Shira is a product manager at heart with deep knowledge of software development and 14 years experience in the software industry.
She’s led products both in local startup teams and corporate companies.
She’s a people person, loves challenges and passionate about UX, entrepreneurship and social products.
Shira is very active in promoting women in the tech field, as a co-founder of LeadWith and as a member in various other teams, including the core team of XX+UX.
What are you working on these days?
I’m a senior Product Manager at Microsoft, working to bring Cortana, Microsoft’s digital PA to Skype.
I’m also the Co-Founder of LeadWith, a non-profit organization promoting women in the tech field.
I was used to being the only women in a very male dominated tech world.
But for the last 1-2 years I’ve found myself surrounded by amazing female communities – both in the online and offline world that teach me so much, and allow me to provide value and empower other women as well.
I’ve met new friends and colleagues I can count on when I need an advice or just want to chat, which is something I didn’t expect to happen, and I feel blessed to have that new addition in my life.
What was your first position In the Startup-Nation?
You may claim that my first position was as a software engineer in the Israeli navy, my first “real” position was as a software engineer in Microsoft, that was 8.5 years ago.
What was your first job ever?
Wow, that was a looong time ago.
When I was 17 I worked at SuperPharm (an Israeli drugstore chain) where I learned how working with customers and helping people can be fun and rewarding.
What life event or moment affected your life the most?
8 years ago, I was a pretty junior software engineer at Microsoft, I was super shy and couldn’t speak in a room with over 5 people.
I KNEW I could NEVER speak in public.
2 years after that, as a young PM, I was asked to present my project on stage in front of over 100 people.
I was terrified, I didn’t think I could make it, but somehow I said yes.
I prepared for weeks, I knew every word by heart, I could run the whole pitch in the middle of the night if you’d ask me to.
“When there’s an opportunity that scares you, embrace the challenge, you can do it” .
When the day arrived, I was super prepared, and it actually went pretty well.
Years have passed since, and during the past year I’ve held over 28 lectures for various audiences, ranging in size.
I’m still nervous every time before I begin, and I still have a lot to learn and improve, but I’m definitely proud of myself for pushing my limits in a way I couldn’t imagine was possible.
Best advice you received or would like to share?
There’s nothing you cannot do.
When there’s an opportunity that scares you, that makes you want to back off and go back to your safe comfort zone – embrace the challenge, you can do it.
You can’t even imagine how good it feels to overcome the fear, and do something you never thought you could.