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Take Back Your Power as a Women in Tech

A Fireside Chat with Deb Liu - how can women lean in and find ways to succeed and thrive in the tech industry

We sat down with Deb Liu, to learn about her experiences and how she navigated her career in a typically male-dominated industry. Women are conditioned from a young age to not ask and stay timid. Deb shared how women can continue to lead by being who they are while still exercising high agency. This event was moderated by one of our mentors at PMDojo, Rukmani Gopalan, a Sr. Product Leader at Meta. Read on to learn more and all the resources that were shared at the event.

What motivated Deb to write the book "Take back your Power"

Deb shares that growing up in a small town in the south, she felt like she didn't belong and that the deck was stacked against her. However, with the help of mentors and sponsors throughout her career, she was able to succeed and achieve success.

She believes that everyone has sponsors and mentors around them, but it's up to them to cultivate and curate those relationships. Deb wants to pay it forward and empower others to take control of their own journeys. The tagline of her book, "You can't make this world a better place, but let's take back our power," encapsulates her message. By taking control of their own power, anyone can succeed and make their own journey, regardless of their background or opportunities. You can get Deb's book here.

This is what we believe in PMDojo as well and see how powerful it can be to have the right mentors and sponsors to accelerate your career. Want to see how personalized mentorship, coaching and a community to champion you can supercharge your career? Then we invite you to join, PMDojo Product Accelerator!

How can coaching accelerate your career?

Deb shares her experience with career coaching and emphasizes its value for personal and professional growth. While many companies sponsor coaches only for a select few high performers, Deb was fortunate enough to receive a coach from their company.

Her coach's guidance and support were instrumental in her journey, and Deb emphasizes the importance of having someone to hold a mirror up to your blind spots and encourage growth. While coaching can be expensive and time-consuming, She unpacked coaching in her blog which you can read here.

A coach is not there to tell you what to do, but to ask the right questions and help you uncover your own answers. Coaching can be incredibly transformative.

There are alternative options that are accessible such as:

  • Coaching circles: These circles offer the opportunity to work with like-minded individuals and have a facilitator guide you through challenges. PMDojo has coaching circles for both career transitioners and our mentors.

  • Formal 1:1 coaching: This is a great option to get in-depth work on yourself with a coach who has been there and lived through some of what you are experiencing. Contact us here, our Founder, Bosky offers both 1:1 and coaching circles

  • Coaching + experiential learning: We believe you can learn best when you get hands-on and apply what you learn in the role. You can do this now by joining PMDojo Product Accelerator programs

How can I get my confidence back after receiving one too many admonishing remarks at work?

For many women, experiencing self-doubt and imposter syndrome at work is all too familiar, and even a single admonishing remark can confirm those feelings and drag down their confidence. The question then becomes, how can you regain your confidence after being repeatedly put down at work?

Deb's advice on how to bounce back from admonishing remarks at work is crucial for women who often face impostor syndrome and self-doubt. She highlights the importance of internalizing feedback, even if it may not be given to a man in the same way, and turning missteps into opportunities for growth. Women are often expected to be warm in leadership roles, which can be a challenge for many.

However, the key to success is resilience and the ability to bounce back from anything. Rather than letting negative feedback crush you and tie your identity to it, it's important to use it as an opportunity to do something different and thrive. It's all about making the choice to use feedback positively and leave it behind, rather than allowing it to hold you back.

We hear this, from career transitioners especially those from marginalized backgrounds looking to supercharge their career in tech, product management, and UX roles. Gaining back your confidence is key to not just getting your role, but also succeeding and thriving in your career.

Join us for one of the 3 learning tracks of PMDojo Product Accelerator to gain your confidence back, learn and get industry experience, to stand out in your job search. With knowledge, experience, community, and coaching, you can not only transition but also get promotions and increase your salaries. Learn more by registering for our live Q&A Session or apply here.

How do you typically parse conflicts when they align with your values?

Deb believes that we should devote our time to something we believe in, whether it's a consumer product or a meaningful problem that is important to the world. It's important to consider what's important to us in the current chapter of our lives and if the opportunity fits. If it's a luxury, and we need a paycheck to survive, then it's different. Deb was assigned to work on mobile monetization, which she didn't like at first, but fell in love with the problem, which was the most important problem for the company. She figured out an angle that she could love, which was helping game developers get discovered on mobile, and led that product for about seven years.

The point is, it's okay to not be excited about a product or opportunity, but it's important to consider if there's an angle that we could love and a problem we could solve.

How do you work with a contentious manager?

Deb's experience with a contentious manager at Meta offers valuable insights for anyone looking to build a better relationship with their own boss. She starts by acknowledging the power imbalance inherent in this relationship and the challenges it presents, including feelings of distrust and frustration.

Deb recounts her own experience with a manager, Bob, whom she initially found difficult to work with. The relationship became so contentious that a third party, a business coach, was brought in to mediate. Eventually, Bob left the company, leaving Deb to report to his replacement, Mark.

Mark challenged Deb to figure out how to work with him, knowing that her team was important to the company's success. Despite their initial differences, Deb and Mark were able to find common ground and build a better working relationship over time. Deb acknowledges that the process was not easy, and she had to confront some difficult truths about her own past experiences with bullying. However, she also learned valuable lessons about perspective-taking and the importance of centering oneself on one's own story.

Overall, Deb's experience highlights the importance of open communication, empathy, and a willingness to put in the effort to build a stronger relationship with one's boss, even in the face of significant challenges.

⭐️ Considering a career in tech, product management, or UX? Want to take back your power and confidently accelerate your career? Spots fill up quickly and our cohorts are always sold out.⭐️ Apply here: ­­­­If you have any questions, simply join us for a live Q&A Session to learn more.

🎥 Event Recording

If you want to catch up on the event, feel free to watch it below.

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