Celebrating 15 Years of Professional Growth & Achievement!
As International Women’s Day 2023 approaches, it is a perfect time to reflect on the career journey of the Senior Product Manager for Telefónica Tech, Jess Woods. Jess has worked in the IT sector for 15 years. Through determination and the invaluable support from mentors and peers, she has progressed from a junior Product Management role into the senior role she is in today. One of her proudest moments was when she received her first 360-degree feedback, which gave her the validation she needed to know that her hard work and dedication were making a difference.
Here’s Jess Wood’s Story – Senior Product Manager for Telefónica Tech
Can you tell us a bit about your personal story and how you got to where you are today?
I’ve worked in the IT industry for close to 15 years, since graduating from the University of Sheffield in 2008. For the past 12 years, I’ve held roles within Product Management within Managed Service Providers with a specialty in Cloud technologies. I studied Sociology so I didn’t do a STEM subject at university, but I’ve always been curious about technology growing up and then when my previous company was forming their Product team, I jumped at the chance to apply. Progressing from a junior Product Management role into the senior role that I’m in today hasn’t been easy but the variety of work that I’m fortunate enough to do day to day and the passion and support that I’ve received from managers, mentors, and peers has been invaluable.
What has been your proudest career moment to date as a woman in tech?
One of my proudest moments isn’t funnily enough a high-stakes one, like a big presentation or event. It is actually quite understated, but one that means a lot to me. It was my first 360 feedback. It was an opportunity for me to hear directly from colleagues that the work I was doing was making a difference to them and to the business, I was the ‘go-to person’ in the team, and it also gave me some pointers on things I needed to improve. The anonymity of it made me feel vulnerable to how candid the feedback might be, yet I still highly valued the feedback I received.
Why do you think gender diversity is so important in the tech industry – and what can be done to help improve it, especially by senior leaders/industry bodies?
There are very few women in Product Management in the IT sector so it’s often the case that I’m the only woman in the room. We must #EmbraceEquity to push for change as more diversity and inclusion in the room will enable both businesses and individuals to thrive. Product Management requires the ability to influence without authority, be an expert compromiser, be a problem solver, an advocate, and be able to deliver products on time and within budget – it’s often referred to as like conducting an orchestra – if there’s anyone that can take on this juggling act, it’s women!
At Telefónica Tech we are dedicated to creating a more equal and inclusive workplace, one where everyone can succeed. We are committed to looking at different initiatives to keep moving forward, although, like the tech sector in general, we acknowledge we still have a long way to go to ensure women in tech have equal representation within the sector.
Learn more about tech and non-tech opportunities available at Telefónica Tech by visiting our careers page here.