U.S

Facebook, Netflix, YouTube product managers fight to add Black talent

Maryanna Quigless, co-founder of Black Product Managers
The industry needs to wake up to this reality that representation isn’t just about putting a few Black people in roles. It’s about hiring Black people in high-leverage roles of which product is one.

Inside tech companies, product managers play a vital role. They are like mini-CEOs who help their companies decide what products and features to build and work with teams from across the company including engineering, design and marketing to get them built. 

Building products for millions, and sometimes billions, of users is also a lucrative career, with the national average salary for a product manager hovering around $110,000. Senior product managers may run teams with more than 100 people, roles that can be a stepping stone to top industry posts such as start-up founder, chief executive officer or venture capitalist.

But product management is a tough career to break into. And, even though Black people often over-index as users of tech products, they make up a tiny fraction of product managers, part of an industry-wide diversity shortfall in the predominantly white and male tech world. 

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