Sílvia Coimbra

Sílvia Coimbra

Profile

Time in tech 5 years
Current role Product Owner @ Farfetch
Place of origin Porto

Tell us more about you:

Early years and where you came from?

Technology has not always been a part of my life. I grew up between a combination of two weird-related interests: maths and dancing. As no path seemed too obvious, I decided to study management to keep all the endless possibilities open (or maybe I was just too confused to choose).

The good thing about being too confused to choose is that your infinite curiosity may take you everywhere.

How were you introduced to the world of the Portuguese tech industry?

It was more of a process that a specific moment. Studying in Porto, Paris and Barcelona was an eye-opening experience as I got the chance to work and learn in very innovative and collaborative environments. My interest in new business models and tech companies continue to grow as I got more involved in the ecosystem by volunteering and participating in several events and workshops.

Walk me through your work and what you are doing now in the tech industry.

I’m currently working at Farfetch as a Product Owner in the Black & White business unit - a full-service agency, selling multichannel e-commerce solutions for luxury fashion brands, based on the Farfetch core systems and services. It is a very exciting time to be part of a revolutionary e-commerce company at the cutting edge of fashion and technology.

Apart from that and as a strong advocate of gender equality and children’s education, I develop some side projects that use technology as an enabler for social change.

What part of what you do, you love the most?

Product is what I love the most and I find motivation in the full spectrum of product development: from wandering around new trends and discussing the unpredictable future, to understanding customer needs, and finally making ideas come to life.

How do you think that your background and knowledge impact the way you approach your work in the Portuguese tech industry?

When working in the tech industry, you always need a fine balance between business and tech; done and perfect; chaos and structure; laughing and crying; learning and teaching; (customer) needs and dreams.

My background allows me to navigate both extremes with ease, always with 3 principles in mind: know your customers/audience, understand the why behind everything and turn (not keep) it simple.

What advice do you have for young women that want to get into tech and don’t know where to start?

Look for people and companies that inspire you. Understand why you care. And don’t be afraid to reach out to people - you will be immensely surprised how everyone is willing to help.

Walk me through a day in your life as a Portuguese woman in tech.

I would love to have a very clear routine to share - but to be honest my day can be all over the place. Sometimes I run at 6am, others at 9pm. Throughout the days I may be running between meetings, solving problems with my team or preparing product showcases. I may leave the office at 6pm or 9pm, depending if I’m feeling productive. And after work I may go to an event, having dinner with friends, work on side projects or just die on the sofa.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?

Forget your weaknesses. Play to your strengths and interests.

”Another thing that I have found is that intense interest in any subject is indispensable if you’re really going to excel in it. I could force myself to be fairly good in a lot of things, but I couldn’t excel in anything in which I didn’t have an intense interest.”

Charlie Munger

What apps/software/tools can’t you live without?

WhatsApp, Instagram, slack, google docs, outlook and white pieces of paper.