Products That Count was founded, in part, on a mission to further diversity and inclusion in product. After all, we believe that anybody can build great products. It’s also why we cast a wide net when we speak with C/VP-level product leaders to hear their best practices and share it with our network of more than 300,000 product managers. On the Product Talk podcast, LinkedIn Product Lead and host, Don Woods, created a Diverse Voices series to talk to those who are underrepresented in the tech space. We’ve put together an eBook to share the best of that series with all of you and help give these voices a larger platform to be heard.

The Diverse Voices in Product eBook features interviews with product leaders from companies such as Venmo, Acorns, and more. Many thanks to Don Woods for curating this series and to the product leaders who joined us on Product Talk. Please download and enjoy the eBook. A few excerpts are detailed below.

Download the Diverse Voices in Product eBook.

Acorns Product Lead, Paige Conrad

You can’t just sit around waiting to be noticed. It’s important to speak up. 

“You should always craft your personal story and be ready to advocate for yourself. Simply put, we all need to learn how to sell ourselves – and of course, sell our products and advocate for their value.” Product Lead, Michael Fisher

Diverse voices in product is about being able to see yourself, and be yourself, in a role. 

“To me, creating a diverse team is all about representation. Specifically, this doesn’t just mean having multiple races or ethnicities involved. For example, diverse teams cover a wide range of demographics – including age, gender, sexual orientation & more. Ultimately, you want to cast a wide net with the people who are on your team to drive a great conversation.

Along these lines, inclusivity is all about making sure that everyone on your team has a voice. Even if you have a diverse team, you have to make sure that everyone is contributing. Ultimately, everyone should feel welcome and never feel like as though they need to keep to themselves.”

Venmo Product Lead, Ashley Phillips

For Ashley Philips, being out of her comfort zone and challenging herself leads to her best work.

“In my product career, I’ve found that the best work I product comes from not being in a settled environment. Said differently, there’s always room to be creative in these environments. Furthermore, you don’t need to be in a startup to take advantage of these opportunities. Instead, it’s about seeking out new positions and projects that give you the freedom to try things out and take on new challenges.”

Authentic Design Founder, Surya Vanka

To build and design products that are for everyone, the teams that are making them need to be diverse.

“Ultimately, people make all the difference in the design process. Most importantly, a broad cross-section of people from many backgrounds will give design teams the necessary creative power to produce great products.” 

SpotHero Product Lead, Jenny Wanger

Jenny Wanger is another one of the diverse voices in product. She shared how to manage expectations so that you can get ahead as a product leader.

“Your organization needs to have empathy for your product management strategy and overall goals … it’s a matter of delivering a clear roadmap for your priorities so they understand why you have to stay on target.”

Download the Diverse Voices in Product eBook.

About the Speaker
LinkedIn Product Leader
Don Woods is a product leader - leading a team that focuses on the company's visitor registration product. Prior to joining Envoy, Don held product leadership positions at SchoolMint and TuneIn. In addition, Don worked at Tap.Me and also at Toyota as an electronics engineer. Don holds an MBA from The University of Chicago and currently lives in the Bay Area.

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