In honor of Women’s History Month, we’re publishing weekly interviews with four outstanding Fivetran women.
Today we continue our celebration of Women’s History Month. Throughout March, we’re sharing the experiences and perspectives of four Fivetran women. Based in Bengaluru, Dublin and Oakland, they’re natural leaders who make Fivetran a stronger company and a better place to work. We asked for their thoughts on a range of issues, including how to sustain professional growth, where to look for career inspiration, and what advice they would give to their younger selves.
We’ve heard from Lead Customer Success Engineer Kiran Sharma, Senior Analytics Technical Product Manager Veronica Zhai, and EMEA Marketing Director Ciara Roca. Today we’re checking in with Director of Product Management Alexa Maturana-Lowe.
The most influential woman who I've worked with was my manager at LinkedIn. The biggest lesson she taught me was to very explicitly, literally, take a seat at the table. I had a meeting with a bunch of sales leaders and I got to the room early and took a seat on the outside, because I wanted to make sure that important people had a seat at the table. And she pulled me aside afterwards and said, “This is both literal and figurative: Take a seat at the table. You are worthy.”
Having someone provide that feedback that you’re more than worth taking up that space is really, really valuable. Initially I didn't feel confident and comfortable taking that advice, but I did. I would sit at the table and take up the space, and I also started practicing taking up space and voicing my views in meetings with different kinds of folks. It felt totally uncomfortable, but over time I got a lot more confident, and it became a part of who I am. It elevated and accelerated my career. And it's something that I hope to pay forward in my management. I want to make sure that people have space, and feel that they are worthy of that space.
Well, obviously, take a seat at the table. But also, spend more time in the unknown, and explore all your options. I am extremely outcome-oriented, and less journey-oriented. I wish I had spent more time in the now, figuring out what outcome I actually cared most about.
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, because she speaks with power and vulnerability in a super-public forum, and all three of those things are hard. And so I find especially her vulnerability to be extremely exciting.
I'd be working at a plant nursery called Flowerland, in Berkeley, selling plants and beautiful decorative items. I love plants and I love gardening, and what feeds my soul in a really significant way is connecting with people and helping them find solutions. It gives me a deep sense of community connection.
As a product manager, the type of growth that I think is the most exciting is emotional growth. Because you're identifying problems and coming up with solutions through conversations with customers and partners — it's a human process of coordinating and creating value through interaction. How can I communicate more effectively? How can I recognize when I'm feeling triggered and have a more productive conversation? How can I use language that is more likely to encourage collaboration? I have two primary ways that I'm focusing on developing in this area. I read a ton of books related to this, and I have a professional coach that I work with.