Building Community with the Women in Product Development ERG at Amplitude

Abbie Kouzmanoff

Senior Product Manager

people reacted
3-minute Read,

Posted on March 24, 2021

Learn about the mission and progress of Amplitude’s employee resource group dedicated to empowering women in product development.

Women In Product Development at Amplitude

The Women in Product Development group has existed informally at Amplitude for quite some time, but in early 2020 we officially formed as an employee resource group (ERG). Our mission is to create a safe space for our community, help each other grow, and reduce bias across the product development org. We are a cross-functional group of engineers, designers, product managers, and researchers.

The week I joined Amplitude in early 2019, I received an invitation to a Slack channel called #product-queens. Hopping into the group, I discovered a channel with all of the women in our product development organization. Instantly, I felt welcomed—the group was in full swing, planning for our upcoming presence at the Grace Hopper Celebration.

As more women joined the product development (PD) team, we began hosting regular lunches, using our cross-team lunch budget to go out for Friday dim sum every other month and create a sense of belonging. This was the start of us actively connecting as women in PD and building structure into our community.

So, when Amplitude launched a formal ERG program in 2020, we were one of the first groups to jump at the opportunity. We took this as a chance to come together and align on a mission that would have an impact beyond our group. Over one of our dim sum lunches, we decided that we wanted to continue building a community to foster inclusivity, but we also wanted to reduce bias in our teams and to amplify Amplitude’s presence externally in the women in tech community.

Today, our focus is three pillars: camaraderie, development, and community.

Camaraderie

Because we all work in different roles and teams, we first and foremost wanted to provide a welcoming space to get to know and learn from each other. We’ve kept up our regular lunches (virtually now), but we’ve also begun hosting quarterly team-building events as well. Before COVID, we started out with an urban hike, cheese tasting, and wreath-making class. After going remote, we held an end-of-year meditation workshop and are now looking forward to an April ParTea, a virtual tea party with “get to know you” breakout rooms. These events focus on creating a sense of belonging, finding shared commonalities, and building a safe space to connect and ask vulnerable questions.


Development

The next area we sought to tackle was providing more professional development opportunities for our members, as well as hosting PD and company-wide events to further our mission around reducing bias across our teams. Our first initiative was to charter a series of workshops hosted by an external expert on workplace skills. For example, after surveying our members, we learned that communication and public speaking was a big topic of interest. One of our principles as a product development team is “inspire through storytelling,” and we wanted to increase our members’ confidence and help lift them up in the organization through this critical skill. As a result, we brought in a former communications lecturer to give a workshop and opened it up to all women at Amplitude.

Our events aren’t limited to just women. We also want to educate the wider PD organization, so this past quarter we hosted a department-wide workshop on building emotional intelligence, which received rave reviews. We’re excited to continue hosting these workshops in the quarters to come.

Community

Lastly, we want to start making a bigger impact in the women in tech community outside of Amplitude. For the past few years, we’ve encouraged each other to submit talks to the Grace Hopper Celebration and the Women in Product Conference. We’ve started to build a presence at these conferences, but going forward we hope to expand our scope and develop initiatives around supporting and mentoring the women in tech community.

Amplitude’s ERG program has allowed us to uplevel our feedback and experiences to leadership and receive the support and budget needed to carry out our mission. It’s also enabled us to learn from similar challenges facing other ERGs at Amplitude and to collaborate with these groups. For example, this month we’re partnering with the Community Impact ERG to organize a Women’s History Month panel featuring women leaders at Amplitude.

We’re enthusiastic about the road ahead and the opportunity to grow as an ERG and support our members.


Interested in joining Amplitude? We’re hiring! Check out our careers page to learn more.

Abbie Kouzmanoff

Abbie is a senior product manager at Amplitude, where she focuses on helping companies adopt product intelligence to ultimately build better products. She was previously a product manager at Dropbox where she drove revenue growth for the company through continuous experimentation and optimization.

More from Abbie

Inside Amplitude