Those looking to pursue a career in sports technology should not be intimidated by it – the field is extremely fun, fast-paced and you get to witness incredible sportsmanship spirit in people. Aspirants should also try and find good role models and speak up for what they deserve without selling themselves short.
#Breakthebias: Get heard & grow fearless – advises Prekshi Gupta, AVP- Product, Dream11
March 8, 2022
Presenting an exclusive interview with Prekshi Gupta, AVP- Product at fantasy sports platform Dream11, where she talks about her journey to become the first female product manager, what challenges women in the tech industry face, and more.
For every Elon Musk or Jeff Bezos, there is a powerful woman changing the face of technology. Nonetheless, STEM is one of the major fields where gender inequality is visible in the professional sphere.
This Women’s Day, Prekshi Gupta, AVP- Product at fantasy sports platform Dream11, shares her journey to become the first female product manager, what challenges women in the tech industry face, and more.
Here’s everything she told us:
Why did you choose a career in STEM and join the sports tech sector?
Having grown up in a family of doctors, science was always a part of the dinner-table conversations. I always had an eagerness to ‘build things’. This led me to a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science followed by a master’s degree from Carnegie Mellon University.
Back in 2018, when I joined Dream11, sports technology was a relatively new industry. What got me excited was the vibe of Dream11. Working in sports tech – everyone is extremely passionate about the wider vision, which reflects in their work.
Today, I am fulfilling my dream of ‘building things’ and leading the Conversions Product vertical for Dream11, where I have seen our user base grow from 1.7 Crores to 12 Crores.
What are the challenges faced as a woman in this field?
The tech industry, in general, tends to have more men than women in product and tech teams. The biggest challenges women face in this industry are to be taken seriously and to break the perception of `women don’t get sports.’ I was the first female product manager at Dream11. Initially, it was quite intimidating to catch up with all the sports chatter and to be part of conversations!
However, the entire team made me feel very welcome. We grew as a team, and once they got to know me, they started taking me more seriously. What helped me the most was making that initial effort to break the ice and to develop better equations with my colleagues.
How has the sector evolved in terms of women’s participation since you first started working?
The industry is undergoing massive change to include more women across different functions. It wasn’t long ago that women found it difficult to find a seat at the table. However, the tide is changing, slowly but surely. At Dream11, there’s a lot of flexibility given, so that women can get that work-life balance without compromising on their work!
How do you ensure a positive experience for women in your team?
Positive leadership makes a great difference to how teams work in an organization, and in my capacity, I try to provide an encouraging and safe environment for all my colleagues to voice their thoughts without fear, to be heard and to grow. It is also extremely crucial to have role models. Therefore, I mentor young women at Dream11 to help them kick-start their careers, with learnings and insights from my own journey as a woman in technology. Within my team, we host regular cricket matches where both men and women play alongside each other. This facilitates men and women being seen as equals and prioritizes talent over all else.
Your advice for women in tech?