In this week’s episode of Women Talk Tech, our guest is Jillian Kaplan, a Product Marketing Manager at Dell Technologies. She discusses the importance of embracing your story – both the defeats and triumphs- as a part of your career and how the inclusiveness of a work environment is a massive factor in excelling women in tech.
Turning your mess into your message
Just three years ago, Jillian was hit by a car at 40+ mph while crossing a crosswalk, resulting in life-threatening injuries and an emergency brain surgery that saved her life. Although Jillian was able to return to work and continue a successful career, she’s had to learn how to live with the long term effects of a traumatic brain injury. Jillian’s decision to push forward and turn her mess into her message motivates not only women in tech but everyone.
“If I can impact one life, if I can share my mess and make it a message for one person it’s definitely worth it for me.” – Jillian Kaplan
The levels of support and inclusivity that Jillian has experienced after her injuries at Dell has dramatically impacted her level of success. She explains the importance of a positive work environment, especially for women in tech is a necessity to furthering equality in the tech industry. In this episode, she will discuss the power behind the CEO of Dell Technologies, Michael Dell’s recent announcement that has committed Dell’s global workforce to be 50% women by 2030. Jillian explains how she witnesses steps to reach this goal every day at her company.
Discovering the tech sector
Jillian never doubted her desire to have a tech career. Although she was not certain where she belonged in the tech sector during high school, she quickly discovered a passion for tech management during university.
She started her career as a network engineer at Verizon in 2004. Despite not having an engineering degree before this experience, she knew it was the best place for her to start her career and provided her with the proper skills to learn about the core of business in tech. Jillian explains how quickly she fell in love with the ever-changing fast pace of the tech industry.
For over a year now, Jillian has found herself at Dell exploring the business and opportunities that 5G technology offers. During this episode, she explores the lifesaving and changing capabilities that 5G can provide, which connects with her personally as an advocate for autonomous vehicle technology. After suffering her crash, Jillian discovered the real impact that technology for good can have, which has motivated her to explore how autonomous vehicles can prevent crashes like the one she experienced.
Be sure to tune in, and in case you missed it, Women Talk Tech has launched a 2020 Action Plan Report. Download this report to help develop a program in your organization to advance women.
*Disclaimer* As mentioned in the podcast, Jillian was scheduled to talk at Dell Tech World in May 2020 about her story . Unfortunately the event was cancelled due to COVID-19 restrictions. It is intended to be rescheduled later this year for a virtual appearance.
About Jillian Kaplan
Jillian Kaplan is a Product Marketing Manager at Dell Technologies. She currently is working on go-to-market to help Telcos launch their journey into 5G.
Jillian has been in the technology field her whole career, starting her career in Network Engineering at Verizon. After returning to school to receive her MBA, she discovered a hybrid to hone in on her creative and business skills in Product Management for a SaaS product that Verizon was bringing to market. Since then, she moved to the ‘other side’ of the Telco world by joining Dell Technologies.
Three years ago, Jillian suffered from a traumatic injury after being hit by a car. The accidents left her with a shattered face, pelvis, sacrum and sternum. After a life saving emergency brain surgery, Jillian still lives with the long term effects of a traumatic brain injury. She emphasizes how important it is to “turn your mess into your message,” and has used this experience to push forward and accelerate her career.
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