Boston Business Journal

Advancing Women in Product expands to Boston

View Original Article

Advancing Women in Product, a nonprofit organization that helps women enter and succeed in technical product management roles, has expanded to Boston with the launch of a local chapter that will be led by a longtime Dell EMC executive. 

Launched in 2017, AWIP wants to address the diversity gap in tech management roles by providing skill-based training, networking events and executive mentorship. The nonprofit’s network has grown to more than 7,000 members worldwide, with outposts in London, Seattle, Paris and San Francisco.

The leader of the Boston chapter is Bindu Tuli, who holds a master of Computer Applications from Delhi University. Tuli has been with Dell EMC Corp. for more than 20 years. She's currently a director of product management. 

Bizwomen's sister publication, the Boston Business Journal, spoke with Tuli to learn more about her plans to build and run the Boston AWIP community from scratch. The interview has been edited for length and clarity.

What were some of the challenges that you faced in your 24-year-long career as a woman in both technical and leadership roles?

I have been fortunate that I haven’t had any specific challenges that I would say were specific to being a woman. Overall, I have never felt that I was ever discriminated against … That said, separated from what I have experienced, there are stats that tell us that, even though there’s a large representation of women taking technical degrees, when it comes to executive-level positions, the percentage of women is really, really low. That particular problem of gender diversity is real, and it really resonated with me. 

What is the main reason that prompted you to accept the role of AWIP chapter leader in Boston? 

I have had access to mentors and other people who advocated for me toward my career. My philosophy is that … skill-based workshops and training, as well as an ecosystem of mentors and networking opportunities, are the kind of things that can really help women get on the next level of their career.

How do you see a lack of gender diversity manifest in product and technology leadership roles in Boston?

It’s not that the problem is more in Boston or less in Boston; the problem exists across all geographies. The diversity gap is very, very large. The problem is in the Boston area also. Women should see other successful women executives; when you see these people around you, it motivates you and inspires you. 

What are the first three things that you want to accomplish as the leader of the Boston chapter?

My goal for the next 12 to 18 months is to offer content in the form of panels or workshops, focusing on leadership, technology and career building-related topics. The second focus for me is to build out partnerships with other like-minded organizations that focus on gender diversity. The third focus for me is to build out an active community that is working together to make progress on this cause.