[Girls in a Tech World] Meet Ségolène, Product Manager

Developers, sales representatives, product managers, designers, recruiters, project managers, marketers, communicators, graphic designers… all girls in a tech world! This wide variety of professions reflects the diversity of their journeys that led them to be working at iAdvize today. We asked them to tell us their story, and who knows, maybe spark vocations in other women. Today, let’s meet Ségolène who is Product Manager here at iAdvize. 

Hello Ségolène, thank you for agreeing to answer our questions. Can you tell us about the role of a Product Manager in an R&D team?

The Product Manager is like the conductor of an orchestra. We work with the tech, marketing and sales teams but we are not really anyone’s boss ;-) Our objective is to create the right product for the right person at the right time.

What does a typical day as a Product Manager look like? What do you like most about your job?

What I like most is the wide variety of different activities involved in this job. Some days, I work on creating a product vision and designing new features. Other days, I focus on analyzing how the product is being used so we can pick up on what’s working and what’s not. At other times, I spend time with the product users. It is key to confront our product vision with the field so we can validate or invalidate our hypotheses.

Which qualities are required as a Product Manager? Why?

The ability to connect with the tech and design teams, even if you’re not a code genius or a recognized designer. Empathy, the capacity to put yourself in user’s shoes. This is what enables you to be aware of their expectations. You need to like communicating! So that everyone plays the product score in unison :-) And you also need to be diplomatic so you can carry and defend positions that the team of your manager might not want to hear.

Product Manager profiles are varied. How did you end up doing this? 

When I graduated from an engineering school specialized in the digital sector, I decided to be my own boss so I could design websites from A to Z. This meant I could wear many hats and was able to manage projects, design and develop.

After that, I wanted to reinforce my technical skills in Mobile. I learnt a lot but quickly, I realized I wanted to take a step back from the features I was developing. I wanted to observe the way they were being used, see the impact they were having and find out how to improve what had been designed. That’s when the position of Product Manager seemed like a great opportunity to satisfy this wish.

A part from the roadmap rhythm, which other beats strike your chords? ;-)

Many other rhythms! Amongst them, my discovery of BMC (Body Mind Centering), a rather unknown approach in the digital world. BMC is above all about somatics. It invites everyone to tune in to your feelings and senses to become aware of your body, a bit like self awareness laboratory.

Jobs in the digital sector mainly develop our cerebral faculties. Our body awareness is clearly not a priority when we’re at work at our desks. But what really fascinates me is that the same issues come up in BMC as in product management: communication, listening skills, relating to others, dialogue, creation, benevolence, … and a touch of poetry!

Voilà! I hope I have given some insight into what the path of a Product Manager can look like :-)

Thank you for having shared your voice with us Ségolène!

Miranda is in charge of internal communications at iAdvize, where she started working 3 years ago, originally as communications officer for the UK market. She has a BA from UCL in languages and a masters degree in translation and communication from the ISIT school in Paris. Although her passport is British, she feels at home on the continent ;-) Intrigued by all things cross-cultural, disruptive and customer service-related.

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