Women: “Jump in”!

March 5th, 2020   |     |  culture & news

How did you come to be a Product Manager (PM) and what do you love about your job?

I started my career in content and community, working alongside the product team to get the needs of the customer met, communicating ideas and feedback. I actually always thought I’d specifically NOT be a product manager, because my impression of PMs was that they always said “no” all the time. Then, I had the privilege of working for our current CPO, who told me that what PMs really did was “get sh*t done” (paraphrasing, of course) and that I’d be good at it. I’ve since learned that all of the above are true! Overall, I love that creativity, puzzle-solving, and decision-making is ultimately a way to make people happy - both our customers and our employees. When we have a great product, everyone benefits, and that really motivates me.

What unique value do think women bring to this job, if any?

I think empathy is a really big piece of being a PM. Putting yourself in the shoes of someone else, and then fighting for them, but also balancing what’s right for the customer with what’s right for the business. Women are taught how to do the balancing act very early on in life.

What kind of obstacles are women likely to encounter or did you encounter as a woman working in your career?

I think proving yourself is always tough, for any gender, and it’s tougher when everyone around you is different from you (in my case, male). I’ve been very lucky to have a supportive (and all-male) product team, but I’m also very lucky to work alongside the only other female engineering manager in our organization, and we make a stellar team. It’s hard to imagine yourself in the position without seeing other female leaders in place, and I’m very proud to be part of that change in technical leadership.

The theme of Women’s Day this year is “Generation Equality: Realizing Women’s Rights.” What do you think are the biggest changes we can make as a society to realize women’s rights?

Equal pay. Female leadership. I was delighted to hear Megan Rapinoe speak at a conference earlier this year about suing the U.S. Soccer Federation for equal pay, and I think we’ll see a lot more of that as women get tired of getting paid less for the same work. In their case it was better work, as they are the #1 team in the world, and in the last two years generated $900k more revenue than the men’s games.

The thing that most people don’t seem to realize is that equal pay for women benefits men, too. When women are paid more, the economy is boosted since they are primary spenders. It also normalizes traditional “women’s issues” like family leave policies which would allow for things like men taking care of their elderly parents and significant paternity leave. Men care about their families, too.

What do you hope to see change in your field or industry, for women in particular?

In security, I hope more women jump in! If I am any example, I wasn’t technical at all before coming to OneLogin. Because of my ability and willingness to learn and work hard, now I’m leading an engineering team and making decisions. It’s all about determination.

What would you say to young women considering entering Trust & Security?

Get in here, we need more people like you. Also, we’re hiring… 🙂

OneLogin blog author
About the Author

Kayla is a product manager at OneLogin with a passion for balancing user experience and strong security practices. With 10+ years of experience in Silicon Valley, ranging from small startups to corporate giants like Walmart.com, Kayla loves to champion data, customer feedback, and advocacy.

View all posts by Kayla Gesek

OneLogin blog author
About the Author

Kayla is a product manager at OneLogin with a passion for balancing user experience and strong security practices. With 10+ years of experience in Silicon Valley, ranging from small startups to corporate giants like Walmart.com, Kayla loves to champion data, customer feedback, and advocacy.

View all posts by Kayla Gesek

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