The first Facebook sponsored Women in Product conference will debut on Tuesday, September 13. It will focus on connecting women product managers (PMs) from across the technology industry including Twitter, Apple, Google, and Uber.
Over the past couple years, PM leaders from Facebook hosted a series of dinners for women PMs throughout the industry. During one of these events, they discussed who was attending the The Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing (GHC) conferences.
The group of senior women product leaders working at several Silicon Valley tech companies realized that none of them had been to a similar conference specific to women PMs, they decided to create Women in Product.
It will offer an extensive speaker lineup and agenda for the day as well as networking opportunities, and representation from multiple companies.
Women in Product agenda and speakers
The free event is scheduled for Tuesday, September 13 at the Facebook’s Menlo Park, California headquarters. The conference will be by invitation only. Women interested had to fill out a signup form to receive an official invite via email in early August.
Registration opens at 8 am and breakfast will be served from 8-9 am. The agenda for the day will start at 9 am. The Learning to Lean In and Leadership panels and a Fireside Chat with Eventbrite’s co-founder and CEO Julia Hartz will follow before lunch time from 12-1 pm.
A keynote with Uber’s Frederique Dame and a Lightning Talks panel come next. After a 20-minute break, a Skill Building session and a keynote with Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg will provide closure to the event.
The speaker lineup features a group of Facebook representatives including Vice President of Platform and Marketplace Deborah Liu, Director of Product Fidji Simo, and PMs Hema Budaraju, Stephanie Shum and Mary Ku.
Twitter’s Product Lead Christine Lee is also among the speakers. Others include PayPal product executive Joanna Lambert and Greylock investor and former Pinterest product manager Sarah Tavel.
The conference represents diversity and inclusion
After some high-profile sexual harassment lawsuits, Silicon Valley tech companies are trying to increase female and minority representation in its workforces. Only a 30% of employees at tech companies are women, a share even lower in areas like product and technology.
The Women in Product conference will be limited to women who have eight years or more of experience as product leaders. Facebook’s Deborah Liu is leading the initiative and hopes it will help women PMs discuss the challenges of being a female leader and share lessons learned from their workplaces.
Source: Women in Product