Women in Product in Europe 2018

Written by Published in Awards, Product Management

We are pleased to announce Product Management Festival’s Women in Product in Europe List. Each person on this list is an experienced product manager with a record of success. These ladies come from all backgrounds, from engineering to finance, from startups to corporations, but what they do have in common is that they have made a difference in their companies, community, and profession.

On 13th November 2018, the day before Product Management Festival takes place, Google will be hosting a Women in Product Management Night where all the women who made it on the list are meeting to celebrate their success. Other women in product are welcome too! Please register here for the event.

Women in Product Management in Europe 2018

  1. Cait O’Riordan is Chief Product and Information Officer (CPIO) at the Financial Times and previously the VP Product at Shazam. A journalist by background, Cait was Head of Product at BBC for the London Olympics. Last year, she ranked 9th in the UK’s 100 most influential CIOs in 2017. Can someone say multi-talented?
  2. Berlin-based Katia Cassano is Chief Product Officer at FinLeap. She was previously Director of Product Management at eDreams ODIGEO and Head of Product at eBay for Canada and Italy.
  3. Ingrid Oline Skeide Ødegaard is co-founder and CEO of Norwegian-based video collaboration startup, appear.in. Previously on the board for Telenor Digital AS, Ingrid now leads an inspiring team of PMs, engineers, designers, and many others who are passionate about delivering a great user experience. She also was included this year in the Norway’s 50 Women in Tech (and also one of 10 female tech leaders who are also startup founders in the IT industry).
  4. A BCG Digital Venture CPO, Nesrin Elsawi grew up in Switzerland, went to school and trained in the US, and is now based in Europe. She has a background in computer science and psychology specializing in human computer interaction and was Head of Product Management and User Experience at Outfittery before heading to BCG Digital. Hear her speak on “The Startup Illusion, When Corporate and Startup DNA Meet” at the upcoming Product Management Festival 2018.
  5. Appway Head of Solutions and Products, Nina Schneider, is a product specialist with a background in strategy and international relations. Outside the office, Nina is the co-lead of TedXZurich. She is also passionate about promoting women in leadership positions and is still an active gymnast.
  6. Ioana Hasan is co-founder and Product Manager at SmartBill, a Romanian FinTech startup that provides billing solutions. Starting the company in 2007, the company now has over 33,000 customers and raised 1M in VC funding in 2016.
  7. BBC Head of Product Lucie McLean leads their digital strategy for children’s programming, including a portfolio of apps and websites. She also is an active board member for Product Management Festival.
  8. Tilke Judd is a product manager in Google Switzerland working on the Google Assistant. A published author, Ms. Judd earned her BS, MS and PhD in Computer Graphics from MIT while dabbling in digital video making and competitive ballroom dancing.
  9. Cybersecurity provider Bitfender’s Catalina Albisteanu started at the company as a QA manager, transitioning through the company over the years to her current role as Product Management Director, Consumer Solutions.
  10. If you are interested in who’s responsible for BBC’s Education product strategy and roadmap, look no further than Head of Product for Education’s Christine Bellamy. She also gives talks on areas such as encouraging women in or pursuing Science Technology Engineering Math (STEM) careers.
  11. Credit Suisse’s Anna Markmann Gruenwald is Senior Product Manager – Assistant VP and worked on, among others, the digital piggy bank, Digipigi. In her free time, she is passionate about arts (St. Gallen Art Club), sciences (Weizmann Institute) and helping others (Frauenarbeit Foundation).
  12. Naemi Benz is Director of Product at Ava, a global femtech (that’s right, femtech) startup that empowers women in their family planning by giving them insights about their menstrual cycle through a sensor bracelet to be worn at night. Prior to Ava, she helped build up IBM’s Global Internet of Things Sales Division. Naemi is a trained dancer and holds a Master of Laws (LLM) in Mergers & Acquisitions. She is a board member for Product Management Festival.
  13. An Oxford-educated physicist, Maya Ross is Head of Product at BBC heading up their strategy for a personalized experience. She was previously one of the initial employees at online payments startup GoCardless, where she helped grow the company by 30% month over month to $200m of payments/year.
  14. Christina Schreck is Director of Product at Xing. She also co-presented at Productized 2017 in Lisbon on the critical topic of how to preserve/maintain a healthy product culture.
  15. Pivotal Labs Senior Product Manager Ellie Ereira, is also co-lead for Pivotal Act, a Pivotal initiative dedicated to collaborating with impact organisations to create technology that address social, humanitarian and environmental issues. She has tackled this problem from many different sectors, including at the World Bank, UK based startup OpenSignal, the US Department of Energy, and in academia. Projects have included distributing mobile apps to map cell signal in West Africa during the Ebola outbreak in 2014. Ms. Ereira has a masters in Technology and Policy from MIT and is our second Oxford-trained physicist on the list.
  16. Fintech Younify’s CPO, Alina Vasiloi, is a B2B and B2C product leader experienced in startups, fintech, and banking. Her career began at Banca Transilvania, where she started as a cashier and ultimately transitioned into product management (and obviously did well for herself!).
  17. Trying to aim to walk 10,000 steps everyday so you squeeze in your exercise goals? Margaret Hollendoner might be able to help with that. She’s the head of Google Fit and recently spoke to CNBC on how their research resulted in a different approach to tackling user fitness (or perhaps more importantly, helping support users in tackling lack of continued motivation when it comes to user fitness). Feels like it’s time to squeeze in a walk soon…
  18. Meetrics’ Director of Product Lena Fussan is another talented engineer turned product manager, honing her craft at Microsoft and Nokia before becoming Head of Product Management at myphotobook and Blacklane.
  19. Zurich-based Grace Kwak Danciu is a Group Product Manager at Google and has been a PM at Google for 14 years. Ms. Danciu holds a degree in computer science from Harvard University and has won numerous awards and recognition. She’s launched and innovated various projects such as Google Calendar, Search, Ads Quality, and more recently Google Flights over the years.
  20. With a Computer Science PhD from ETH Zurich, Appway’s Head of Platform Stefania Leone started off at the company as a solutions engineer. Prior to joining Appway, she was a post-doctoral researcher at the University of Southern California and ETH Zurich in the field of databases and information systems.
  21. Jacquelle Amankonah Horton is a Product Manager for YouTube Creators based out of Zurich. She was previously in the entertainment technology space driving product management and business development at both new startup ventures and established corporations. Receiving her Master’s degree in Law and Philosophy from University of Southern California (USC) at just 20 years old and having founded several organizations, she has been recognized as one of the Top 100 Young Entrepreneurs.
  22. Appreciate the convenience of digital payments? That’s thanks to the efforts of innovators like CPO Susanne Steidl, who oversees product at digital payments provider Wirecard. She was also named one of PaymentSource’s Most Influential Women in Payments in 2018.
  23. Alexandra Lung is a Senior Product Manager at Pivotal Labs based out of Paris. She has previously held positions in product management, marketing, communication and consulting in new business & product launch. Ms. Lung is been a featured speaker at events such as UX Days Paris, European Women in Product, Productized, and various meetups groups.
  24. As Director of Messaging Product Development at Booking.com, Adrienne Enggist is the strategic product lead for a diverse, cross-functional selection of teams charged with developing the company’s conversational UI service platform. Adrienne and her teams are building the Booking Assistant, which is a finalist for two European Contact Centre and Customer Service Awards (crossing our fingers when the awards are announced in a few weeks!).
  25. “Great products can change people’s lives,” says Just Eat’s Global Head of Product Storm Fagan. She manages Product and Design for a £6bn business and keeps 22m “hangry” people and 80k restaurants satisfied.
  26. Mehnaaz Abidi is Director of Product at Nike Digital. Beginning her career as a Software Developer in Facebook, she then moved across as a Product Manager in various tech companies in Europe, Southeast Asia and the US. Mehnaaz also volunteers with Amnesty International.
  27. Floriane Gramlich is Head of Product Payment Solutions at online marketplace platform giant OLX Group. She oversees the product delivery team that is critical to the company – enabling the payment solutions to enable their customers to pay for services on all the OLX markets. Previously she was Head of User Growth at Twitter in Germany and Lead PM at eBay.
  28. Travel a lot and work out of the co-working spaces? Maybe you’ve come across the handiwork of CPO Kristina Schneider of Cobot, a Berlin-based co-working space management software company. She also organizes one of Europe’s largest frontend community conferences, runs a monthly UX meetup since 2011, teaches at FH Salzburg-University of Applied Sciences, and mentors women entering the tech scene.
  29. Kate Leto is a strategic product consultant who guides companies through organizational design and transformation initiatives. She was previously Marketing and Product MAnager at Yahoo! (Sunnyvale and London) and Head of Product at MOO.com in London.
  30. Intermedia Product Manager, Lilia Gorbachik, has a background in computer science and spent 10 years in various technical roles before joining Intermedia. Passionate about helping others, she coaches development teams and aspiring PMs, speaks at Product School, and is a guest contributor for Women in Product.
  31. Lone Tegner is Global Product Manager at Denmark-based Widex, worldwide leading manufacturer of hearing aids. With a background ranging from engineering to account management and technical support, Ms. Tegner has that critical ability to work cross-functionally.
  32. Claire Kerley is Head of Delivery at Code Computerlove, a Manchester-based digital product agency. She was previously a product manager and product owner at LateRooms.com and has extensive experience of working within Agile environment in product, delivery and analysis roles.
  33. Moscow-based co-founder and CPO of Mechanica AI, Elena Samuylova is driving digital transformation of traditional industries via machine learning and artificial intelligence. Previously, she led startup initiatives at Yandex, where she also launched its first accelerator (and first corporate one in Russia), Tolstoy Startup Camp. Ms. Samuylova is also a program council member of the Graduate School of Management at St. Petersburg State University, where she oversees the development of the Master Program to help better respond to the demands of the industry. She also gives guest lectures on the use of AI in business.
  34. Karin Schoefegger is a Paris-based Google Product Manager specializing in a topic that’s right on point these days – machine learning. She’s now at YouTube and is a contributor to PM community initiatives.
  35. Bonava CPO Mia Lewis is a speaker at events and sits on the board of Erlandsons Brygga, one of Sweden´s leading companies of marine products and accessories for consumers. A civil engineer by background, Ms. Lewis was previously a product executive at NCC (from which Bonava spun out of), a leading construction and property development companies in the Nordic region.
  36. Taisia Antonova – Berlin-based Taisia Antonova, is co-founder and CPO of Polyteia, which arms city leaders with data for smarter governance investment decisions. She has led product at several companies in Moscow and Berlin before starting her current venture. Her projects have been featured by TechCrunch, Verge, The Next Web, Monocle, Financial Times and many others.
  37. Ieva Soblickaite is trying to make healthcare more accessible. She co-founded and is CPO of Medigo GmbH, a curated marketplace that simplifies the process of booking medical travel. MEDIGO is supported by leading VCs such as Accel Partners and works with over 900 healthcare providers in 36 countries.
  38. Doodle Senior Product Manager Büşra Coşkuner is passionate about supporting the advancement of women in business. A frequent traveler and agile evangelist, she is also an organizer for Startup Weekend Zurich.
  39. Karla Schönicke is a Product Owner at Fintech startup RatePAY GmbH and speaker. She also was recently included in Top 10 for RAHM 2018, a global LGBT leadership contest.
  40. Most recently VP of Product at Emarsys, Beata Kovacs, also headed up the Product Academy, a 10-week training session for PMs. Don’t we all wish we had that!
  41. Supriya Uchil is a product technology executive working with companies focused on creating disruption through technology. Previously Director of Product at Zynga and technical advisor to Amazon’s Sr. Vice President of Kindle devices, Ms. Uchil was also the Chief Product Officer of Booking Go, the ground transportation arm of Booking.com. A Wharton MBA graduate, she is currently a mentor for Techstars London.
  42. Copenhagen-based Mette Hjelm is Senior Product Manager at video management software provider, Milestone Systems. Previously International Product Manager and Global Cateogry Solutions Manager at Widex, Ms. Hjelm has a degree in Medical Engineering.
  43. Öznur Anlas is Head of Product at Munich-based fashion tech startup CATCHYS. Ms. Anlas has held positions ranging from IT to project and product management and is a certified scrum master and product owner.
  44. Head of Product Heike Funk works at Careship, a matching service that assists in something critical – finding caregivers for our loved ones when we are not able to be there for them. Previous leadership roles include time at Lemoncat and Xing.
  45. How does Zalando get their sizing recommendations right? Try asking machine learning expert Hélène Levert, Senior Product Manager of Zalando’s Sizing and Size Recommendations. Hear her speak at the upcoming Productized Conference.
  46. Kristina Walcker-Mayer is a Product Lead at Zalando. She also hosts a podcast from Berlin called EmploYAY that challenges us to rethink employment and purpose at work. Something we could all use!
  47. Cambridge-educated Stephanie May may be one of several engineers turned product managers on this list, but she’s the only one on this list who served for almost two years as a Biomedical Engineer for the Africa Mercy, the world’s largest charity hospital ship. She’s now Executive Product Manager at BBC leading the team handling Content Discovery (the BBC homepage being one of many under her purview).
  48. Iulia Porneala is the fearless leader of the 2-day Product Management Festival event. Growing it by 50% year over year, she also launched the first Asian edition of PMF in Singapore this summer, hosts PM Nights for the local community, and has been featured in MICE Magazin, a German-based events and conferences publication. She also is an aspiring pastry chef and loves to experiment with re-creating dishes from around the world.
  49. By day, Petra Wille is an engineer turned product management and UX consultant, previously holding posts at SAP, Hubert Burda Media, tolingo GmbH, and XING AG. She has also created the “52questions” PM card deck to enable more effective self-coaching. By night (figuratively), Ms. Wille is organizer of MTP Engage, the largest PM conference in Germany, writes for PM/UX blog produktbezogen.de, and enjoys kite surfing.  
  50. And finally, last but far from least, Kriti Sharma rounds out our list this year. Ms. Sharma is the VP of Artificial Intelligence at Sage and the inventor of hellopegg.io, the world’s first chatbot for accounting. She is the founder of Messaging Bots London Meetup, the largest community to bot developers, conversation designers and product experts in Europe. A Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, Google Grace Hopper Scholar and Government of India’s Young Leader in Science, Ms. Sharma is also on the Forbes 30 under 30 list and recently selected as a United Nations Young Leader.

Thank you for all your efforts and contributions to the product community! Product Management Festival will be providing 10 complimentary passes to the PMF event. Based on the nominations we received and/or growth opportunities, we have awarded them to Ms. Cassano, Ms. Schreck, Ms. Fusan, Ms. Steidel, Ms. Enggist, Ms. Gramlich, Ms. K. Schneider, Ms. Samuylova, Ms. Schönicke, and Ms. Sharma.

We look forward to celebrating with ALL female product managers at the Women in Product event at Google on 13. November! Don’t forget to register here for the event.


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