CEO, Product Marketer, People Developer: An Interview with Anndréa MoorePosted on
This month marks #WomensHistoryMonth, so let’s celebrate incredible women. We recently had the pleasure of interviewing Anndréa Moore, product marketer and CEO & Founder of Black Tech Women. Read about her career path in tech, volunteer experience with Braven, and the most significant lessons she’s learned through it all.
Take me back to when you were younger. What did you want to be when you grew up? What options seemed open or closed to you?
When I was very young, I wanted to be a teacher. I have a brother and cousin who I would play school with, sometimes by force. Then in high school, I realized I wanted to do something that allowed me to be creative while still using math, so I chose marketing. I studied marketing and international business at the University of Cincinnati. My parents did a really great job of telling me I could be anything. “You can be whatever you want” was the message my family constantly gave me. I never had that moment where I felt like certain opportunities weren’t open to me when I was younger.
Walk me through your career journey. What was your first job after college and what did you learn?
My first job out of college was in marketing research and analytics for The Nielsen Company, consulting consumer packaged goods companies like Unilever and Walmart. My role was to understand my clients’ customer segments, track performance of new product launches, and make recommendations for how they can be more competitive in their product category. I had a good time there, but there was a moment in a brand planning meeting where a client’s competitor had an ad that had gone viral on Youtube—this was in 2011 when digital marketing was just starting. Most people in the room didn’t understand the impact that it was going to have on the business.
Since I wanted to have a long career in marketing, I decided I should move to the industry that was causing this massive disruption—technology. I ended up landing at Google where I started in Small & Medium Business Sales and Operations. Then I transitioned to SMB product marketing.
What inspired you to found and lead Black Tech Women? Tell us about what your community does.
I worked at Google for three years before they released their diversity report in 2014. Then there was a call for other tech companies to release diversity numbers—this wave asked the question: “How do we make the tech ecosystem more diverse?”
Once I finished business school, I moved back to the Bay Area where I worked in product management and product marketing at Apple. A lot of diversity groups and communities started popping up, so I joined and became an active member. One day, I had a call with an Asian American woman who was planning a conference for women of color—she asked if they should have specific sessions for the different subgroups of women of color. This led me to the realization: Yes! There are different challenges that I face as a black woman that someone else may not face in the workplace.
I immediately thought “I need to start a community for black women in tech”. I got the name, “Black Tech Women”, made a group for it on every social platform, and created a logo. Over the past two years, it has grown organically from 100 in the first month to 3,000. (Our two year anniversary is this month!) Our online community serves as a resource where people can share job opportunities, upcoming events, and ask questions. In person, we partner with tech companies to offer opportunities for networking, skill-building, and community development.
How do you balance a full-time job in product marketing with being the CEO of Black Tech Women?
The first year was the hardest, but I have an amazing team that helps with Black Tech Women. Going into the second year, we became really focused on creating valuable opportunities for our members. We want our members to take ownership of smaller scale, intimate connections. It’s all about focus, focus, focus.
Once upon a time, you volunteered with Braven as a Mock Interviewer. How was that experience and why did you decide to volunteer?
I volunteered in 2016 when I lived near San Jose State University. Someone posted the volunteer opportunity on a LISTSERV and I got excited. I love coaching and doing mock interviews so I signed up to help students with their interviewing and resume-building skills.
I walked away from it and thought, “Wow, this organization is very valuable—I wish I had something like this when I was a student.” There are people who have helped me tell my story and highlight my strengths and successes, so I wanted to be able to give back.
Switching gears—we know that role models and mentors can have a huge impact on successful leaders. Is there a mentor/role model that you have learned from? What did they teach you?
A role model who had a huge impact on me is my freshman Intro to Business professor in college, Mary Gorman. I did really well in her class and needed a letter of recommendation to become a resident advisor—the relationship took off from there. The following year, I applied to be a TA for her class. She, surprisingly, was the first person who introduced me to the tech industry, as this was around the time Google went public and she was hoping the stock price would reach $500.
We maintained a great relationship after that and laughed about how I ended up working at Google. She told me to never set my sights too low—take any opportunity, push forward, and never settle.
What advice do you have for young women, like our Fellows, trying to shatter stereotypes and break into new industries?
- If you’re experiencing imposter syndrome, call it out and give it a name. It’s very common for women to experience this—especially women from underrepresented backgrounds. Just remember that you belong to be wherever you are.
- Be confident. Even if you’re still unsure, go for it. Find mentors and advocates in the space to coach you and give you feedback. Surround yourself with people who look out for you.
- Don’t be afraid to ask questions.
What brings you the most satisfaction and fulfillment in your career, and why is that important to you?
People development. Early in my career at Google, I led a rotation of 22 people across two offices who worked directly with SMBs to optimize ad campaigns. Members of the team were also tasked with delivering scaled value to SMBs by leading cross-functional projects across the company in product marketing, billing product teams, etc. I loved coaching through relationship building and brainstorming solutions to top problems we were having as a rotation. More recently, I managed a product manager who transitioned from Apple Retail Store to Apple Retail Corporate (Online)—investing in him also gave me a lot of fulfillment.
Developing people, providing guidance, and giving them visibility makes me happy.
Interested in learning more about Black Tech Women? Check out their social below: