In this inspiring piece, we shine a spotlight on the remarkable Latinas who have made a significant impact in the field of product management. We had the privilege of connecting with Paz Zuniga and Rosa Welton of Latinas in Product. Be ready to be inspired by Paz’s and Rosa’s incredible journey and the power of Latin culture in shaping their paths to success.
As we celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month, can you share a bit about your cultural background and its influence on your journey into product management?
Paz: Growing up in a family that valued education and societal impact, my cultural roots always reminded me of the power of community and the importance of making a difference. This foundation, coupled with my natural interest in education and research, shaped my perspective towards creating products that serve a greater purpose. The determination, resilience, and passion often seen in Latin cultures became cornerstones of my journey into product management.
Rosa: I was raised in Los Angeles to parents who immigrated from Mexico. From an early age I observed my father’s entrepreneurial spirit, and by the time I was in middle school he and my mother had built a business selling Spanish-language music. Throughout those years helping with the family business I watched as they evolved and responded to business trends, and I learned to figure out what needed to be done – whether trying different pricing offers, how to arrange merchandise in an appealing way, or helping an indecisive customer.
What inspired you to pursue a career in product management, and how do you see your heritage as an asset in your role?
Paz: I was drawn to product management because it provided a platform where I could combine my background in education and research with technology. My heritage taught me the importance of collaboration, empathy, and understanding diverse perspectives – qualities that are invaluable in product development. Being Latina offers me a unique lens through which I can ensure that products are inclusive and resonate with a wider audience.
Are there any Latina leaders in tech or product management who have inspired you during your career? What lessons have you learned from them?
Paz: Besides Rosa. Yes, Maria Martinez, the COO at Cisco, has always been an inspiration. Her trajectory in the tech industry has taught me that with determination and a commitment to continuous learning, one can break barriers. From her, I’ve learned the importance of mentorship, staying true to one’s roots, and always striving for excellence.
Tell us about how Latinas in Product came about and what you’re hoping to achieve in the future with the community.
Paz: Latinas in Product was born out of a genuine desire to uplift and amplify the voices of Latinas in the product space. I noticed a gap in representation and wanted to create a platform where we could support, mentor, and learn from each other. Our aim for the future is to grow our community, provide more mentorship opportunities, and be a leading voice advocating for greater Latinx representation in tech.
Are there any Latinx-owned tech startups or products that you’ve been particularly impressed with or excited about
Paz: Latinas in Tech! I absolutely love what they’re doing. I remember hearing about them starting up in Silicon Valley back in 2014, and seeing how far they’ve come is incredible. They’re not just about addressing the diversity and inclusion challenges – it’s their positivity and proactive approach that gets me. It’s all about seeking opportunities and truly empowering Latinas across the whole tech spectrum. From engineers to entrepreneurs, they’re ensuring every Latina feels supported and has the tools to make it big. And seeing them collaborate with major tech players? That’s just proof of their powerful impact.
What advice or words of encouragement would you offer to other Latinas who aspire to enter or advance in the field of product management?
Paz: Believe in your unique perspective and the value it brings to the table. Embrace your heritage as it can be an incredible asset in understanding diverse user needs. Find mentors, be curious, and never stop learning. And remember, your voice matters – use it to create products that make a difference.
Rosa: Spend time getting clarity on the unique skills and experience you have to offer. As my career has progressed I’ve found a lot of value in articulating the type of work I’m good at and the type of work I enjoy.
ABOUT THE AUTHORS
My name is Paz Zuniga I have extensive experience in developing socially impactful products, including creating educational content and technology tools to enhance teaching and learning outcomes. My background is in education and research, and almost ten years ago, I decided to combine my experience with technology becoming a product manager with focus on social products. Currently, I am a senior product manager at Vista Higher Learning, a publishing company, where I lead the K-12 market products. Before that, I was leading products in billing, payments and communications.
Rosa Welton is a Director of Product Management at Intuit, where she is responsible for Payroll Expert Delivery. Rosa has deep experience scaling teams that bridge the product experience with customer success practices and the digital and expert interactions that create lasting customer satisfaction. She has also led teams creating 0-1 marketplace and eCommerce products for companies like eBay, Walmart, and TrueCar. Originally from Los Angeles, Rosa enjoys building and making deeper connections through dinner parties and hiking trips.