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Pledge 1
Community Manager
Community Manager

Pledge 1%'s #WomenWhoLead series celebrates female leaders who are paving the way for the next generation. While our featured leaders come from a variety of backgrounds and industries, they are united in their efforts to promote equality for all women in the workplace. We’ve asked them to share a bit about their journey to success, as well as lessons they’ve learned along the way. 


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Vanessa Chesnut

Lead Product Designer,

Houston, TX, US

What is your current role? Briefly describe in 1-2 sentences. 


I am the lead product designer at a seed-stage company in the HR Tech space. I spend about 20% of my time creating sales and marketing assets and 80% working on building out our interview intelligence tool called Humanly Voice. I function as both a PM and a Designer, building out strategy, moving pixels, and making sure we are tying all of our product decisions back to our customer needs.


What’s the best part of your job? What do you enjoy the most?


I enjoy all of the potential energy that comes along with working at a startup. I get to work on hard problems that I believe are still unsolved and that will have huge net- positive returns for both interviewers and interviewees inside the hiring experience.


We’ve all faced personal and professional challenges these past two years - what motivates you to keep going?


  1. Getting to build a product from 0 to 1 (Humanly Voice)
  2. The discovery of new things and solving hard problems
  3. A strong desire to change the world for the better


What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?


Write down your thoughts and predictions of a product or feature launch beforehand and revisit them afterward. Our memory is notoriously flawed and we rewrite history with false memories. Writing down our thoughts keeps us honest.


What does generosity mean to you? 


No strings attached.


If you could describe yourself in one word what would that be and why?




Since joining a startup, I've led projects that are completely outside my expertise like researching how to build out machine-learning models or understanding the nuances of why people interrupt others during interviews, mostly unconsciously.


As a product designer, I design the world that I want to see, crafting solutions to problems, both known and unknown.


If you could pick a song to guide you through 2022, which song would it be? 


"Heat of the Moment" by Asia


What are you looking forward to this year? Are there any goals (personal or professional), activities, or experiences you are excited about?


Outside of my work, I'm excited about learning more about the potentials of Web3 ( Metaverse, NFT, blockchain gaming) and I'm looking forward to imparting my design knowledge on my mentee, who is a junior product designer at a startup.


I'm also looking forward to my traveling to Japan this summer and eating SO much sushi, visiting a ton of UNESCO World Heritage sites, and getting to see non-western design principles and philosophy.