids, they have similar problems, so they can empathize with some of the struggles you may be facing. Colleague compassion can be a minor, yet highly capable act of kindness to help you feel less alone on your journey. To supplement, however, Ishita believes that delivering on time and providing high-quality work will enable you to have the conversations you need to feel accomplished both in your career and at home.

If you want to jumpstart your career in product management or design by launching a real product, now is your chance to join us for the next cohort. Applications are open for our upcoming cohort! Send in your application here:

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