About Meet The Role Models

Meet The Role Models is a technology community series which highlights the stories of The Ada Lovelace Initiative role models;  the female technology professionals who are committed to promoting technology careers to pupils nationwide. In this series, we feature interviews with a diverse range of technology professionals, with a variety of roles from over 75 companies in Ireland.

The success of the Ada Lovelace Initiative depends on the participation of role models & since September 2015, The Ada Lovelace Initiative role models have reached over 2000 pupils nationwide. In Meet The Role Models, we offer you the opportunity to get to know the role models who make these visits possible.

In our last instalment of Meet The Role Models, we had the opportunity to speak to Maria Chefneux who is a Localization Product Manager at Udemy.

Meet Louise Bernstein

Today’s interview is the eleventh instalment of Meet The Role Models and we would like to introduce you now to Louise Bernstein who is a Senior Product Manager at Altify (Formerly known as The Tas Group)

Louise volunteered to take part in The Ada Lovelace Initiative & recently visited her old school, Rathdown School in Glenageary.

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Hi Louise! How would you describe your current role as a Senior Product Manager?

I help companies create products that provide unique value to customers, are enjoyable to use, and feasible to build.

What attracted you to this type of work in the beginning of your career?

I love researching markets and the people in them, to understand what makes them tick and how technology or services can make an impact.
I started in marketing, where I was creating messaging for the products my company was selling.

I was increasingly requested (to my delight) to be part of product development conversations and then related activities until I became the de facto product manager. I was a product manager before I knew what one was!

What would you say is the best part of your work?

You are involved in, and help craft, every stage of a product’s lifecycle, from development and user experience to sales and marketing. No two days are the same!

What would you say is a common misconception about your role type?

The misconception begins with “What’s a Product Manager…did you mean Project Manager?” 🙂

What motivated you to get involved with The Ada Lovelace Initiative?

Today, no matter the career path girls choose – from chemical engineering to organising music festivals – tech will be in the background automating, speeding up, integrating, and uncovering new ways to achieve goals. Yet, less than 30% of women are involved in how that technology shapes their lives. I want to encourage more women to sit at the tech table, and be part of that future.

How would you describe your school visit for A.L.I. – My Story?

It was interesting as it made me walk back through the steps that brought me to where I am today. My tech journey began with a “Computers and Information Systems” subject that ran for one term in Transition Year, so I was coming full circle by encouraging students at the same stage to think of a tech-focused career.

Was it a pleasant experience for you?

Yes, very much so. The girls were interested and engaging throughout.

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Did you feel differently before and after your visit? Would you do something like this again?

Absolutely. I was excited to go back to my old school, and to meet the girls in my ’14-year old self’ shoes. I was expecting everyone to jump at the idea of working in tech, but to my disappointment, it was far from the case! I felt differently in that I realised how far we need to go before tech is a seen as a bona fide career choice for girls.

Now that you have completed your school visit, would you have any tips for other role models?

Two…On reflection, I would make a bigger effort to prove how technology is relevant to every career choice they make. Knowledge of how technology can be harnessed within that area of interest, and being a part of that, can only be an asset.

Keep your conversation related to technology they know as B2B won’t resonate as much. You can’t go wrong if you relate everything to Snapchat!

Who is your own role model, and why?

Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook, has certainly impacted me in the last two years with her work to encourage female business leadership and development.

We would like to thank Louise Bernstein for sharing her story for Meet The Role Models and also for visiting the pupils of Rathdown School! If you would like to learn more about The Ada Lovelace Initiative, please visit our A.L.I page. We are looking for role models from every county, if you would like more information about visiting a school on our waiting list or your old school, please fill out our form here and we will be in touch shortly.

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